Friday, December 16, 2011

A Switerland wrap up and attemp at objective evaluation

So I am with the group now in Fontainebleau. Yes that of course means that we left Switzerland and Austria. I feel like it is a good time to share my personal reaction and my attempt at an objective critical point of view on these climbing areas instead of just adding to the climbing interweb-o-spheres ravings of 'Switzerland is sick brah' and 'Best rock ever' and 'I am gonna climb 8B here for sure'(optional brah to be added to last statement). While these previous statements are rooted in truth and surely passed out of my mouth over my stay I will try to add a little depth and understanding for all the armchar climbers out there(read; said armchair climber is me when not on occasional trip).
Magic Wood-For sure a must visit. It is far and away the best in sense of density. Also coming from america where granite bouldering means the like of Yosemite and the up and coming Leavenworth, it is really amazing to find pure granite climbing ON HOLDS and STEEP FACES. Yes yes these last statements are true and not blown out of proportion. One feature of MW is that I have never seen hard(read 8A to 8C) boulders so greasy and polished and when you add this to the condition dependent nature of the moisture in the valley can make for some very psyched and yet frustrating days.
The range and diversity of texture held within one climbing area is amazing as well because you have river polished all the way to gritty crimps.
Cresciano- This area is interesting in that we all have come to know it for the one very steep famous boulder that hold Dreamtime and The Story of 2 Worlds, you may call the later 'the story' if you feel cool enough to act burdened by saying the full name. But the truth is that although there are some steep boulders in this area, that are incredible of course, this area is truly a granite area reminiscent of Yosemite and needs appropriate conditions. Because of the hillside nature and completely southern facing feature of Cresciano the winter time is best and we were unable to see its full glory. The amount of climbing wasn’t as staggering as other areas. The rock ranged from much more crystalie in nature than one would ever expect all the way to immaculate.
Chironico- This climbing was by far the biggest of the Ticino areas and this is one of the most impressive features. Just the sheer quantity is enough to dedicate large amounts of time. The rock on the other hand is by far the most bi-polar I have seen in a major area. Climbs like Freak Brothers, Confessions of a Crap Artist and Conquistador are second to none but in most areas you could find truly junky lines close by. The setting is a little more urbanized than I expected in such an immaculate climbing area. There are so many lines and thus the number of ones amazing and crappy are both very high.
Brione- Yes, it is true, this is actually not only the coolest but for sure the best rock I have ever seen. This is granite with the texture of sandstone and the diversity of river sectors to grassy pastures of boulder gardens. This is surly the most amazing climbing sector I have ever seen, ever. The truth is that in my attempt to be critical the area is small and spread out with no topo. If one doesn't want to session on 8A's and harder there os little reason to commit a lot of time other than the fact that it hold the single best 7C in the world known as Molunk. The setting unsurpassed by any and the ambiance is pure Swiss magic.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Europa Files: Part III

The Amazing Local Water of Andeer (All Photos provided graciously by Noah Rayburn)

The namesake

Send the classic 'Jack the Chipper V9/7C' in a couple tries

WOW, so there is a simple truth when dealing with Switzerland and its 'best granite in the world'. #1 the aforementioned statement is 100% true #2 The prices on everything range from uncomfortably high all the way to outrageous #3 The weather can make or break your trip seemingly without any rhythm, in fact I would describe the weather as arrhythmic.
The weather booted from the Averstal area(ie Magic Wood) before the projects were finished and for me that really caused me to reevaluate the whole trip and timing to be much more focused on a sampling attitude instead of anything in the multiple day project range. Because of this switch the weather has been less stressful because I usually dont feel the need to return to anyone boulder. That being said I have done all the moves to several boulders that are in the V11 and V12 range so we will see what the timing, group, and rain have to say about it.
Given the extremely short windows of climbable weather in Ticino and Switzerland in general I haven't not felt like I have explored real maximum movement for me but I still have managed some absolutely world class bloks with sending, The Komilator V11/8A, Molunk V9/7C, Höhenrausch V8/7B+ and onsighting the incredable and scary Black Mirror slab V?.
I have added some pictures and I believe that the internet will be much more consistent so I plan on sharing much more.
As the weather has not been cooperating in Ticino we have bailed to a friends place in Austria and have hoping to explore the amazing areas that are not covered in snow yet.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Europa Files: Part II-Media for a little grill time

The Clio, which like her amazing fortune telling skills also has an amazing ability to fit everything inside of her

A nice link on the amazing Occtupussy 8A in the sun before jet lag set in any more

Just plain Psyched
All photos taken by Noah 'Ranger' Rayburn

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Europa Files: Part I

So here we are, Switzerland. The trip one dreams about. But there are so many dissecting realities at work when you deal in the business of chasing dreams. Starting with the amount of freedom that one gives up in order to make enough money in order to travel to this most expensive of destinations. In true fashion to my past I figured how to take a half cargo and half passenger flight over the north pole from Alaska to Germany for US$375 one way. This flight left from the biggest city in AK which means at the last minute I had to scramble to get a ride the 500 mile distance and of course I work up until the last day so it was a stressful experience to say the least. I arrived in Frankfurt and immediately started to seek out the buses that go south that I was told about but these buses in fact do not exist so I was left with a very expensive train option. Now here I thought that trains were the transport of the people and a method move the proletariat but perhaps to no longer as they are even more expensive than flight within Europa. After a few canceled trains and a few missed trains due to states of delirium, I finally made it Zurich to meet up with the car(Clio) that is to be the chariot for the trip!
We stayed a night with friends in Zurich and cruised the streets lamenting on each others experiences getting this trip together. In the morning we woke up and chomped up on the Raw Cacoa and were off to the races(metaphorically that is). WHAT A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY SWITZERLAND IS! It was dangerous to drive and keep your eyes on the road. After not to long we made it the Avers Valley home to the very Famous Magic Wood.
We immediately stopped at the hostel we were to stay at but the proprietor changed his mind about the price he would offer us and this we have decided to camp for a while until we figure it out a little bit. This sounds fine but as this was to be my break out trip in the sense of class in the transport and accommodations I didn't bring a sleeping bag. We went out for a long warm up that afternoon to limber up and did a nice moderate, 'Blown Away 7B+' second try. I decided to top it out despite the wetness and the fact that most people do not. Afterwords we walked around in the night and just realized that all of these dream boulder do in fact exist!! What a funny but honest realization that was. I mean it not like these boulders never existed but in my own mental landscape they were just pieces of media until you actually get to touch them and see that they are real!
That first night was a real disaster on the other hand, turns out slipping in a puff jacket alone in the alps is not enough insulation and I spent the whole night shaking and awake. But enough about that. I decided enough at about 4AM and just started walking in the woods to keep warm until 11AM when my friends woke up and then we headed into the woods for our intended purpose, bouldering. It was extremely hot as there is a heatwave happening in Switz right now so I got myself up a very tall and scary 7A+ for a warm up and then we headed to Octupussy 8A? to see what the program was. Noah and myself did all the moves in the blazing heat and some links as well. By the time we were spent the temps started to cool and we wondered why we so poorly strategical on the temps and schedule. Lesson learned and we are very excited to get back. Now we are resting and I am not yet feeling myself physically and mentally I am also sort out some blockages so I am very excited to see whats in store for me/us when a beautiful rhythm is established. Until the next interweb post here is some media for you! Psyched and getting more psyched AR

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

There, back, and there again

The Return, it is a central theme in the literary catalog of emotional composition. The main character always seems to have evaded some sort of reality and this brings on the Return. Although in our lives we find many returns and I guess that we can hope for is that we great about the time once spent as we reflect in the time we are spending currently. All this to say a lot has been incoming and outgoing. Lets break it down.
-In the last couple weeks I have climbed my hardest and most amazing boulder
-Evaded death in a freak snow storm in the Sierra's on May 15th(WTF right)
-I worked on the house that I lived in through highschool(crazy old energy). Didn't get to sleep bc always work all the time work. --Met my mothers new husband to be
-Climbed V8 soaking wet in the rain on the one day I had to climb in the last three weeks
-Experienced very unpleasant angry family members(LAME)
-Flew down to Argentina to have a reunion with my brother and have been having some of the most amazing & incredible days and of course nights but unfortunately there is still little sleep going around.
The return to my old emotional landscapes such as highschool neighborhood or South America, which is where I went to separate timelines in my life has been wild and amazing. So much to say and there will be more pictures and words to post soon.
Be happy, be psyched

Friday, March 4, 2011

Progressively Upward Cycles of Life & Performance

So as the title may omit, there has been some ups and down of late but what is perhaps the most inspiring thing of all is that the bottom of each cycle seems to be higher than the last. To me this seems the most exciting news of all because it shows progression and allows me to accept time off or a 'down-cycle', with greater ease and hopefully grace.
The last post I had was of time in Bishop. That leg of the trip was amazing with sending, great friends, and just super high psyche. But alas, finances intruded and I needed to go to Salt Lake City for work and no climbing for two weeks. Needless to say this was a forced down-cycle but a necessary one to make money and travel to more spots.
After the hurricane of work, that was up to 18 hours a day ended it was time to explore some climbing in the Las Vegas area, namely Red Rocks. After two weeks of no sleep, lots of work, birthday celebrations compounded by spending all day in a convention center with thousands of people from all over the world my immune system was haggard and when I got to Red Rocks I could barely climb V9 without vomiting and getting dizzy so I guess it was time for another down-cycle and some more rest. Then after about two weeks of that I tried climbing again and felt really good, I did some V7's to warm up and then I took a big fall and missed my pad from about 20 feet. A silly mistake really, just a foot pic and a problem that should really be climbed with some friends and not a solo endeavor. The pain was truly excruciating and even surprisingly so, since the heel bone is so far from the brain and the central nervous system the pain was distant but also at the same time horrendous and debilitating. I figured I would take an hour and try and call it day but after the wait. I tried to walk only to immediately collapse. A bad sign. I ended up getting carried out by a couple of elderly sport climbers that luckily(for me) were just walking by. It was actually quite hilarious how debilitated I was and the logistics of moving a six foot plus individual proved quite daunting, as I am sure any Search and Rescue worker can tell you.
So the sad realization hit, that I had just ended two consecutive down-cycles and it appeared that there would be yet another. sigh. So this one took another two weeks which was primarily occupied by reading and researching health topics and existential philosophy pursuits. Not a total wash plus MEGA soul brother Zack Rubin AKA Zaych Money came out from LA for some bro time and to climb as well. I was determined to hang with my buddie and provide him some release from the city time, so within the two days of climbing we shared I crutched a distance no less than 5 miles and actually climbed a V9? called Drunken Monkey. It was pretty surprising but is the essence of this post's title and an inspiration in itself that amidst weeks of bed rest and injury I could still climb this level in a couple tries. The down-cycles are natural part of anyones path and when you can see the elevation of your bottom point rise it's as exciting as the peaks!
I have now migrated to the St. George area and have been exploring while getting back into it now that my foot can fit inside a FiveTen Dragon again. YES!! In the last couple of days of climbing I have sent "Gription V9', 'Linder's Roof V9', 'Bazooka Tooth V10' with a dice direct method. All of the climbs in the V8 and under range have been going in one or two tries which has been great to build up a nice base again. I am very excited now that I am feeling better and excited to see what manifests next. Learning the cycles and loving them. More to Come.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rocket Parties, the Big Chill, and Boulder Scampering

The story starts with the impending doom and gloom of raining hitting the camper shell that I live in. The reports said that this rain would cover the entire western US for a whole week. So if you read this blog with any consistency you have noticed that I have a friend named Zack and he designs rockets, yes, rockets that go to space. Zack gave me a call and tole me that his company had launched a successful rocket and that they were gonna throw a giant party for the occasion, they also decided to couple this with a company wide Christmas party. The party was to be outrageous including the $200K price tag. Zack told me over the phone that he had a ticket for me in, the only problem is that it was in LA and after a budget crushing vehicle maintenance set back I had I could not afford to drive down, so what does that means a hitchhiking adventure, in the rain no less.ha. This scenario had the making for adventure and as the climbing was off the table regardless I figured, 'might as well party with rocket scientists in the city of angels' and it was off for me. I was able to catch a ride with a good friend Mason Daly out of Bishop and then caught a couple other rides and found how distraught the public transport in LA really is. Plus, even though the city sits on the pacific ocean it has no idea how to deal with rain and thus the whole scene was flooded, just adding to the hilarity of the situation. I also got to walk through Compton in the rain with a soaked puff jacket, that was interesting. But alas I made it to the rocket party and it was MEGA to say the least and I raged face on the scene of highly paid number crunching rocket types.
I will write more about this adventure later because I assume you want to hear about the really fun boulders that I have been climbing recently.
First off bc the Buttermilks have proven to be just epic to climb at this trip I have developed a matured eye for the tablelands, which has led me to enjoy some really amazing movement on everything from bullet hard to marginal rock quality. I have also been climbing at couple of the tablelands areas that are not so well known but contain amazing climbing none the less. The theme of late is been to climb thing fast and not project, just enjoy the climbing and mix in lots of rest days where I have been juggling the soccer ball a lot. I sent 'Standing Kill Order V11' in a couple tries which was really fun and amazing bc the movement is outrageous that same day while supporting a friend on 'Acid Wash' I was able to whip off the 'Acid Wash Right V9' first try. I was also able to flash the most amazing climb, 'The Wave V7', arguably the best 7 in the Bishop area. And yesterday I was able to finish 'March of the Pigs V11' first try of the the third session and its neighbor 'Nine Inch Nails V9' in a couple tries and the movement master piece 'The Rose V8' as it was getting dark. It has been so much fun climbing all these amazing movement based problems. The coffee shop in which I am typing is closing so this will have to wait but there is more to come. Love and enjoy 2011 my friends.