Monday, December 19, 2005

12-19-05: Unknown problem

Unknown Problem near Twinkle Toes

There is a problem to the left is you are facing Twinkle Toes. (Sean Myles crazy slab problem left of Shiver Me Timbers) I coulnd't tell if someone else had done it before but the top out was pretty mossy. Anyone else know?


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

12-11-05: Well Preserved

Courtney on the recently rediscovered, Well Preserved [v9]

Randy and Courtney saw Jason Kehl when they were bouldering in Rocky Mountain National Park on their recent trip there. He told them about a problem that he had put up a couple of years earlier in the valley. After getting the rough directions from Jason, they managed to find the problem on their first trip back to the valley.

The name seems very apt now. The problem has been sitting there for a couple of years most likely without an ascent. Beta: start on bad holds and make a hard move to the sloping rail. Engage the worm drive and work your way up the dihedral. Topping out can be a little scary since there is a big pit off to you left, but I don't think you'd fall there. (most likely)

Directions: the problem is up the hill, (trend a little to the left) from the Ament Arete. You can also get to the problem by walking by Bear Hug and heading right, but the way is a bit more treacherous.


**UPDATE**: It turns out Jason did the problem from a pseudo-sit start, starting with two pads. Here is what he said:

"Left hand on arete, Right on an edge And a cool pinching twist with the
feet... I think I sat on double pads or something though.."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

11-22-05: Ishmael

Ishmael, v7 (A) & Fishmeal, v10 (B)

This overhanging boulder near Rainbow Road has two great problems on it. People initially tried to go straight up but a fall on the boulder at the base broke someone's leg. This project was known as the Jaw Bone and as far as I know it has never gone. Kent Schmitz figured out a way to head left (thereby avoiding the dangerous whale-like rock) and that is how Ishmael was born. Scott Frye then found a line of improbable holds heading left after the first move of Ishmael and dubbed it Fishmeal. Chris MacNamara's guide has a direct line to the end of Fishmeal and calls it Mandible, v9 although it looks rather unpleasant.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

11-19-05: Park Life

Tim Clifford on Park Life [v12]
photo: Lyn Verinsky

I haven't kept many climbing magazines over the years but there was an issue with a feature on Yosemite bouldering in 1994 (Climbing#144). One of the photos is of Sean Myles on a project with the caption "Myles on an unclimbed problem near the base of Lower Yosemite Falls." Randy walked around and eventually found the problem. There is a new trail that runs around the boulder with a wooden "boardwalk" to make the trail more accessible. Trying the problem becomes difficult by the sheer numbers of tourists walking by. That's why Tim named the problem Park Life.

The problems climbs up a mini diehedral and the whole time you are trying to fight a wicked barn door. Tim managed to climb this crazy cool problem last fall when the temps were great. He ended up trying it at night because there were less tourists to cause problems. To find the problem, hike towards the lower yosemite falls trial that is near the emplyee housing.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

11-17-05: Scissors for Lefty

Randy on Scissors for Lefty [v12?]
photo: Lyn Verinsky

There happens to be a great problem hidden away in the middle of all the Camp 4 bouldering. I know a passed it along the trail about a million times before I found it. I brushed the holds thinking that it couldn't be too hard, but then Randy and I tried it. There wasn't an easy move on it! Your left hand grabs small crimps and your right hand grabs a sloping rail. It's pretty long (12 moves), technical (you could fall off any of them) and absolutely a great problem. Randy managed to get the FA last spring and to my knowledge has not seen a second ascent. Randy never mentioned a grade, but my best guess is about v12.

The problem is down and to the right of what we call the "Font Problem." If you don't know where that is find Swamp Thing, head left (around a boulder that leans onto the Swamp Thing boulder) and you will see a left trending rail. Sit start with a good left foot, right hand side pull and almost nothing left hand. Pull up and start having fun!


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

11-4-05: Chimera

Chimera [v12?]

A very improbable looking roof in the Ahwahnee Boulders is what Greg Loh found and kept telling me, "It will go! It will go!" Personally I thought he was crazy. It turns out, he was right. The three hardest moves are all one after another and the last is the crux. You have to release yourself from this huge span in the roof and to do so you have to grab what can only be described as a bump. So many times I tried to release myself and just plain missed it. Then one day, something magical happened, it went from impossible to possible for just one try. As I topped it out I had to ask Frankie, who was spotting me, whether I had really done it. It felt like a dream. Hence the name.

The roof is located behind the Rubik's Revenge boulder in the Ahwahnees. From Rubik's Revenge walk left around the boulder and fairly soon you will see this unmistakable roof. Start on a big flake and head straight out the roof, at the lip finish to the right and you've just done Chimera.


Main Entry: chi·me·ra
Pronunciation: kI-'mir-&, k&-
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin chimaera, from Greek chimaira she-goat, chimera; akin to Old Norse gymbr yearling ewe, Greek cheimOn winter
1 a capitalized : a fire-breathing she-monster in Greek mythology having a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail b : an imaginary monster compounded of incongruous parts
2 : an illusion or fabrication of the mind; especially : an unrealizable dream chimera in my brain, troubles me in my prayer -- John Donne>


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

10-9-05: The Real Deal (aka The Frustration)

The Real Deal (aka The Frustration) [v10]

Dustin Sabo climbed this line near the end of 2003. There seems to be somewhat of a debate, however, about who climbed if first. I don't have any good info either way, so I'll put both sides.

Greg Loh named this boulder problem The Frustration because he was frustrated with people naming boulder problems before doing them, but of course this doesn't seem like the case. Might it also be because there are some really low percentage moves at the lip?

The problem is COOL. Try to make it down there on a cloudy day because it sits directly in the sun for most of the day. This problem is hidden just down the hill a little bit from White Lines.

Dustin Sabo posted this comment on 10-9-06:


Sorry Dustin, but I didn't have any contact information for you to verify or double check anything. Unfortunately, it's going to be hard to prove it either way, unless someone has some 'evidence'.

-Raza 11-10-06

Monday, October 10, 2005

10-1-05: The Ashtray

The Ashtray [v12]
photos: Lyn Verinsky

The Ashtray is a fun problem with great moves. There's only one problem, the rock is kind of "prickly". If the rock was a little more friendly I think this problem would be on the short list for most classic boulder problem in California. The problem is still great even with the sharpness of the rock.

I was getting baffled with the crux sequence until Randy came up with some great beta: basically get super scrunchy on this tiny foot and rock over. Mad props to Randy.

Want to try it yourself but having a hard time finding it? Just about everybody I know has gotten lost at least once trying to find it. The most basic directions: hike out to Big Chief and bear left after the big mud pit. The GPS coordinates are:

[N 39º14.596 W 120º11.775]

Now you don't have any excuse for not checking it out! If you have Google Earth, click HERE.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

9-11-05: Big Monster

Big Monster [v11?]
photos: Lyn Verinsky / Raza

The Big Monster: the big, monstrous project at the recently discovered Firestone Boulders. This amazing line has it all: slopers (at the start), crimps (after the slopers), a dyno (right in the middle), a heel hook (to gain the top slopers), and a crazy body position slopey nothingness top-out. While doing the three parts individually is quite doable, linking them all together makes it a monster.

Our first day to Tahoe this season was windy and cold. We were all wearing our down jackets. I think that was the first time that I ever wore a down jacket in Tahoe in September. I managed to send it on the first day of the season (but many days before previous years), I guess the training is working.

When you are done reading this, you must grab your crashpad and check out the problem. There are plenty of other boulder problems on the two boulders of the Firestones to keep boulders of all levels occupied. Take the Emigrant Gap exit, turn right for a smidge and then left and keep heading straight onto a dirt road. You'll see the boulders after a while. Have fun!

Friday, June 03, 2005

6-3-05: The "other" side

Randy on "screwball" [v4 morpho]

On the other side of the same boulders that has "Randy's Arete's" are two easier high balls this I put up. They are both tricky, and the top outs make you pause a little. The right one, "Triangle Man" is really fun and a great line. On srewball, the lack of holds can be frustrating (and reachy) but once you unlock the sequence and top it out you'll have a big grin on you face.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

6-2-05: The Misfit

The Misfit [v9]
photos: Lyn Verinsky

This is the right arete of "Randy's Arete's." When we first saw this problem we thought it would be near impossible, but Randy found some holds on the left side of the arete to make it go. I don't want to mislead you though, becuase the holds still stink and one in particular cuts up your right hand. Short people beware! Courtney was trying this recently and it's pretty reachy. A very fun and technical line.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

6-1-05: Clean and Jerk

Raza on "Clean & Jerk" [v8]
photos: Lyn Verinsky

This frustratingly simple problem is right off the trail next to King Cobra. How no one else has tried it before Randy and I is beyond me. Pull off the ground with two miserable holds, paste your foot and a fairy tale foot and lurch to a "decent" edge. Fun!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

5-25-05: The Force was with me

Raza on The Force [v11]
photos: Lyn Verinsky

5-12-05 // It was getting hot, the mosquitos started to swarm like used car salesmen and I managed to climb The Force by the skin of my teeth. They say a photo is worth a thousand words but the last one failed to capture my whimpers at the top.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

5-7-05: Drive On

Randy on "Drive On" [randy sez:" hard" v10]
photos: Lyn Verinsky

Randy had been trying this awesome face near the Indian Caves for a month or so and was super psyched. This hanging face with small crimps and bad slopes is one of the best lines in the valley and that weekend was his last chance to try it for the season. He sent the high-ball second try with an amazing, gutsy dyno.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

5-21-05: Honor Among Thieves

Randy on Honor Among Thieves [v9]

May 1st has traditionally been a pretty good day to climb in the Valley. This year was no exception. Apparantly, the stand up had been done a while ago by Vic Copeland. I have not been able to find out what he named it or graded it but it's about v7. We cleaned the sit start that adds a few hard and cool moves. Randy snagged the first ascent of this gem that's only a stone's throw away from King Cobra.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

2-16-05: Where are these?

Courtney found some videos of some cool looking problems in Tahoe at She was asking me if I knew what they were but I had no idea. Give them a look see and try and figure it out.

There are a ton of videos on this site if you want to browse around:

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

2-15-05: Castle Boulder

<<UPDATE: 9-10-07>>

Here is a more detailed description of the problems at The Castle:

1. Downclimb, v2
2. Crispy Chicken, v3
3. What's in Store?, v4
4. The Crack, v1
Slappy McSlaperson
, v5 (aka Ghetto Booty)

5. Slappy McSlaperson, v5 (aka Ghetto Booty)
6. Unknown name, v2
7. Thief in the Night, v7
8. Unknown name, v5

9. Bunny Funeral, v8
10. Defenestration, v9
11. Come on Tex, v5

12. project, v 'damn hard'
13. Pit & the Pendulum, v8
14. project, v 'silly hard'

15. Medina Mantel, v3
16. Trojan Horse, v5
17. Squirrel Run, v9
18. Trojan Horse Direct, v6
19. Air Trojan, v8
20. Flying Squirrel (project), v10?
21. Spicy Chicken, v6r
22. Spicy, v4

Again, y
ou can check it out on Google Earth by clicking HERE.

Take Cabin Creek Rd. (off of 89) toward the dump. Take the first obvious dirt road on the left. Head right and go about a mile to another obvious left. Go straight for 3 miles until you see the Castle Boulder on the left. It will be soon after a big water bar in the road.


Original Post:

Raza on what was to become "Defenestration" [v9]
photo: Lyn Verinsky

Tim found the Castle Boulder and he and Scott cleaned and did all the hard work. I managed to snake in right at the end and nab the FA of "Defenestration", but only after whimpering and falling off the stand-up version many times. After Tim cruised the stand-up (Bunny Funeral), he inspired me to go for it. It ended up not being too bad. Thanks Tim.

Finding the Castle Boulder is not that easy. If you drive by the dump off of highway 89, that will get you started and to be honest I'm not exactly sure of the L/R directions. The GPS coordinates are:

[N 39º 17.266 W 120º 15.654]

You can check it out on Google Earth by clicking HERE.


Monday, February 14, 2005

2-14-05: Two Boulders in Tahoe

There are two problems on this face.

Lyn on her problem.

These boulders are right off of old US 40.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

2-12-05: Evil Arete

Lyn on the "Evil Arete" [v6]

This classic is actually right next to the Ishmael Boulder. I looked at it a bunch of times but the only part visible from Ishmael is pretty pathetic looking. Finally, I wandered down to check it out and with a bit of imagination discovered the "Evil Arete." The name derives from the fact that the problem is damn tricky and can drive you to fits. Probably about V5, but you won't agree until you send it. Great slopers and horrible feet. Yum!

Friday, February 11, 2005

2-11-05: Wooden Cobra Boulder

The Wooden Cobra Boulder (& Fuji)

Raza on the FA of "Bomb Threat" [v9]
photo: Lyn Verinsky

Daniel on "Sneaky Fox Cobra" [v7]

When Lyn and I found the Wooden Cobra Boulder, we knew immediately that we had a gem. But you never know how good the problems will be. After cleaning the boulder and doing some of the easier lines, we went to Squamish for two weeks. I must admit that I was eager to get back to the Wooden Cobra boulder. We actually left Squamish early because it was raining so much and we spent a couple of days at the Wooden Cobra boulder. That's when did some more lines, including "Tin Can Alley", a cool problem probably about V7/8. I'm more than happy to show anyone this boulder when the snows recede.

Lyn on The Groovenator [v4]

6-5-07 UPDATE:

The GPS coordinates are N 39º 17.042' W 120º 17.679'. The boulder in SW of Coldstream Canyon and you would need a high clearance vehicle. There is an obvious big pull out to park at that used to be a logging staging area. If you have google earth, you can check it out by clicking HERE.


Thursday, February 10, 2005

2-10-05: Death March Boulders

Ingar on the "Death March" project

Up past the Wooden Cobra boulder lies a high alpine cliff band that actually has some sport and trad climbs on it. More important for me is that that the base has some good size boulders. The hike though, is a good half hour past the Wooden Cobra boulder, hence the name "Death March Boulders." This steep face is a real gem the neither Ingar or I could do. Thin crimps on a deceptively overhanging face. Anyone up for a hike?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

2-9-05: Railroad Boulder

Railroad Boulder

This is a cool boulder that Lyn and I found this last summer. It's got two stellar lines on the over-hanging face. Both probably V5 or V6. It might be hard to tell but the boulder is pretty tall. The top lip is probably about 18 feet up. Trains come by once and a while and all the engineers seemed pretty friendly; waiving and saying "hello"

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

2-8-05: Across the Tracks

Raza on the FA of Across the Tracks [v10]
photo: Lyn Verinsky

This is a great problem that I put up down at the "140 Boulders" (near the 140 entrance to Yosemite). It's hard to see from this picture, but it's really steep, and the holds are pretty good. It is not very often to find a problem like this in the valley. It's probably V9 or V10 but I'd love to know what you guys think.

To find the problem from the 120/140 junction, head down the valley towards El Portal. You'll cross a bridge and pass a parking lot where people look at some falls. Just after that there is a pull out on the right. Pull out there and park at the very end of the pull out. From there walk right into the trees and you'll see the roof hidden there. Start on a left facing jug with you feet low on an angled block, jump right to a sloper and you're on your way. Good luck!

Check it out on Google Earth HERE.


Monday, February 07, 2005

2-7-05: Beta for Bay Area Bouldering

This is my first post but I don't have anything to show yet. My goal is to use this blog for semi-periodic (how's that for vague) photos and info about the new bouldering being discovered. Or maybe it will be just cool photos. We'll see.

Please email me if you have any questions!
pb_raza 'at'