Monday, September 30

Wyo -> IMF -> Utah

Sitting here at the Ibis Cafe in Logan, Utah. Yesterday morning I felt semi-lost, kinda confused, but mostly I felt a pretty incredible sense of freedom. The Idaho Mountain Fest had just wrapped up (I'll get to more of that soon), the weather was beginning to turn again and with a few nice sends in the bag at the City and Castles, I looked onward. Idling outside of Rock City for a while... Back to Lander? Back to Colorado? Maybe Rifle, or maybe Maple? My Weather App was getting quite the work out. I could kinda go anywhere. I had everything I needed right there in the truck, and for the first time in a long while I had no certain, immediate plans. It was a cool feeling, one that I'm fortunate to experience often. 

Ian Cavanaugh photo of myself on the first repeat of his route 'Straight Out of the Ghetto' .12+ R at the City. 
It goes without saying but I chose to link up with my good buddy Pawel in Logan. I drove through Logan Canyon on my way down from Wyoming and I was shocked by how incredible the fall colors were. Super Tweak is a roped bouldering test-piece originally established by the powerful Boone Speed in 1994; it was America's first 8c by an American. Being something of a history buff, and having done 'Scarface', 'Necessary Evil' and 'Kryptonite' - I knew I needed to check this thing out and hopefully fill in the gap. I'll be hanging here for a few days to hopefully take the beast down. 

Now to backtrack... Pretty incredible times finishing up at Wolf Point last week. After finishing off my new route 'Stalk and Ambush' .14+, I moved on to a massive route that (coupled with heinous heat) thwarted my efforts back in July. It's called 'Spitting Venom' and it's over 40meters of climbing with very little fluff. The crux is super high on the route, after 90 feet of solid .14- resistant intro, you hit a reachy and powerful crux pulling onto near vertical terrain. From here it's an airy and engagingly run-out section to the very tip top of the cave. I really wanted to finish off what I started this summer and leave Wolf Point with a few more, new, proud routes done.

After a day rehearsing the movement and getting back into the mental game on this rig I was ready for redpoint burns. The first few tries ended predictably - on a huge, accurate right hand move late in the crux - where I had been falling in July. Last light in the day I ripped up the intro, eager to get another good go on the route before the sky totally blackened. BJ was on the belay and my good friend and photographer Caroline Treadway was there cheering me on. I stuck the move, and with a good amount of effort I made it through the finishing, ultra thin boulder problem to clip the chains in twilight. A huge sense of relief and stoke. 'Spitting Venom' .14c was born and my 2013 mission at Wolf Point was complete. 

The next day we shot guns and shot some photos at the Cave with Caroline as BJ took down 'Reemed Out' 13+ and I cleaned some of my draws. The following morning I was off to the Idaho Mountain Fest at Castle Rocks.... 

A new route I did - bolted a few years back by Mike Spaulding and mostly forgotten. He called it 'Chumming' and I'll give it .13a. A killer route on the Sharks Fin. 
The event was awesome. Well organized, a great venue, a great group of people and not to mention some kick ass climbing right behind us. My clinic and slide-show both went well and I was really stoked all around on meeting new climbers, sharing stories and enjoying some kick ass pitches at the City of Rocks and Castle Rocks. I was mostly keen to try a controversial and historically intriguing route called 'Red Rum' .13+ on the comp wall. This was the Men's final route, created (literally) for an outdoor competition in the late 80's. It was a topic of much conversation and criticism over the years, but remains one of the areas hardest routes and as far as I can tell is seldom climbed. Well, it's true-- the route is heavily manufactured, down to the perfectly 'placed' feet. Regardless, the movement is actually exceptional, and the position is radical and thrilling. For an almost entirely created route, I really enjoyed climbing it. 

The opening 5.12 slab on RedRum

And that pretty much leads me back to the beginning of the post.... happy Monday everyone!