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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunseeker

Yesterday was Mt. Evans day again. I wanted to go try a project at area B, that I had seen photos of earlier this week. I thought it looked really good in the photos, but when we got up there I was blown away. This tall and proud line climbs a sloping rail on a perfect steep overhang, leading to a horrifying mantle high off the deck. It has a good obvious starting hold and about 21 moves, all of them upwards. The bottom part climbing into the stand is probably around V12 and after that you still have to do do stand start which is a technical highball V10. At the moment there is still snow on the landing making it possible to take falls without getting hurt, but when the snow melts it will most likely be a death landing.


After flashing the stand start and almost shitting my pants doing the mantle, I started working on the bottom part. I tried the beginning for some time and I got trough the crux and all the way to the mantle. I felt solid, but then suddenly my heel slipped and I took a really scary fall from about 15 ft, landing more or less on my face. I was lucky and I walked off with only a sore neck. After taking a bad fall I was really nervous to try again. However, next try I made it to the mantle again, scared as hell, and managed to keep it together. I pressed out the mantle, highstepped my foot on a bad smear and grabbed the top. Sunseeker, V13 got it's first ascent! I dare to claim that it is one of the best problems in Colorado and I still can't believe nobody climbed it before me. Big thanks to Carlo and Chris for the real effort; carrying up the pads!

Sunseeker, V13


View from the top of the boulder

Mt. Evans

Rocky Mountain granite

Photos: Jon Cardwell and Nalle Hukkataival

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Colorado

I've been here in Colorado for a couple weeks now and the weather has been anything but good. Actually it's been raining pretty much every day. Still we've managed to get some climbing in. The season is just starting in the park and a lot of the problems in lower and upper chaos are still buried in snow.

Freaks of the Industry, V13

Despite the snow, the Green 45 is in the prime right now meaning that I finally got to try Jade, V15. First day that we hiked up there I was definitely not used to the thin air at 11 000 ft. After a desperate effort to warm up I started working on Jade. I suprised even myself by doing the famous crux move on my third try. It was too cold to stay warm while resting. I got really close after a few tries from the start, but then split my tips on the tiny crimper.

Jade, V15

Yesterday we hiked back up, even though the weather forecast was bad. After I got warmed up up it started snowing really hard and we had to hide in the cave. Luckily it didn't last too long and the topout on Jade stayed pretty dry.

Whiteout at the Green 45

On my first try of the day I got trough the crux and felt solid. Then my left foot slipped. On the ground I noticed that my shoe was wet from the pads. I was really frustrated, because that try took a lot of skin, and you only get about five good tries before you split your skin on the tiny spike. Second try I stuck the crux hold, but my feet swung and I let go to save skin. Right when I fell on the pads I looked into the valley and noticed it was already snowing and saw a huge blizzard coming towards us. I knew this was my last change and with no rest I started climbing. I got through the crux, stuck the sidepull and got to the good rail. At this point it was snowing really hard and I saw some water dripping from the top. Carefully grabbing the holds I topped it out in the rain! In total Jade took me two days and around ten full tries from the start. Such a good problem! Video and photos coming up soon.

A cold day in Upper Chaos

I'm hoping the weather turns better soon, because I'm syked to climb in the park and Mt. Evans. There are a few hard projects that I want to get on before I leave to South Africa. This week we might escape the cold weather and go to Joe's Valley in Utah to climb on sandstone.


Benson



Lake Haiyaha