Opportunity for Input Concerning Potential New Monuments

•2015/10/11 • 2 Comments

This Tuesday, October 13, at 1pm:

On October 13th, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will be holding a public meeting to discuss the designation of Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, and Castle Mountains as national monuments. In attendance will be Department of Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor, Undersecretary of Agriculture Robert Bonnie, and other senior officials from the Obama Administration.

If you’re not aware, Feinstein has asked President Obama to unilaterally designate 3 new national monuments in the California desert. She did this because her previous 2 bills, the most recent one this year called the California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act, has gone nowhere in congress. Also, in an attempt to counter both Feinstein’s bill and the monument designations is Congressman Paul Cook’s bill called the California Minerals, Off-Road Recreation, and Conservation Act. If you like the idea of protecting open spaces, as I do, you can get more information from this blog post or go directly to the top link and rsvp. Here is another link, this one associated with the Defenders of Wildlife, to RSVP which includes bus signup.

The location is the Whitewater Preserve, located just west of the 62 turnoff, north of and off of I-10.

Here is a quote from an LA Times article in reference to the lands in question:

Much of the land under consideration was purchased more than a decade ago by private citizens and conservation organizations, then donated to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in anticipation that they would eventually come under protection of national monument status.

Campground Boulders With Ashima and Manny

•2015/06/07 • 2 Comments

Recently Ashima Shiraishi visited LA for a an appearance on the Late Night Show. Afterwards, she visited the Evolv factory to talk shoes followed by two days at Black Mountain. Accompanied with a host of friends including Manny Quintana, she sent Buzz Saw, Smack Down and Expatriot, and spent the end of the day working Bang On, the Ben Moon testpiece. Here are some images of Manny and Ashima on Buzz Saw and Smack Down.

Ashima Shiraishi sending Buzz Saw at the campground boulders, Black Mountain.

Ashima Shiraishi sending Buzz Saw at the campground boulders, Black Mountain.

Continue reading ‘Campground Boulders With Ashima and Manny’

Forms… or Rather Reform, a “New” Problem at the Republic (updated)

•2015/05/25 • Leave a Comment

I recently visited the Black Mountain area called The Republic with Matt Birch and Jill. Matt’s down here (or I guess over here… from the UK) to work on shoe development with me at Evolv. Unfortunately, the crag was fairly wet with dew, but we mustered on and sent a few lines. In the process, we climbed the line Forms, differently.

Matt Birch climbing the line Forms from a lower hold, adding two moves and making it infinitely more fun.

Matt Birch about to match on the start holds of Forms, thus adding two moves and making it infinitely more fun. Clouds/fog were moving in in the background.

Continue reading ‘Forms… or Rather Reform, a “New” Problem at the Republic (updated)’

Black Mtn. guiding…

•2015/04/22 • Leave a Comment

So those that have either bought the new Black Mountain “guide” book or have heard about it not having V ratings, may have an option to participate in a project that a friend has started called Climbwise.net. The creator, Les Van Exel, has created a site that allows those registered and logged in to create profiles for any boulder problems at any crag of any state that he includes in the directory. Black Mountain currently is the primary crag he’s listed problem to test it out–that number’s about 22 the last time I checked.

He admits it’s in beta stage and is a bit glitchy, but it seems to be in the right direction in my opinion when it concerns ratings. This is because he uses an average or mean (I don’t know which) and is similar to the old Bleau.info* or a gritstone website (that I can’t locate now) that creates percentages for each grade given, or spread of ratings, for any specific problem. More climbers that rate it the more accurate it gets.

Van Exel’s site can load a bit slow since it’s on his home server, and any time he reboots the server the site loses its cached pages but are created once the page is loaded again. Check it out and offer feedback to Les. It can become a great complement to the guidebook and actually make the book more worth buying. Right now? It doesn’t seem worth it.

On the grades issue, I think it’s a shame not to have ratings. The personal nature of ratings makes second-guessing what another person might rate it or how hard it might be irrelevant. So the only grades that matter are those that ascenders offer. Grades are just a personal assessment tool for guiding that when it includes more inputs becomes a more precise reference for determining choice. Add more information like height and reach, and the number as tool becomes even more useful. It’s all very pragmatic and not absolute. We humans do well with such generalizations and opinions. And guidebooks are supposed to guide us to what we want to do. Perfection is not applicable.

On the topic of BM guidebooks’ color scheme, all I have to say is that the difficulty range for each color can be up to 7 grades (it’s unclear since the color point on the graphic disappears as it reaches its outlier numbers). 7 grades. I can warm up and power out all within one color, and I don’t want to hike all over the hills to do what the guide should do: direct me to things not too hard.

At the core of each color, one can say it covers 3 grades–ignoring any color overlap. Yet I personally experienced grading problems among varied climber sizes relatively easily distilled down to either one of 2 grades. I digress…. I’ll leave a ratings rant for another post.

* bleau.info recently underwent an ownership change and is now totally different, but on some problems there are ratings by users with the same percentage spread of given grades.

Mr. Freeze

•2015/04/12 • 3 Comments

Sunday, I repeated the toprope line Mr. Freeze ground up. It was originally rated 12a or v4 as a toprope, but John Weinberg, who rehearsed it on TR then climbed it without a rope last year in December 2013, called it a 5, maybe harder. I felt it was probably a v5, sent on my second try. The crux is the first move, getting off the ground and going to the high left crimp, but the mental crux is the move back to the crack at about 15 feet. The line climbs the face directly right of Butterfly crack at Quail Springs turnout, or Trashcan rock.

One more move before heading to the crack at left on Mr. Freeze, v5

One more move to go before heading to the crack at left on Mr. Freeze, v5

Continue reading ‘Mr. Freeze’

Another Tall Line at Marion

•2015/04/05 • 1 Comment

Here is a new tall line at Marion Mountain, unknown difficulty, put up by Trevor Elste. It’s called Liquidation of Anachronism at what he calls the Little Marion area. Video is worth seeing to get a better scale and idea of the climbing. Fall is not ideal.

Cool line!

Cool line!

screen grab from an Instagram posting.

screen grab from an Instagram posting.

Marion Mtn. Highball

•2015/03/22 • Leave a Comment

On Saturday, Anthony Tarascio sent his project Shadow of the Colossus, v10, an impressive line up a massive boulder, about an hours’ hike up the main trail. A video of his send can be seen here. He explained the topout involves exiting over and around an offwidth crack too large for fists. If you’re into offwidths you’ll be psyched to do the exit moves on this awesome line! If not, he said he grabbed a sloping crimp, pasted a high foot and kept bumping up until he got a decent hold before getting his body over onto the slab.

The crux is the first move from the sit off underclings.  It requires the standard practice of pulling on and hesitating before firing the dyno. He felt the first move was a 9 with the next section about an 8.

The crux is the first move from the sit off underclings. It requires the standard practice of pulling on and hesitating before firing the dyno. He felt the first move was a 9 with the next section about an 8.

Congratulations on establishing a 5 star line!

Continue reading ‘Marion Mtn. Highball’


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