Tuesday, July 20, 2010

AK Bouldering Adventure Part II

So after we checked out the Tatlanika boulder we needed to head back to Fairbanks and pick up new friend Brian Bosac. Perhaps this driving back to Fairbanks was a good thing because for the next couple of days all of AK was raining and we just prepped the car for the adventure to come.
Once we got back on the road we stopped and tracked down the Rock Creek boulders which was far more of a logistical challenge than we were expecting. After a longish approach up a river bed we found the first of the boulders and climbed all of the lines, they were surprisingly quality.
Up the creek we found the main boulder of the area. We all climbed the area classic 'High Water Hippie Pant V5'. Brian earned the Employee of the day award with climbing tis line for his first V5, radical work buddy.
I then spent the rest of the session working on the project that goes of the area on some incredibly marginal pinches and crystal crimps. I believe this arete does go and most likely at a finicky V11 or V12. But with all ultra thin climbing the temps mean everything and perhaps I will try it come the fall and get a better idea of what secrets it holds.
The following day we headed back to Tatlanika boulders so Zack could work on Darth Mal and while were there I tried V9 until I found that it has a manufactured hold. Has chipping really hit the interior of AK?, a funny notion in of itself. We spent the rest of the day looking and trying the rest of the established climbs.
The plan for the next day was to head south and keep our eyes peeled for rock and end up in Byers Lake. During the drive we had several stops and scoured the hill side but nothing yielded hiking the pads up.
I saw some really plentiful and good looking rock just north of Byer Lake but the team decided it was worth it to keep heading to Byers Lake. Long story short we were not blown away with the Byer Lake boulder and decided that against the weather adviseries to make a bid for the mildly established Hatchers Pass.

Monday, July 19, 2010

1st leg of AK Boulder Mission

Hear no evil, think no evil, Tom on spaz patrol

A V9 at Tatlanika
The view from the Tatlanika boulder
I have been in Alaska recently in an effort to get healthy in many ways. I am finally having the oppertunity to train again which has been a blast and is a part of climbing that I truly enjoy. It has been 2 months since I have climbed and this has been my longest hiatus ever since I started this sometimes silly obsession. With all of the steep board climbing I have been doing in my garage I have made dramatic gains but there is just no way of actually knowing in reference to true rock climbing other than to get out and use it, so when dear friends and road tripper veterans Tom Donze and Zaych Rubin expressed interest in vacationing in the wilds of AK and helping me find boulders I thought, 'this is it, lets grab rock again!'.
The first stop was to check out the Tatlanika boulders which were largely developed by friend Tom Ellis. I climbed a really good V7 called Darth Mal while warming up. But what was really a the highlight was establishing a new V5 Slab problem I called the The Sneeze for its dramatic and reflexive climbing. This problem was hidden beneath a few fallen trees and took some major rearranging but what is left is radical and would be at home in the great slabs of Yosemite or Fontainebleau. This is only the first day so stay tuned as I keep the photos running.