Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Northwest Branch- Tulip area

When walking down the Northwest Branch trail from the parking lot, one of the first boulders you'll come to is the Tulip boulder (map).  This is a great spot for beginners, and has some harder climbs as well.  The "Warm Up Problem" section of the boulder is particularly good for practicing beginning footwork, especially with a small shallow crack near the top that allows an easy toe jam.  Admittedly, I've had trouble matching up some of the problem descriptions to the holds on the rock, so I've just made up several problems for my own enjoyment.  In the photos below I've just highlighted the approximate starting areas of the established problems that I'm unsure about, rather than attempting to guess where they go for sure.  If anyone knows and wants to show me, I'll happily update this with more detail.

The first two photos show Tulip boulder itself, and the other two show the nearby Tennies Mantle boulder.  The best downclimb, at least in my opinion, is between the two boulders.  Note: the water level is currently pretty high, making the first 4 problems a bit riskier at the moment.

1.  Center Face (V2):  Starting on a jug approximately within the yellow box, go straight up using a knob and a jug.

2.  Dankie Doobie (V4):  Starting on the same jug go right to a gaston, and up to a crimp/jug, topping out right.

3.  The Furious Climber Named Andrea (V5):  Starting on the same jug, go left to a bad sloper with the left hand, bump to a good crimp, and top out on the Warm Up Problem.

4.  The Tulip (V7):  Starting on two small holds approximately within the blue box, traverse right without using the high knob, and finish on Dankie Doobie.

5.  Warm Up Problem (V0-V1):  Basically climb anywhere within the green box.

Tulip Boulder (explanation of number symbols here)

6.  Maui (V0):  Sit start in the crack and move straight up on good holds.

6a.  Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (a.k.a. MAOI)  (V3):  Start same as Maui, but all large holds associated with the crack are off.

Tennies Mantle Boulder (explanation of number symbols here)

7.  Scum of the Heel (V2):  Start on a left hand crimp and a right hand undercling/sidepull, and move straight up to the lip.

8.  Tennies Mantle (V0):  Start on jugs in the center and make one move up to a jug on the lip.  A little silly, but I guess do it if you're there.

Tennies Mantle Boulder (explanation of number symbols here)

 9.  Santero (V0):  Sit start on the left end and traverse the lip up and right to top out at Tennies Mantle.  A great introduction to using slopers and finding small feet.  Much easier in the winter!

Fun variation on MAOI, starting all the way back and traversing the crack out.

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