Beta to Try Tomorrow (R2V2 #8)

The Wenatchee River V12.

I’m headed back to Gold Bar tomorrow morning. Climb the Clearcut Boulders in the morning, then go up to the Morpheus Boulders for the evening sesh. The next morning head to Leavenworth and hit up some Tumwater boulders on the way in. In the evening hit somewhere not too far down Icicle Canyon.

I’m psyched to try some new beta on this trip. I’ve been thinking about these problems a lot. You always think of new beta, and then get there and realize it won’t work. But sometimes it does. And the best is to see someone else do it and steal their beta. That’s what I’ve done in a lot of these cases. Got to use my height! Other than my just pure zest for dermis on diorite right now, my height is the best thing I’ve got.

Today I started training on my boat. I realized I actually have a perfect place to hang from, and if I walk my feet up the wood that covers the bottom of the mast in the cabin, I can simulate bad footholds on a severe overhang. Bonus, since this is one area where I struggle most. Now I just need to get the hangboard on the boat, so I can simulate bad crimps with bad footholds on a severe overhang. There there’ll be nothing stopping me….

Anyway, here’s some beta I plan to try to tomorrow. If I send even a couple of these climbs I’ll be super happy.

The Catcher V0:

Move left onto the shark fin jug. Lunge for the top hold. Don’t even mess with the side rail.

Shortstop V2:

Start in the actual right place. Lunge the right hand up to the arete. Strong.

BMOC V2:

Try it fresher this time? Actually go for the crimps?

Beam Me Up V2:

Think about core tension. Go for that intermediate left hold. Try putting all your weight on the left foot. Think core tension and go for that beautiful edge.

Mr. Brightside V1:

I mean, at least try it this time.

Rocksteadeasy V3:

Ohhh, so much beta to try for this one. Try the right hand on the seam instead of the crimp. Try doing it fast. Experiment with bumping the right foot out and smearing it on the wall and inching it up. Trust the left foot more. Maybe both hands on the seam? Right hand on the crimp and left hand on the seam? Are there any holds I’m missing?

 

 

R2V2P5: Beam Me Up (session 1)

I accidentally typed “R2V2,” which would stand for Road to V2, which is NOT the name of this series (it’s Road to V7), but considering the events of the past week much more fitting. Ladies and boys, I still haven’t sent V2 outdoors. But I’ve figured out which boulder it’s going to be: Beam Me Up, located in the Rubik’s Cube cluster of the Reiter foothills boulders.

Behold:

OK this isn’t a picture of the boulder. It’s just a sick picture Barold took on our first ever mission to the Reiter Foothills. Minutes after this picture was taken we spotted the elusive “Five Star Warm-Up Boulder,” where both of us got shut down by a slopey V3.

Here’s the actual boulder:

OK this isn’t really the boulder either. It’s me sitting next to it with my sock on my hand after getting shut down by it. I couldn’t do the second move. But now I think I’ve got it figured out: Move the legs to the side to get them out of the way, hug my body in closer to the wall, reach up blind to the first left handhold. Before I think I had my body too far away from the wall. Also, I need to just practice this second move till I get it, since it’s essentially the “crux” (can V2’s have cruxes?). Once you get your left hand up to the good crack you can bump it up further and then pull yourself up onto the ledge you had your hands on to start. And it’s pretty much smooth sailing from there. You’ve sent your first V2 and can move on to your first V3, aka Summer Solstice:

Look at this beautiful block. I never thought I’d have to project V3 but this is totally going to be a project for me. The first part is just moving from the fabulous first hold to the sloper. Then it’s traversing the sloper and getting to the fabulous jug on the right side of the photo. And then it’s just a couple more good holds to the top. Last time the problems were I was tired from failing on Beam Me Up, it was raining, and I didn’t put the crash pad right where it needed to be for me to just collapse onto it from the slopers. But I know I’ll make progress when I go back. Summer Solstice, I’m coming for you. How sick would it be to send Summer Solstice on or before the summer solstice? That would be a good step on the road to V7.

In other words I have TWO days off next week in addition to have Monday off for Memorial Day. So where am I going? I don’t actually know. I’ll probably try to go back to the Reiter Foothills to climb Beam Me up, and if it’s too wet keep going to Leavenworth, in which case my first V2 plans would have to radically change. Nothing highball please; I’m a huge wuss.

I’ve never been more excited to send V2. This is what I love about bouldering aka being 36 and starting bouldering. Sending V2 for me is going to be huge. I’m going to be so stoked. It’s going to be like sending V10 for most people. And then sending V3 aka Summer Solstice aka hopefully some boulder in Bend on my way down to Cali in June? Even better.

Progression is what’s so exciting. Progression. Getting stronger (even though before COVID I was way stronger but whatever).

Anyway, just wanted to give you an update on what’s going on in these down days. Dreaming of granodiorite and perfect holds.

The Road to V7, Part 4: Run for the (Foot)Hills

There is a little bouldering area just outside of Gold Bar, WA, called the “Reiter Foothills.” You probably haven’t heard of it unless you’re into riding dirt-bikes/being from Monroe. The thing about this area is the following: A few years back some people discovered that there were big-ass boulders there, and that “problems” could be found on these boulders, and that these “problems” could even be rated on the quote unquote “V scale,” and that using this scale people from all over the world (but mostly the Seattle area) could come to enjoy the grand outdoors and test their climbing mettle.

Which is exactly what my friend Barold and I did on Friday.

Some sources compare Beam Me Up to pitch 15 on the Dawn Wall.

Barold and I drove separate cars to the Reiter Foothills. We stopped at the Safeway in Monroe to stock up on provisions/people watch. I love people watching in places like Monroe because, though it’s just 40 minutes out of Seattle, the culture is completely different there. This is huntin’ culture, goddamnit. This is, “Hey baby, why don’t we go down to the that Mexican restaurant later and get a couple margaritas and some of those fajitas,” type culture. These people are real “salt of the earth” types, whatever that means. I think it mostly means they have less of a problem with eating multiple meals a week at McDonald’s and with xenophobia.

But I’m not here to judge, damnit! Who would I be to judge? I’m here to get my hands in some granodiorite holds. I’m here to get exercising while having the time of my life. I’m here to see some new blocks. I’m here to send V2, damnit.

If you read my last post you know that on this trip I fully expected to send V2. You might say I took it for granted. I even had the perfect V2 scoped out, “Beam Me Up,” located in the Rubik’s Cube cluster. I had even watched videos on how to do this boulder. I had beta. It was a (insert expletive) V2. That’s mostly the reason I fully expected to send it. I climbed V5 at the gym once, right? So V2 outdoors should be a walk in the dog park.

But I didn’t send it. In fact, I didn’t even really come all that close, in that I couldn’t even do the start.

The start of Beam Me Up is a table-sized jug that you could serve dinner for six on. The problem is it’s a sit start, and since I’m kind of tall I had to splay my feet out wide. The other problem is that the holds after the start are good but not that good. I mean, to Daniel Woods and Jimmy Webb these holds would be veritable craters that you could camp in, let alone fix your hands on. But to me they were the razorest-thin crimps. So I got my right hand up to the first little crimpy rail, and then..had no idea what to do with the left. I would just kind of collapse onto my pad like someone kicking a deflated soccer ball. I tried multiple times, and Barold even pulled up a video — SO I HAD THE BETA RIGHT THERE — and still couldn’t do it. Too weak, too slow. It was a rude awakening. It was how I might imagine it to be to fall off your bed into a Finnish lake in winter.

The only upside? I flashed the V1 next to it, “Scotty.” Woooooooooooooooooo….

L’Hotel du Chemin.

After this it started to rain, so Barold and I made our way to other boulders to check them out. I tried Summer Solstice (V3) and failed even harder. We went to climb a V0 crack and the only other people out at the boulders that day were already there. Then, after sort of bushwacking, we happened upon a beautiful V2 called “The Container.” This one was actually fun. We could actually do some of the moves. And it didn’t even matter that it was raining, because it was slightly overhanging and the holds were roughly the texture of Harrison Ford’s voice in “The Fugitive.” So at this boulder we felt a little better about ourselves. Granted, we couldn’t top out, because sending V2 just wasn’t in the cards for us, but we still had fun. Barold took some vids and pioneered the beta. I took my shirt off. The rain continued. And at some point it was time to call it quits, not so much because of the rain because both of us (or at least I) were completely wasted. Time to head back to the cars. The V2 Bombers would have to wait for their day in the sun.