New Year, new problems to climb

The day of New Year’s Eve we headed out to Josh for the weekend (as usual) with the intention of working a line we’d spotted before as well as exploring for some new lines. It was particularly cold that weekend, but not too cold for being psyched on a rad new line, so we did some standard warmup problems to get our fingers ready and headed straight to our project.

Rob workin’ the moves

Jill workin’ the moves

Rob working a bump sequence as he tries some different beta

another angle: the target hold is the chalked hold visible just above his left hand

It’s a pretty rad line, involving some powerful moves through sloping huecos and finishing with a typically tricky Josh-style topout. Despite the finger-numbing (and camera-battery-draining) cold we worked on the lower section until about an hour after sunset, and although we didn’t send we managed to figure out some new beta during that time. The air temperature upon our return to the van? A balmy 17 degrees Fahrenheit.

The next day (Saturday) we gave our tips a break and did some hiking and exploring, finding many more enticing boulders and aesthetic lines to add to our list of prospects.

On Sunday morning we started out with one of the groups of boulders we had scoped out the previous day, at the southeast end of GTR. These are outliers after the last main formation (the Lechlinski Crack formation). At the first clump we stopped at there were two 5.7-ish problems on solid patina that proved to be fun quasi-warmups, and then we turned our attention to the problem that Rob thought might be a worthy line. This steep arete problem required some cleaning, since some of the patina was solid but some of it ended up being fairly loose. The starting moves were powerful, particularly given our inadequate warmup of slab/vertical face climbing. Jon W. and a few of his friends met up with us as we were still warming up and were just starting to work out the moves on the arete.

Rob setting up for the big move

Jon setting up for the big move. Jon and Rob use different beta for this move: Jon goes up left hand while Rob goes up with his right hand.

Jon sticking the big move

crux section

it’s not over yet: another tricky move

Rob on his send of Perla’s Arete, using the right-hand-up beta

This line, Perla’s Arete, is probably about V6, but it’s hard to say for sure because we warmed up on it. 🙂

We then spent some time wandering around some adjacent boulders (the other outlier boulders) but found that we weren’t quite as inspired to try those lines (at that moment) as we had been the previous day. So we headed north to a different boulder we had seen Saturday. The features on it reminded us of the Peanut, and it had the gritty/grainy rock just like that problem! It was therefore dubbed the Walnut (V1).

Jon ready to top out the Walnut

Rob doing a big highstep on the Walnut

the early moves of the Walnut

We then headed up into the formation where we had seen some stellar-looking crimp lines the day before. The first one (pictured below) proved more difficult than it had originally appeared; we found out later from Robert Miramontes that it was actually a Dan Mills project!

Not the greatest image, but it gives you an idea. The boulder (and that move) is bigger than it appears in this photo.

At some point before conceding defeat on the Dan Mills project we turned our attention to the prow-like boulder on the left in the photo above, which had a cool pinch down low. Rob was the one actually that drew our attention to it, while Jon and I initially were a bit skeptical about this pint-size protrusion of rock. 🙂

sweeeeeeeeeet pinch

After playing around on it to stay warm, we found the movement pretty cool as we tried to figure the damn thing out.

Jon attempting some rather unorthodox beta

Finally Rob pulled it together, used his core to do some sort of ninja magic, and sent the thing. The Squam Arete, V6 or V7. It’s short, but fun and technical.

Rob pretty much levering

Rob finishing up the Squam Arete

At this point, despite the climbing, we were pretty much frozen. As we packed up our stuff it started to snow. No, really, it actually started to SNOW.

snow falling

Hey, snowflakes really DO have those shapes!!!!

So we hurried back to the vehicles, content with another weekend of climbing complete, a new year recently begun, some new problems finished, and many more boulder problems to send. 🙂


~ by jillc on 2011/02/14.

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