Sunday, December 10, 2006

12-10-06: Motorcade

Randy Puro on Motorcade [v9]

On the same boulder as Feet Don't Fail Me Now, is an arete right next to the horse trail. This cool angular problem starts on an obvious edge just below the lip and heads up and right through 3 angled sloper rails, with a sidepull thrown in just for fun. Getting to the middle rail is probably the crux, but don't give up the ship, because the upper rail ain't very good. A couple of serious sloper moves gets you over the lip and an easy & fun slab finishes the problem.

To find this boulder problem, hike from the Happy Isles Nature Center on the Horse trail up the Merced River. Motorcade is facing the trail on the first big boulder on you left.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

11-27-06: Candyland

Randy Puro on Shadow Warrior [v12]

Candyland is a new area developed by Matt Wilder in the spring of 2006. The gem of the area is Shadow Warrior, a steep overhanging prow that sits right in front of a beautiful view of El Cap. It's not easy to find the area that is between the Sentinel Boulders and the Cathedral Boulders. Park at the third pull out past the Cathedral Boulders parking. Head straight into the hills and if need be use the following gps coordinates:

[N 37º 43.163, W 119º 37.764]

Robyn Puro on the classic Once Upon a Time [v3]

This might be the only the only boulder problem around that you could time people with a sun dial. While the climb isn't that hard, figuring out your sequence is.

Randy Puro on Happily Ever After [v7]

To the right of the classic dihedral lies this cool arete. The crux is hitting a shallow pocket from the sloper on the arete.

Daniel Soto on A Land Far Away [v3]

Yes, there are warm-ups too. There are more problems than I have room for here so you should go and check it out. It's worth the hike (~15 minutes).


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

11-20-06: The Shield

Randy Puro on the FA of The Shield [v11]

A tall, intimidating but very proud boulder problem lies facing the road just up from the LeConte boulder. Randy had his eye on this potential line but nobody could make much headway - that is everyone except for Randy.

Starting at the lip on two opposing slopers, a number of physical moves gets you to the shield feature. Getting on top of the shield feature is the tricky part however because it's not quite a slab and not quite a face. Once you get your feet on top of the shield, a few thin moves lead to better holds and a tall top-out.

Friday, November 17, 2006

11-17-06: Feet Don't Fail Me Now

Raza on Feet Don't Fail Me Now [v3]

Every once and a while I'll see a line that looks awesome, but just doesn't seem possible. And even some that you think are possible seem too damn scary to even attempt. But on a hot summer's day I got on a rope to check out the line and try to find some holds - and much to my nervous excitement, I found some. The main question was, would I have the cajones to try a boulder problem where the delicate crux is about 20' off the ground? If it got difficult, would there be a way to bail off?

Normally, if such questions were raised, I would just pass on the problem - I never feel the need to cheat death. But the moves on this problem were just too good not to try. Near the end of the day in late October, I dragged the crew out there. The problem turned out to be not that hard, thank god, but the moves and rock were just a good as I had anticipated.

To find this boulder problem, hike from the Happy Isles Nature Center on the Horse trail up the Merced River. Feet Don't Fail Me Now is on the first big boulder on you left.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

11-16-06: Team America

Courtney Hemphill on Team America [v5]

On the right side of the same boulder with Six Degrees sits another cool arete line. It's much easier than Six Degrees but just as fun. Start low and right on some slopes and climb the arete/lip. There is a bail out half way up on a big shelf. The problem keeps climbing left at that point until you are pretty high up and the arete is vertical.

To find this problem, walk behind the Cocaine Corner boulder and you will see the boulder facing you, just up the hill.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

11-14-06: Torque

Tim Medina on Torque [v7]

Another problem on the LeConte cave with fun, interesting, moves not typically found on granite. This problem is on the same boulder as Narcissus.

Start on obvious flat starting jug and climb up steep, subtle dihedral. It tops out up the crack and right. While it is a little puckery, the landing is flat and with a few spotters and pads - not too bad. There theoretically could be a low start (the same start as Narcissus) but it would be damn hard. Maybe v13/14? Can you say Sharma?


Thursday, October 26, 2006

10-26-06: Flatline

Tim Medina on Flatline [v9]

The first thing I thought of when I saw the line that would eventually become Flatline was, "Holy crap!" The line is tall, proud and a tad clenchy. We weren't quite sure if it would even go because the top section looked pretty thin. Tim found a sequence for the upper section and he got the FA of the problem this last spring - with only one spotter!

The problem is on the same boulder as Lifeline, adjacent to the Athletes Die Young boulder near the LeConte Memorial. Start on the thin crimps and work your way up to the 'nose' feature in the dihedral. Finish up and right on the technical face, which is probably v5/6 in it's own right. If you want to do the scariest v6 in the valley you can start to the right on underclings and climb your way into the finish of Lifeline. That start is called Heart Attack. Hmm....


Friday, October 06, 2006

10-06-06: The House of Glass

Scott Frye on House of Glass [v3]

With a name like that, you would think that the whole thing is ready to fall down. Contrary to what you might think, this problem isn't going anywhere. It's another one of those improbable looking faces that are easier than they look. When Scott and Lyn were first trying to figure out the beta it seemed pretty darn hard. Once they figured out the beta, it was like the bubble popped and then it was like: Oh, this is only v3!

To get to this technical & crimpy face, walk up towards Bruce Lee and it will be on your right. It is actually just up the hill from All Hands on Deck. If you look back at the photos you can see the House of Glass boulder in the background. Start standing with some small crystally crimps and head up to a 'U' shaped bucket and then up and right to the top.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

9-10-06: Crystals, in Yosemite?

Matt Keebler on an unknown problem [v5?] in The Crystals

In Camp 4, if you hike past battle of the bulge you will eventually venture over to 'The Crystals'. Even though it was in the guidebook since I bought the damn thing, I never checked it out until Junior & Matt Keebler took me over there. There are a number of fun problems over there (see the earlier post about Team Effort) and this one is a fun, although it is unnamed according to the guidebook.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

8-23-06: Sonic Wave

Lyn Verinsky on Sonic Wave [v8]

Up the hill from and a to the left of Bruce Lee lies a couple of boulders. The right boulder has about four lines pioneered by Scott Frye and Jeff Webb on a trip to the valley a couple of years ago. The left boulder, has a cool power problem called Sonic Wave.

Sonic Wave starts with a left hand "sloper edge" and a right hand undercling. Fight to get your feet on and punch to the good sloping edge. Don't give up the ship yet, though. The top-out, while easier than the bottom, is very spicy. The landing is a jumble of boulders and falling off is not an option. On one of my early attempts at the top-out, I got my hands crossed up and did this crazy jump to an adjacent boulder. I would not recommend this. Try the top-out first, bring some trusty spotters, and bring your guns.


Friday, August 11, 2006

8-11-05: Prototype arete

Prototype Arete [v7]

I have to give Scott Frye credit for sniffing out this line. I looked at it for a minute but it was his stubborn optimism that kept him searching for holds. Eventually, he sucked me into looking for holds and amazingly enough... we found a climb. It's called the prototype arete because it was the first time Scott got to use his prototype - a can of compressed air (think computer duster) attached to a pole with a string hanging down to control the air. A true Frye invention.

This boulder is just below the newly discovered LeConte cave and starts on a good right facing sidepull. Pull up and navigate through some slopers and edges up to the top. The moves are dependent on your body being in just the right position - if you're body is off just a little bit, the moves feel impossible. If you in the right position, it feels easy!


Saturday, August 05, 2006

8-5-06: Lifeline

Tim Medina on Lifeline [v7]

Another boulder, near the LeConte Memorial, is tall and gigantic. Heading straight up the middle would be death-defying. Luckily, the is a line on the left side with a lower top out. There is a large rock in the landing area, but it actually makes it easier to spot the top out. The slope of the rock actually makes the pads into something like a slide.

Tim got the first ascent with an amazing night ascent. While most of us were thinking about steak and salad, Tim strapped on the headlamp and climbed the damn thing.

The line has cool steep climbing with interesting moves. You're not pulling straight down hardly at all. Start in the "cave" with hands at head height and climb up an slightly right. Finish in the "V" notch rocking up and left and avoiding the adjacent boulder to your left. A thrilling finish to a fun problem. There is also a lower start called "Lifeline Low" strangely enough that starts on a flat bar and climbs up into Lifeline. That starts goes at v10.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

7-22-06: Narcissus

Randy Puro on the first ascent of Narcissus [v11?]

The last snow storm of the very wet spring season fell on April 17th. The Yosemite bouldering crew was beginning to look like caged rats on a sinking ship. From the end of April to the beginning of June, our short season exploded at a frantic pace. It started with problems like Pin Ball Wizard, which was brushed while it was still raining.

One of the best finds of the season was a cool cave behind and just a little to the right of the LeConte Memorial. The LeConte Cave has four main lines, two of which can be done from a low start deep in the cave that Randy pioneered. A third could be done from the low start, but it would be damn hard (v13/14?).

Narcissus starts low and links into Rabbit Habit, the crux of which is a 5 foot dyno. On May 13th, Randy got the first acent. It not only looks good, it's a great problem too!


Saturday, June 03, 2006

6-3-06: Team Effort

Matt Keebler on Team Effort [v5?]
photos: Lyn Verinsky

In an area just west of Camp 4 called the Crystals (see the Yosemite Bouldering guide), lies a large boulder that is surrounded by a large moat. This spring, the moat was enormous. Scott Chanlder and Matt Keebler showed Lyn and me this cool problem that they had cleaned, which was probably the only climbable line due to the size of the moat.

As luck would have it, all of us sent it that day, hence the name. A fun and technical slab.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

5-14-06: Pinball Wizard

Courtney Hemphill on Pin Ball Wizard [v7]

Pin Ball Wizard lies in a corridor on the opposite side of the trail from the Dominator. You can crawl through a cave to get there or walk around. It's been getting hot recently and this is one of the cooler (temperature wise) problems in Camp 4, probably a great place to store turnips if you had to. The holds peter out at about mid-height, but a since that section is just off-vertical, a technical slab sequence was discovered. Falling is really scary becuase of the proximity of the boulder behind but no one has come close to hitting it. Falling at the top of the slab is not an option. (It's time to get your game-face on and block out failure)

The moves on this problem are varied, interesting and just plain fun. An instant Classic?


Scott Frye added: Why the question mark? That this is ultra-classic! And it seems that you could fall anywhere on it.

Friday, May 12, 2006

5-12-06: Six Degrees

Randy on Six Degrees [v10?]
photo: Courtney Hemphill

A stone's throw from Cocaine Corner in Camp 4, lies an overhanging face. I've looked at it for years but the holds in the middle blank out half way up. Then a couple of weeks ago, looking at things with "modern eyes", Randy and some visiting Norwegians had the vision to see the aretes and see the line in the middle as a diagonal line that meets up with the left arete. (Duh!) It's amazing how one's own preconceptions will prevent one from seeing something right in front of one's eyes.

What we originally thought would be a moderate line turned out to be quite difficult. A bunch of us worked the moves and while most of us complained of the heat, Randy dug deep and sent the thing. I guess it wasn't too hot!

We started with left hand on a big self on the arete and a right hand on a crimp in the face. A great, great problem.


Friday, April 21, 2006

4-21-06: All Hands on Deck

Tim Medina trying All Hands on Deck [v8]
photo: Lyn Verinsky

There is a cool looking boulder to the right of the Bear Hug problem that would be one of the best boulders in the valley if it had more holds. On the left side of this boulder is an obvious edge that would be cool to use if you could ever get to it. I've looked at that edge countless times, as I'm sure many other people have, and bemoaned the lack of starting holds. However, we recently figured out that you might be able to jump to that obvious edge and top out.

That possibility became a reality when Tim jumped up (with both hands) and stuck the edge. But that's just the beginning. After a stiff move to a good flake, a rounded top out awaits over a landing that is all too far away. (Your left foot is about 10-12 feet above a not-so-flat landing.) That's why it is important to have All Hands on Deck, to help spot.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

4-18-06: Tenterhooks

Daniel Soto trying the moves on Tenterhooks [v8]

On a trip to Bishop near the end of December, Daniel discovered a possible problem to the right of America's Fit Homeless. It didn't seem likely but with some brain-storming we figured out some beta:

Start matched on side-pull crimps and move up to a bad sloper (pictured) move your feet up a bit and huck to another bad sloper. More sloper madness awaits on the top out. You never feel very solid which is where the name tenterhooks came from. (It's like being on tenterhooks)


Thursday, March 02, 2006

3-3-06: The Beak

Courtney on Downward Dog [v8]

Downward Dog [v8] (A)
Tim's Problem (B)
Lyn on Big Bird (C)

I guess it was a couple of years ago now, when Tommy Caldwell, Randy Puro and Greg Loh all fired Downward Dog in rapid fire. Randy dubbed the line Downward Dog and since I have no idea if Tommy ever named it, we just started calling it that. Campus start, matched on a pinch right at the tip of the beak and campus up and right on slopers to a fun mantle.

Tim Medina put up a problem to the right (starting on underclings and your feet on the lower rock) that ends near the top of Downward Dog. The problem is tricky with has some fun body-tension moves.

Scott Frye's dubbed the climb to the right that he was trying Big Bird. While he didn't manage to send it ever the name stuck. Randy managed to send it just a couple of weeks ago. The problem is both a little reachy and a little schrunchy; unless you're just the right height...


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

1-25-06: Crystal Ridge

Tim Steele on Wills Arete at Crystal Ridge

So I'm sure the question on everyone's mind is where the hell is Crystal Ridge. Well, I can't tell you exactly due the the maze of BLM roads that we took in, but it's a little bit south of Big Pine. Two big blocky boulders stand out and both have good problems on probably the best rock I've climbed on in Bishop.

Directions: Ask a local.