the Gateway boulders… aka the Manx Brothers boulders (RIP).

the gB author calls this area the Gateway. prior to the gB publication we called it the Manx Brothers boulders and referenced the obvious formation, the first along GTR, as the Gateway. the gB calls the east side the East Cluster and the west the West Cluster which was originally what we called the Manx Brothers boulders. to further complicate things, the gB called the Manx Brothers boulders the group loosely spread out between the Gateway formation and the Tips Begone boulder formation to the west. this area has names referencing the Marx Brothers in the gB, making them the Marx Brothers boulders.

this line at Gateway's West Cluster has very clean stone, unknown if it was climbed before

this line at Gateway’s West Cluster has very clean stone, unknown if it was climbed before

I normally acquiesce to the gB since it’s the published standard, but on this one, it makes no sense. Marx Brothers is Marx Brothers and fits the climb and boulder names; therefore, best thing to do is keep the Gateway the Gateway and reference the boulders around with the terms East and West Clusters, and all the other boulders that are scattered towards the Tips Begone boulder formation as the Marx Brothers boulders.

the original concept was to do a play on words from the Manx boulders near Intersection Rock: Manx, Manx Brothers, Marx Brothers, but now it seems better to split the difference and work with the gB and yet still keep the boulders consistent with their names.

to help placate the confusion, I have made a google .kmz file of the Gateway boulders only to better show all the circuit development we are trying to establish for this area. there are more to do for sure, but quality is one issue, difficulty and boldness will be increasingly needed. this I will post (with the .kmz file for Key’s Corner) as soon as I can find a place to upload them and pass the address on to you…

here are a few more shots of the above climb. I also have photos from 2010 when several other lines were sent. (are they fa’s? some most likely, while others are questionable. I don’t think the lines would have been climbed recently or even in the past 15 years. my guess is they could have been done in the 70’s and 80’s. earlier? not sure about that. )

author about to get scrappy and send Homunculus, v6 or 7.

author about to get scrappy and send Homunculus, v6 or 7.

different perspective on the bulge.

different perspective on the bulge.

this video of Alex sending the line is cool in that his beta is so different and seems more efficient. I botched the beginning by accidentally turning off the video camera, so there’s a gap. watch closely as he “mantels” the move right off.

here is the second of two new problems we sent. it’s to the left of Homunculus and has a nasty sit start called The Bitter Pill sit. the stand has certainly been done, but the yabo, or sit, had friable edges that broke when we cleaned it; otherwise, it’s a very clean problem. Jill did the fa of the sit, v5.

Mike Turner about to pull the second move on the aptly named Bitter Pill, second of two crux moves. no issues with dabbing

Mike Turner about to pull the second move on the aptly named Bitter Pill, second of two crux moves. no issues with dabbing

the Bitter Pill starts matched at Mike Turner’s left hand in the photo above. both of these two problems reside in the West Cluster, while this boulder sits among the northern few boulders. on the same boulder is another problem called Chrysopoeia, v2, (east facing) that match starts on an obvious horizontal rail about chest height. the problem has a high horizontal sloping rail that’s red from lichen, I think. I did this line in 2010. 

on the west face, right of the above photo, is a simple and easy corner mantel problem called Elixir, 5.6.

Elixir, 5.6.

Elixir, 5.6.

in context with ’10, here are a few more lines I fa’d with Jill and Aron. the first one is odd, short and very devious. I think we all liked this one the best for it’s uniqueness:

this is Bulgehead, v3. mostly feet cleaned, otherwise, enjoy the ride.

this is Bulgehead, v3. mostly feet cleaned, otherwise, enjoy the ride. the vertical slash on the right is another problem called Sidehead, v0-? it could be 5.8 too. can’t remember.

in the photo above, the shaded wall/arete directly behind the (pseudo) spotter is Wall of Cards, v4. after a bit of cleaning, Aron and I worked it for a fair amount of time. I got lucky and sent first, but he repeated right after. way tricky, so tricky in fact, upon returning to look at the line, I couldn’t figure out how to do it. we both thought at the time a 5 would be too stiff. this could be one of those problems that gives josh a bad rap. its’ grim but goes. the face to the right of the arete is One Eye Slab, v0-, and the crack behind the climber running up above the shade line is Crackhead, v2. super fun with committing but easy exit moves. there’s a hanging shelf at the base that might make the topout feel scary. 

Jill on Crackhead, v2.

Jill on Crackhead, v2.

Wall of Cards, v4. on the FA partly past the crux, I think.

Wall of Cards, v4. on the fa partly past the crux, I think. left start hold visible via chalk below a patina patch about thigh high left leg.

in the photo above, I exit approximate slightly right and straight up from there. it’s actually a first rate technical problem. this next problem is closer to the road on the southeast area of the formation called Cornerbleu that I also fa’d.

Cornerbleu, v4. photo shows the start holds.

Cornerbleu, v4. photo shows the start holds.

this problem is excellent and hard to start, Corner Bleu, v4. Aron here seconding it.

this problem is excellent and hard to start, Cornerbleu, v4. Aron here seconding it. the road is left and back in the photo.

these next photos are from the East Cluster. the first few were done a bit ago, yet I noticed I never posted anything on it. I had mentioned it on the page About Grains and Things  and never followed up. It was climbed in 2010 during a cold and windy sunset:

Ear to the Grindstone, V3. topout is crux. and a little grain to keep you focused

Ear to the Grindstone, V3. topout is crux. and a little grain to keep you focused

this next problem is just north of Ear to the Grindstone on what I called the Steinbeck Boulder. in fact, there are 6 problems in this area with 2 next to each other, Cup of Gold, v1, and Sweet Thursday, v2 (which is just right of Cup of Gold that I fa’d). Cup of Gold could be an fka (first known ascent).

Cup of Gold, v1, excellent movement, a bit grainy, down climb is the right, out of the picture

Cup of Gold, v1, excellent movement, a bit grainy, down climb is the right, out of the picture

Grains of Wrath, v3. top is grainy, but clean line.

Grains of Wrath, v3, another of my fa’s. top is grainy, but excellent fun. to the right is the Steinbeck Boulder with the road in background.

I’ve already posted about the problems on the Obtuse Oyster boulder here and here.

this next group is next to the Grindstone arete. the first one is called Mussel Up, v0:

short, fun and v0+. grainy, but cleaned up well.

short, fun and v0+. grainy, but cleaned up well.

one more move.

one more move.

topout of the arete

topout of the Grindstone Arete

Grindstone Arete, V4 low stand, v3 high stand. is it me or does Jill look like she's hanging onto the tip of a handgun in extreme wide angle perspective.

Grindstone Arete, V4 low stand, v3 high stand. is it me or does Jill look like she’s hanging onto the tip of a handgun in extreme wide angle perspective.

first move from the high start. just left of Jill's right hand is another gaston

first move from the high start. just left of Jill’s right hand is another gaston

after the first move on the arete. matching is the low crux, starting matched is the upper start.

after the first move on the arete. matching is the low crux, starting matched is the upper start.

Jill fa’d Mussel Up, and I did the Grindstone Arete as well as the next problems. these next problems are amongst the main formation boulders and north.

this is a short tech problem I did called In Dubious Battle, v4. its the northern most problem we've done here.

this is a short tech problem I did called In Dubious Battle, v4. its the northern most problem we’ve done here.

just left of where Jill is is the Pearl, v2. it climbs a solitary horizontal match crimp at over head high in the middle of the face.

setting up the mantel

setting up the mantel on the Pearl, v2

crimp visible above her cap. Jill struggled with the hand/foot match... and the frustration

crimp visible above her cap. Jill struggled with the hand/foot match… and the frustration

about to finish...

about to finish… In Dubious Battle is the slanting right crack to the right and goes straight up to the horizontal band of dark rock

this next problem is called Drumbeat, v3, the sound of one hand slapping the top, really. 🙂 it starts matched on a head high horizontal crimp rail.

overview showing Drumbeat in the foreground.

overview showing Drumbeat in the foreground.

key foot in order to reach the crimps in the dish visible in the upper right corner

key foot in order to reach the crimps in the dish visible in the upper right above the darker patina and visible as a yellowish mark

after the crux hand-foot match

after the crux hand-foot match, another easier line goes up through the dish to the right, but it has a bad fall.

though I’ve stated that many of these problems are fa’s, they could also be just fka’s. often, the amount of wear is a good indication of whether it’s been done before, but it’s always a slippery slope to know for sure. the Stonemasters weren’t exactly open about what they did save the parks’ first bouldering guide by Mari Gingery.

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~ by r. mulligan on 2014/01/14.

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