Yesterday we went to the 420 Boulders. At the Morpheus Boulders. And we thought it was going to be wet, at least I thought it was going to be wet, but we went anyway. First we went to the Car Door Boulder, home of Car Door Traverse V1, one of the easiest V1’s out there and consequently the first boulder I ever did outdoors, way back in March. We had a full-on squad yesterday! Three people and three pads! All of us with a pad on our backs, bouncing through the forest like happy little squirrels. At the Car Door Boulder we all sent Dee Dee V0, which was actually pretty fun, and then made up an extension of Dee Dee that traversed right that was even more fun that we dubbed the Soggy Waffle Traverse V0/1. I have no idea where this name comes from. Well, it was wet outside. But I don’t know what was going on in Barold’s head that prompted him to proffer such nomenclature.
After the Car Door Boulder we went to none other than the Landjager boulder, home of Girlfriend Slab V0 and Slabjager V2, both of which were completely and utterly wet. Not a problem! All of us subsequently sat down and easily cranked out the heinous first move of Miller Lite V5 and then proceeded to crush the other…..just kidding. Screw that first move on Miller Lite V5. I mean, one day I’ll probably be able to do it. And maybe I’ll even say, “Damn, that was a cool bloc.” But right now I try to do it and just think, “Man, screw this thing. This thing is not fun.”
After the approach boulders we continued on to….we continued on to…..we continued over to….we continued down the trail to….we continued UP the trail to….we decided to check out….we decided to have a look at….the 420 Boulders, which the guidebook said were “22 minutes from the parking lot.” In reality they’re about 5-7 minutes from the Landjager Boulder (which is probably about 15 minutes from the parking lot so there you go). You’ll see them on your right up a bluff and there is (currently, at least), some fluorescent green tape on a tree that marks the short trail up. You got it? Think you can get there? I include this information because FINDING boulders can sometimes be just as difficult as climbing them, and there’s nothing worse than getting super psyched to project primo granodiorite kiddie-blocs and then realizing you don’t even know where they are, or, like I did one time, traipsing all the way there, FINDING them, and then realizing you’ve forgotten the Tao Te Bouldering (aka the guidebook).
The first bloc you see when arriving to the 420 boulder is the majestic Wise Man’s Fear V6 (V5 on Mountain Project [really kinda over how there’s a different rating for everything depending if you consult the guidebook, Mountain Project, or Sendage]). After getting your breath taken away by this hunk of geologic wet dream, your eyes will inevitably be drawn to the hypnotic Diamond Engagement V6, which might even be more aesthetically pleasing despite the slight feeling you get when looking at it that you may never be able to look away, that you might just camp out in the little nook below the start holds, spending the next few years of your life shivering and soiling yourself but somehow still happy just to be in the presence of this beautiful bloc.
We were looking for easy blocs though, so we headed over to French Arete V1 and French Slab V2, which were KIND of fun but also just….kinda not. Well, ok, French Arete is legit fun. It’s a perfect arete. It’s kinda highball. It’s not contrived in the least. But French Slab V2???? What are you supposed to do on this thing? Going straight up seems like a V3 at least, and going up and then grabbing the arete is a V0. So. I don’t know. Like. Try hard?
We tried the first moves of the slab many times but were not able to get our feet up on the ice cream cone shaped hold at about shoulder height due to lack of hands up high. Our only solace was the fact that the sun came out and started roasting our dermises. I immediately took my shirt off and started flexing to take advantage of the situation. I wanted to try Dinosaur Skin V4 but was warded off by the wretched crack between the base of this boulder and the boulder that forms the landing. Do people shove stuff in there before putting pads down? Or do they just ignore it like true crushers? One day I’ll know. Either way none of us were able to go straight up on French Slab, so eventually we peaced out and walked back mostly because we were over it and also because I wanted to have strength to try Serenity Now V4 on the way back, which would be my FIRST EVER V4 if I were able to send it, but that’s a subject for another day, another post, aka tomorrow, aka sometime soon.