Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vegas Baby Vegas

Las Vegas has been pretty sweet.  Between playing the slots and cruising the Strip I've managed to get out and climb a few boulder problems.  It's been bronzing weather in the sun and perfect temps in the shade and we generally plan our climbing days accordingly.  I've managed to make it out to some of the more remote areas and have been cherry-picking the gems. Viva Las Vegas

 Lisa on a cool highball warmup

 Tom on the bicep intensive Americana Exotica 

 Richard (aka Big D) on Wishbone

 Lisa on Frailty

Tom working Tailpipe 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Natural Disasters

Looks like I left the Tanks just in time as I hear from friends that it's snowing.  Glad I just arrived in Las Vegas where it I'll be climbing in a t-shirt.  

Here are a couple picture of one of the cooler new problems I managed to do in the Tanks, Natural Disasters.  

 Walter sets up for the dyno after roughly 10 moves of climbing

The cool rail feature of Natural Disasters

Lisa reaching of the finishing jug

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Big Boy Climbs

One thing about the Tanks is that it is chalk full of difficult rock climbs.  That generally mean that even the strongest will have a hard time climbing out the area.  I've managed a few supposed hard climbs but there are many many more that I have little or no chance of doing.  Here are a few pictures.

 Brian works the dyno on Yellow Diamond, a problem that has only been done by Daniel Woods and Jimmy Webb.  I will most likely never do this boulder problems.

 Jimmy sticks the crux on Slashface.  Maybe I'll be able to climb this one someday.

Andy trying hard on Power of Silence.  I hope to send this one this winter.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Life in the Desert

The Tanks just got busy as the Christmas breakers are down in full-force.  Gone are the days you could waltz into the park at 10:00 and get straight to climbing as now you best start lining up at the gate 6:00am to ensure a spot on North Mountain, especial during the weekend.  Fortunately I've got plenty of hookups and I've been spending most of my time on tours with friends to the "guided only" areas of Hueco Tanks.  The perks of being a "local".

I've been climbing some almost everyday and my body feels like a train-wreck.  Amazingly I've been able to scrape myself up something almost everyday but the big-time projects are not the 4th-day-on variety so it looks like I'll be taking a real off day before my last day.  I've got one day to grow skin and one day to send everything in the Park.........we'll see how it goes.

Here are some numbers from my time in the States thus far
Days in USA: 13
Days climbing: 10
Days climbing in a t-shirt: 5
New Problems ascended:  9
Percentage of meals that were wrapped in a tortilla:  85%
Flappers: 2
Showers: 1 (I'll be taking number two in a few minutes)
Compliments on hair:  1 (I'm pretty sure she was being sarcastic)
Skype sessions with Lina and Hammie in Sweden:  5
Girls I'm desperately missing:  2

Here are a few lifestyle pictures from the Desert


 Shepard's Pie with a bacon-lattice.  Amazing

 Andy, Guide extraordinaire and the mastermind of the bacon-lattice 


 The Tanks, aka my backyard

 Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

 Desert plants


Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Pictures from the Tanks

Prairie grabs the left-hand crimp on Loaded with Power

Lisa knee-barring on Loaded with Power

Andy on the classic Better Eat you Wheaties

Lisa on a newish roof called Bush-league 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Desert

Four straight days in the Tanks takes a toll on the body.  I haven't been able to control myself as it's so nice to be in the warm (relatively speaking) desert among good friends and epic boulders.  I'm reminded why I love the Tanks and have high hopes for this season as I'm in better shape than the last two years.  I don't want to jinx myself but I think I could possibly send some long-term projects as some of the lesser ones have already gone down (The French Tickler and Chupacabra).  We'll see how it goes.

Here are a few pictures from the Tanks

 Gustavo runs a lap on Jigsaw Puzzle

 Antonio on one the the more beautiful problems in Hueco, The French Tickler

 Cal on Mexican Chicken

Lisa sticks the sloper on Chupacabra

Adam on Loaded Direct.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Excessive Calories and Puddles

I’ve made it back to the good old USA and I celebrated touchdown at my final destination by consuming a doube-meat green-chili bacon cheese burger.  God bless America.  I’m currently on my way down to Hueco Tanks to burn off those excessive calories. 

I seem to have left Sweden just in time as the first snow has now blanketed the landscape and climbing in Gothenburg just got shutdown.  Fortunately things should be dried out by the time I get back to Sweden in April.

Until I get out on some rocks in the land of the free here are a couple pictures of John on Puddles from my last climbing day in Sweden.

 John snags the intermediate before the crux


Try face

John tries to seduce Puddles with his sexy face.  Puddles wasn't quite so easy and needs a second date. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sandsjöbacka Video

I'm gearing up for my flight to the USA and I hear the beckoning of Hueco Tanks.  Hopefully I'm in decent enough shape to slay a few projects but worst case scenario I'll hang with good friends in the sun and circuit classics.

In the meantime, here's another little video of climbing around Gothenburg.  This one features a few of the classic problems Sandsjöbacka, an area just south of town.  Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The One that Got Away.....for now

Sometimes there are those projects that somehow remain just out of reach for long periods.  The ones that you "know" you're going to do next time, and then the next time, and the next.  I'm generally pretty bad at projecting as the logic of spending more than a couple days on one problem doesn't make sense to me when there are so many more to do.  That being said there are certainly problems that I try once or twice a year and eventually realize I've spent way more than my 3 day quota.   

One of these problems is at a small area in Bohuslan and if it wasn't so damn beautiful I'd be able to leave it be.  I've actually stuck the definitive crux 4 or 5 times and chuffed at the top like an idiot.  It is not a problem you can try more than a few times as the crux requires crimping on a sharp micro-crimp.  At this point it has only been done by Henrik and spit off everyone else.  But I'm sure I'll fire it next time.

Here are a couple pictures of En Världsomsegling Under Havet. 

 Oskar working on En Världsomsegling Under Havet 

 Taking the sharp crimp before the crux dyno

Looking like he means business 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Few Pictures from Häller

Häller boasts some of the best granite I've ever climbed on and has an impressive number of great problems for such a small area.  It may be my favorite area in Sweden and I wish it was 10 times as big.    Here are a few pictures.

 Markus warms up on a crisp fall day

 Markus on an awesome warm-up arete.  A little unnerving due to the tree at your back

Søknadsfrist my be a traverse but it's striking with super fun moves.  I seems impossible until you unlock the beta.  Good temps help. 

 Emma on one of Häller's moderate gems, Alf

Josephine on the tricky Dogma

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Midnight Mölndal

Here are a couple pictures of Midnight Mölndal

 Oscar getting feet set for the crux


Oh so close.  Oscar sent next try

Monday, November 21, 2011

Midnight Mölndal and Mudslide Lightning Video

One of the great things about Gothenburg is the amount of "urban climbing".  Walls and boulders can be found scattered around town and while these smalls "areas" generally only contain a few problems each they can boast some real gems.

One of these gems can be found on a small wall at the edge of a residential area.  Complete with grassy landing, Midnight Mölndal is a beautiful line and has been a hot problem as of late.  Unfortunately urban climbing often brings boulderers in contact with angry landowners and access becomes and issue.

Midnight Mölndal is located fairly close to a few houses and while the two closest houses are friendly with climbers there is a lady that glares from her window and has tried to run folks off.  Fortunately the climbing is on public land and we have every right to be there but climbers should still tread softly.  The last thing we want is someone to take a hammer to this problem.

If you go to Midnight Mölndal please don't walk down the hill toward the garden and the house beyond.  Try to stay low-key (no celebratory yelling) and if the lady comes out be nice when stating you are on public land and will continue to climb.

Here is a little video of Midnight Mölndal and it's direct finish, Mudslide Lightning.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monster Island Video

It seems like I'm perpetually behind on videos as I continue to collect footage and rarely have the time to put something together.  Some of it is that I'm trying to create better quality videos and not just throw something together but ultimately it just comes down to not having time (read:  I'm out climbing).

Anyway, I did manage to finish one video from September in the USA.  Here is a short video showing some of the classics at one of Pie Town's local bouldering areas.  Hope you enjoy.

Tolered Project

Tolered is a small area in the middle of town that is host to a couple impressive projects.  Recently Geir sent the stand to one of these projects but the line begs to be done from the obvious low start.  Erik and Geir have now done all the moves and it seems to be only a matter of time before they establish what will probably be Gothenburg's hardest problem.

Here are a couple pictures of Erik working the problem

A good line on the main boulder at Tolered

Try face

Small crimpers

On a side note, I would classify the line as 3 stars if not for the key crimper on the overhanging face being glued.  I'm very much anti-glue even if the line would cease to be.   

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kjugekull and the Escaping the Impending Winter

The weather in Sweden has been incredible and I've been taking advantage of it.  Been getting out quite a bit, managing to polish off a few projects and repeating tons of local stuff.  Unfortunately Sweden's impending winter can't be far away but fortunately I will once again be escaping frigid Scandinavia for the sunny Southwest.  I'm flying into Albuquerque, NM on December 6th and looking forward to climbing with friends in the sun.  Hueco? Roy? Vegas? Other?  Anyone psyched?

Here are a couple pictures from a recent day in Kjugekull

Henrik on his project, KO sit-start.  Thanks to Henrik for showing me this one.  It was pretty sweet and I'm sure Henrik will fire it next time

Alla Vill Till Himmelen.  The one problem in Kjuge the continues to elude me.  Maybe next time.

Henrik toe-hooking on the start of Alla Vill Till Himmelen