Saturday, December 29, 2007

12-29-07: Dorian Grey

Justin on Dorian Grey [v6/7/8?]

From the same evening that Sworn In [v2] went up came Dorian Grey [v6]. While I'm a little unsure of the grade, there is no question as to the quality of this boulder problem. This bulging prow is found on the boulder to the immediate right of The Fall Classic [v4]. This problem could be anything from v6-v8, but who really cares? Either way, begin sitting with an incut tooth and a small crimp, bust out some cool moves on interesting holds up to a tenuous mantle. Sweet!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

12-19-07: Diesel Power

Randy Puro and Tim Medina on Diesel Power - FA [v10]

A handful of people have asked me to post something on Diesel Power so here you go. Randy cleaned this amazing line in the Crystals and asked me to help him figure it out. After three days of throwing our selves at the problem I unlocked a sequence and had success. This is the video footage of day three and the first assent of Diesel Power. A big thanks to Daniel Soto for capturing it all. Enjoy!

Here is Randy setting up to dyno for the ledge with Daniel spotting. The foot holds on this problem are small and make every move that much harder. Click on the image to get a close up.

To find Diesel Power from camp 4 you walk on the trail past the bathrooms about 300 meters and you will come to a huge boulder on your left. It is the center line up the boulder. The footage of the video is shot from the trail.

- TM

Monday, December 17, 2007

12-17-07: Bessey

Tim Medina on Bessey [v8]

This gem was found by Mike & Ingar early this fall, right behind the warm-ups at the Ahwahnee boulders. The tiered landing appeared highly problematic at first appraisal, but after working out the moves, we discovered that all the hard climbing was at the start. Much to our relief, that fall puts you squarely onto the "safe" lower tier. The center section, with the much sketchier landing, has easier moves. The problem ends with a spicy, but not-too-hard, lip encounter.

Mike Madigan on Bessey [v8]

There is not too much beta for the bottom except - squeeze! The name of the problem should give you an idea of how much squeezing is involved since Bessey is a kind of wood-working clamp. To find it: look left and behind the Silent Spotter problem. It is also visible from the trail near the "No Fur" boulder.


Monday, December 03, 2007

12-3-07: Pride

Ethan Pringle on Pride [v9]

One of the better dynos in Yosemite lies off the beaten path down past Camp 4, in the Crystals. A thin, delicate face leads you to a huge dyno. The beta that worked for me was to dyno while using my right hand to keep pulling down even as I was flying through the air.

To get there: hike the Camp 4 campground trail past the campground and after about five minutes, the boulder will be just off the trail on your left. If you've reached the moat, you've gone too far.


Friday, November 30, 2007

11-30-07: Sworn In

John Vallejo making the first ascent of Sworn In [v2]

This time around John actually put in the work before snagging the first ascent. John also just passed the bar exam and was sworn in by the local federal judge here in Yosemite Valley (the judge's first). This problem is in Happy Isles and is a pleasant addition to the bouldering here and this one actually has a nice landing! Getting off this boulder isn't an easy walk-off however, "Down It" is about [v0] in its own right.

There were three other new problems added to the area tonight so stay tuned!


Friday, November 23, 2007

11-23-07: Pine Box

Justin Alarcon working the Pine Box [v11], photo by John Vallejo

I first discovered this boulder problem in September 2006 while participating in the Yosemite Climber Association's annual clean-up, the Yosemite Facelift. I volunteered to go up to the south face of Half Dome, along with several other chaps, to carry out nearly 700lbs. of cable and steel pipe that had been accidentally dropped from the top nearly 20 years ago. As we started heading up I couldn't help but notice the large boulders surrounding us. I slipped away from the group for a few minutes and stumbled upon what would become the Pine Box and I knew I had to come back.
Several months later, when it was a bit colder I returned. I knew from the beginning that the problem should start from a sitting position, but I couldn't manage the giant spans. I was able to do it from a several stand starts, the most obvious being about [v5 or v6]. I showed it to a few friends and soon the visiting Swede, Oskar Rennstam Rubbmark made the FA. The full line comes in at about [v11] although it seems harder for those on the shorter end of the spectrum. Enjoy, the line its fantastic!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

11-22-07: Justin's John-dis

Vallejo making the crux reach on Jusin's John-dis [v3]

On a rest day last week I went up to Candyland with John Vallejo who wanted to climb The Diamond [v8]. I took the opportunity to clean the tall face directly opposite of it. On yet another rest day I found myself up there again, this time as spotter/photographer. John took this chance to go for the FA. Unfortunately, John has very little footwork and even less hip flexibility so he couldn't do it from the intended start. Instead, he began off a small boulder to the right. He was going to call it Justin's Jaundice until I pointed out the potential for a play on words. Nice work John!

Vallejo on the FA


UPDATE 12-4-2007: The direct start goes! Tommy sent today and as usual did not suggest a name so I'm calling it, "It's All In the Hips". It adds a really tough rock-over move to this already great line.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

11-21-07: Thriller

Lyn Verinsky on Thriller [v10]

On Saturday, Lyn 'slayed the dragon' by climbing Thriller in great style. There was a pretty big crew trying the problem and the spotters enabled me to shoot some video. For those not familiar with Thriller, it is considered one of the best, if not the best problem in the Valley. It takes everything: strength, technique and determination!

Nice work Lyn!


Monday, November 12, 2007

11-12-07: King Air

Tommy on King Air [v10]

After a full day of bouldering the crew met up with Beth and Tommy for some evening action. We all wanted to try King Air and Tommy had several Mondo pads so the time was right. The first series of moves are harder than you think but if you can get to the ledge you can get a rest (if you have some endurance). After that comes a huge dyno that in the dark is a little deceptive. Tommy ends up going for a slopper that in the light you would obviously skip. Well like I said it was dark and the rest is history. Enjoy!

- TM

Friday, November 09, 2007

11-9-07: Don't Make Me Kick Your Ass

Isaac on Don't Make Me Kick Your Ass [v9]

We took another day trip to the valley yesterday and met up with Isaac Caldiero visiting from Utah. Isaac has been killing it lately sending up to v13. We headed down to one of our many undone projects but none of us had any luck nailing it. Later in the night we met up with the ladies in camp 4 and Isaac dispatched Don’t Make Me Kick Your Ass in great style. The first move is very powerful and has sent many good climbers walking away scratching their heads. The rest isn’t easy but it definitely lightens up a bit and involves some fun healhooking, body tension and what else but a tricky mantle at the top. The problem is located on the back of the Columbia boulder.

- TM

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

11-7-07: King Cobra Sit

Brendan on King Cobra Sit [v9]

After two crazy long days and nights of bouldering Courtney and Brendan were still going hard trying the true sit start of King Cobra (note: I hit the record button late). It is rumored that Yuji Hirayama got the FA on this but no one know's for sure. Anyway Brendan probably got the second assent and by lantern Sunday night. I am sure he was cooked when it when down making it even more impressive. The climb involves very technical movement, lots of shoulder flexibility and oh yeah some power. Good work Brendan!

Ps. Sorry again about the dog incident.


Monday, November 05, 2007

11-5-07: Rabbit Habit

Courtney on Rabbit Habit [v8]

As some of you know Courtney is back in Cali after a recent trip back east were she got engaged to one Randy Puro. Now that she is back where else would she rather be then bouldering in Yosemite with her peeps. Here she is sending Rabbit Habit for the first time in supreme style. In typical Yosemite sandbag fashion Courtney thought Rabbit Habit should be downgraded to v6 with the new beta. LOL...

Rabbit Habit is located at the LeConte Cave boulder. The first move involves a huge/cramped 5ft dyno to a slopper. So far shorter people have been stumped until the ladies unlocked a small crimper, which allowed them to readjust their right hand to an undercling and then make the reach. It’s not over after that so don’t give up the ship. The top is tenuous and a little reachy. Good work Courtney!

This is also the finish of Narcissus [v11?]. More can be found on that climb here.

- TM

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

10-31-07: Shiver Me Timbers

Lyn Verinsky on Shiver Me Timbers [v6]

Last spring, Lyn sent the classic Camp 4 boulder problem Shiver Me Timbers. It's a little reachy for shorter folks, but Lyn managed to send anyway. After doing the tricky face an easy mantel leads to the commiting slab top-out. It's not uncommon to see people hanging out on the juggy foot for 5 minutes to build up their courage. Lyn hiked the final slab in her usual style, another classic in the bag.


P.S. Happy Halloween

Sunday, October 28, 2007

10-28-07 Jacob's Ladder

Mike Madigan on Jacob's Ladder [v6?]

Check out this great problem put up last year by Jacob (from Fresno). It is located just up the hill from the Titanic boulder in Camp 4. We initially started the climb on the lower of the two big rails (they are right of Rebekah's right heel), but later discovered that Jacob originally climbed the problem from a lower rail that we were using for our feet! There is also a cool right-hand undercling start that is a lot of fun. The excellent steep moves coupled with an incredibly fun rock-over mantel make this problem a must-try. Below you can see Rebekah working out the tricky heel hook move. Don't be put off by the slightly dirty slab topout.

Rebekah Taggart on Jacob's Ladder [v6?]


Friday, October 26, 2007

10-26-07: Motorcade

Motorcade - Raza [v9] by tmedina
Raza on Motorcade [v9]

Another notable send came Saturday when Paul climbed Motorcade. Paul found this gem last year so getting to the summit has been a long time coming. The three angled rails make for some great slopper pulling with a thrilling mantel at the top. Good work Raza!

More can be found on this climb below:


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

10-23-07: The Fall Classic

Alan Moore cheers on John Vallejo as he sends The Fall Classic [v4]

Another new line up at Happy Isles. I'd walked past this many times and never really gave it a second look. For some reason when I was up there on Friday it caught my eye, and a good thing too. This problem begins on two pinches under the small roof. I campused the first move to a pair of good edges, but you could probably hike your foot up really high to start if that's more your style. The rest is pretty obvious. My first sports obsession was baseball and now is the time of year Major League Baseball holds its World Series, otherwise known as the Fall Classic. It just seemed to fit.


Monday, October 22, 2007

10-22-07: Prowess

Lyn on Prowess [v7]

I thought everyone would enjoy this. Lyn nabbed her first send of Prowess Saturday night, that's right in the dark! The top out is super sketchy when there is light so I can only imagine how scared she must have felt in the dark. Reverse isn't an option when Lyn is climbing. Listen to the audio at the end for some good entertainment.
It was awesome.

- TM

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

10-16-07: Midnight Lighting

Mike on Midnight Lighting [v8]

Paul had a dream that Mike would send Midnight Lighting and Thriller in one day. Thriller didn’t go down but Midnight Lighting did in great style. Here is a video of Mike bagging the classic for the first time.

- TM

Sunday, October 14, 2007

10-14-07: Atom Smasher

Raza on Atom Smasher [v2]

It had to be something big for my first post here on BetaBase. Fortunately, I had the perfect problem in mind. On September 20th, following a day of light rain I was excited to head up to Happy Isles to try some projects I had cleaned a few days earlier. Unfortunately, nearly everything was still wet...except for the tallest thing there. Truthfully, it was still a bit damp, but I was antsy I did not want to wait. It is probably only V2 or so, but the crux is the last move so bring some gusto and a big crash pad. Here is Paul contemplating the last move.


Raza topping out Atom Smasher [v2]

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

10-10-07: Castle Dyno

Raza on a fun dyno at the Castle Boulder

I'm mainly putting this post up to try out the new video feature that is available for the blog. I don't shoot that many videos, but it will be fun to mix things up a bit.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

10-7-07: Fort Ross / Salt Point

The view of the ocean from the Ft. Ross Boulder

Before we got fully into Valley season, I wanted to put a post from a summer trip up the coast. I hadn't been to the Fort Ross Boulder in about 10 years. It was fun to hang out at the beach and climb on a great boulder. Every problem is good! It can't hurt that you're hanging out at a beautiful beach the whole time. We
spent the day climbing with Tim, Patti and Ethan.

Ethan on Waterfall Crack [v3r] and Lyn on the cool problem left of Waterfall crack [v6]

We later headed up the road to check out Salt Point. Ethan hiked the low (?) start to the Waterfall Crack, which is graded v3r. I'm guessing the 'r' comes from the swamp foot you'll get if you fall in the water!

The unnamed arete to the left is also super classic. You kinda think you'd fall off the cliff to the left, but that fall never materializes. The rock in this area seemed to be very grit stone-like, not that I've ever been to the Peak District...


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9-10-07: The Castle Update

The Castle Boulder posting has been expanded significantly, check it out:


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

6-23-07: Linear

Paul Barraza on Linear [V9?]

If bearing down on painful, razor-like crimps is your cup of tea, then don't miss Linear, the problem that climbs the left side of the big face on the aptly named Ahwahnee boulder. Located amidst the warm-up problems in the Ahwahnee area, it's a line that has often been attempted given its obvious and cool start holds. Interest wanes, however, once we're reminded once again of the grievous and nearly non-existent nature of the holds following the start. Despite this, on a warm day last March, Paul figured out a sequence that hits the left arete after some hard crimp moves. The climb finishes by following the arete and some poor right hand-holds to the highest point of the boulder. The line heading straight up the face to the highest point, remains a project. Excellent skin and strong fingers will be prerequisites for sending the straight-up version. Oh yes, and good footwork wouldn't hurt, either.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

06-23-07: Luna Lovegood

Luna Lovegood [v4-6?]

For some reason, Paul got all up in arms when Randy chose to name this boulder problem Luna Lovegood. Perhaps it was the Harry Potter reference that offended or it may have been the fact that the name really doesn't make any sense, which actually makes it the perfect name for this rather odd boulder problem. Situated in the heart of Camp 4, a stone's throw away from the Dominator, this problem came into existence as a bit of a joke. The start holds on the right side of the boulder are quite obvious and large, but the line forces you up and left over a very unappetizing landing and a potential fall into a tree. Of course, given these qualities, Randy couldn't wait to climb it. After some preliminary attempts that went something like this: "crap, who cleaned this thing! It's totally dirty up here! I'm coming down - do you have me?" we were inspired to scramble to the top via the slab and give it a proper cleaning. Once that was done, everyone scampered to the top with a minimum of cursing.

This problem is really quite fun, with friendly holds (granite slopers!) and a little spice. The very top is relatively easy, especially for Yosemite, but a few large pads and some good spotters go a long way to improve one's confidence. (Start standing on the right side of the boulder on the right side of the arete, climb up and left. You will end up on the left side of the arete, topping out by squeezing between the big boulder to your right and the tree to your left. Now, doesn't that sound like a good time?)

11-9-15 UPDATE:
Here is a photo of Randy on it this weekend after cleaning off the accumulated pine needles.  

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

05-08-07: Step-Child

Randy Puro on Step Child [v10]

Since summer is just around the corner, it's time to post about this sit-start to Gym Fag Jiggle (a truly awful name). Situated on the right side of the White Lines boulder, Step Child starts on a bad right hand crimp and a left hand sprag that's worse. Try really hard and you might be able to pull off the ground. If you are having a really good day, you might hit the "decent" edge up and left. Paul did this problem in October of '05 while he very patiently waited for me to get my butt up the problem to the left. Of course, it very well may have been done before then, so please write in if you know this problem under a different name.


05-15-07: Chocolate Bunny

Lyn Verinsky on Chocolate Bunny [v6]

Sloper, slopers, and a few more slopers thrown in just for fun. I climbed this insta-classic on the Lifeline boulder on (go figure) Easter Sunday a few weeks ago. The line had remained on the overlooked side of the Lifeline boulder, just to the right of the down climb. Start on a low rail, to the left of the tree, head up slopers and left & up at the lip. A fun mini-slab gets you to the top of the down climbing groove. The character of the climb is much lighter than the tall and proud climbs around to the left, hence the name.

Scott Chandler on Chocolate Bunny [v6]

Lyn Verinsky on Gravitas [v7]

There is another line to the right of the tree. Gravitas [v7] starts on a right-facing hold below the lip, and heads up through a tricky lip encounter. Initially I head far left after tackling the lip, but then Lyn pioneered a better finish that heads straight up on a perfect slab.

Two more problems are just around the corner to the right: an easy but very height dependent ramp to big edge called Super Tramp [v2] and a variation that heads directly left on crimps and then up the lip called Sideways [v8]

To find these problems, head to the Lifeline / Flatline problems and walk around to the right just past the down climb.


Monday, April 30, 2007

5-7-07: Bonobo Hello

Scott Chandler swinging like an ape on Bonobo Hello [v7/8]

This would be a boulder problem that you would file under "incredible lone boulder". Located between the the John Muir trail head parking and Glacier Point, this boulder problem leaves you wondering how it ended up here all by itself.

Bonobo Hello starts on two good hold under the lip and heads straight for a triangular jug. After some ape-like swinging, good holds and a very slopey top-out await. Another variation (called Pimp Chimp) starts at the good hold on the face that is down and right of the triangle hold (behind the tree in the picture) and goes at around v5.

To get to the problem, park as close as you can to Glacier Point Apron in the John Muir trail head parking lot. Head straight towards the apron and you can't miss the problem. This area, incidentally, is also where the Fire Falls used to land.


5-1-07: Holy Crap! (King Air)

Lyn looking at King Air, v10

The first thing most people say when they realize that someone has bouldered the line is: Holy Crap! The word has it that on April 21st, Dean Potter got the FA of a tall & scary line on the LeConte boulder. We were climbing near by and saw the crash pads set up and later found out from Tommy that he had done it that day.

Guessing from the chalk and tick marks, the line starts to the right of Lyn on a shelf and climbs up and left, finishing up pretty much right above Lyn's head (just a little to the left.) He called it King Air and I believe graded it v10, but you can correct me on that.


P.S. There are two aid climbs (bolt ladders) that people learn to aid on. This boulder problem is TALLER than both of them!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

4-11-07: Sidewinder

Raza on Sidewinder [v7]

Junior (aka Scott Chandler) has been actively searching out new boulders and he found a gem over in Curry Village. I though it was more like v8/9 but maybe I'm just old. It's one of those problems where all the holds are facing left and you are doing everything you can do to go right. The footholds are basically the spots of granite that were cleaned off, so trying to use your feet is tricky as well. To top it of there is a hard mantel at the top. Normally you might throw a heel over, but the landing makes that way too scary. I ended up using Junior's beta: a no foot mantle and dyno right hand back to a jug! A crazy finish to a crazy cool problem.

The problem lies in Curry Village 'West'. Park as west a possible and follow these GPS coordinates:

37º 44.183 N, 119º 34.445 W


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

3-5-07: Heart of Darkness

Randy on Heart of Darkness [v9]

This isn't the greatest photo, but it was from the night that the problem went up. At the end of an already fun climbing day we headed down to try a problem that Matt Wilder and Noah Kaufman had cleaned. They were really excited about the climb and it was easy to see why: just enough holds on a gently overhanging wall.

The most amazing part is that it was right off the road down past the 140/120 junction. How was it possible that every boulderer that ever drove down 140 could have missed this obvious gem? After a while of while of figuring out the beta by lantern and headlamps I managed to get the FA with a key slopey backstep.

To find the problem, head down just past the 120/140 junction. Park at the first pull out on the left. Walk back up the road about 100 feet and the problem will be on your left.


4-2-07: Liceberg

Lyn Verinsky on Liceberg [v7]

In the warm up area of the Ahwahnee's there are a number of fun problems. You can start on heinous slopers to start the easy dihedral that you can see to the right (that's called Iceberg). Or you can tackle the bulge which is called Liceberg (for Left Iceberg and a pun on the classic traverse in Font called l'iceberg). It's silly but fun.

Finding the problem is easy. It's just to the right of Funky Chicken in the Ahwahnee's.


2-25-07: Ringtail

Randy Puro on Ringtail [v11]

On the same boulder, but to the left of Downpressor lies another line that for a while looked to futuristic. A series of slopey rails on a steep face lead to a blank looking top-out. The main reason Randy and I tried it was because the temps were so sick in January. Eventually an intricate sequence was teased from the boulder and before the the weather had a chance to warm up, we both sent.

And of course, we called it Ringtail because while we were working on it, a ringtail (who knew there are ringtails in the valley?) came to visit us by peeking its head through the jumble of boulders near the base.


2-13-07: Downpressor

Tommy Caldwell on Downpressor [v10] (wtf?)

Behind the 2x4 boulder in the Ahwahnee's is a steep face with crazy slopers. A number of us have been looking at this line but it was Randy who took the initiative to clean the problem and work the moves. While most of us thought there wasn't much hope, he kept pressing on until we had a late night session in the rain where we (mostly Randy) started to unlock the puzzle. He sent on his first trip back to the problem, after most of the snow had melted away.

Downpressor tackles the right side of the boulder and starts on two flat edges below the lip. It heads up and left to a good edge and through an easy but puckery top-out. Randy swears it's only v10 but until there is a second ascent, I will remain skeptical.


Monday, January 29, 2007

HELP: Lost climbing bag

On December 3rd, I did the dumbest thing I've done in a long time. I left my climbing bag, with all my shoes, in the parking lot across from Yabo's Roof (also known as Tommy's Roof). After realized this, we raced back the next morning to try to retrieve the bag but it was gone.

I filed a lost & found report with NPS & DNC, but haven't had any luck yet. I'm hoping that somebody knows what happened to my bag and send me an email. Most of my gear and shoes is labeled "RAZA" with a sharpie.

Bag contents:
2 pair Scarpa Vortex, size 41.5 (purple slippers)
1 pair Scarpa Dominators, size 42.5 (orange velcros)
1 pair Scarpa Vision, size 43.5 (red & white lace-ups)
Garmin GPS 12, (all my boulder GPS data is gone!)
Grey Mountain Hardwear rain shell