Thursday, November 15, 2012


After weeks of knocking out projects in quick succession, it's easy to get caught up in the momentum.  When I first started feeling a bit of finger and bicep pain yesterday, my first thought was to push through with my plans to finish another project today and then either climb in the Gretna comp on Saturday or spend a day long overdue at Bushwhack.  Then I remembered that in less than a week I'll be heading out for my annual Thanksgiving in Vegas, starting off with a little Red Rocks bouldering fix before settling in to eat and drink my way through the Strip.  As excited as I've been to get out there when I'm actually strong enough to climb things that shut me down in the past, it would be stupid to hurt myself now.  While I have many local projects, none of them are going anywhere, and I can't exactly head out to Red Rocks after work!

As I think forward to the many problems I want to do this winter though, I've been happy to have some great new videos to get me psyched.  Interestingly, several of these videos have come not from other Marylanders, but instead from our neighbors to the north.  Bushwhack in particular has been the focus of a strong PA crew, repeating many of the established problems and making a few fantastic contributions of their own.

Mike Gallagher on the Old-Timer's Wall.    Photo: Ryan Shipp
One of the videos I was most excited about came from Ryan Shipp, co-author of the Governor Stable guide, showing his first ascent of Life is Beautiful.  Located at the south end of Bushwhack, the problem starts on a short slab and traverses a finger crack out to the face of an overhanging block before making a somewhat lofty topout.  Of all the boulders I saw on my first trip out there, this was one of the ones I've most wanted to get back and climb, and I was psyched to see that it had finally been done.  Check out the video here.

In addition to the obvious crack, Ryan climbed a line to the left called The Now, following slopers on the left arete to join Life is Beautiful for the topout.  Can't wait to give it a try!

                                                                                                     Photo:  Chris Bell
We also have a couple sweet videos from Chris Bell of strongman Travis Gault throwing down, starting with this one of his slightly different sequence for Monday Morning Quarterbacking the Superbowl than Brian used for the FA.  Always good to see alternative beta.

Even better, Travis sent the line moving up the double seams on the overhanging back side of the Tourette's boulder, calling it Dead Soul.

For those curious about the grades of these new problems, the PA crew suggested V4 for Life is Beautiful, V6 for The Now, and V7 for Dead Soul.  A few of them also repeated Stink, Stank, Stunk and agreed with the V7 grading proposed by the first ascentionist.

The other video that I was psyched to see came from Tim Rose after a visit to Rocks State Park.  He not only climbs Truck Driver, Truck Driver Right, and Jason Kehl's classic Moby Dick, but also gives us the first video footage of the new problem moving up the right side of the Moby boulder, thought to be even harder than the original.

Looking forward to Red Rocks, but also glad to see I'll have so much to come back to!


Brian said...

Nice Work!

Geoff said...

The "New: problem moving up the right side of the boulder was sent by jason in 2002, i was there climbing with him when he did it. Its a sick line though, for sure.

Robin said...

Cool, thanks for the correction Geoff. I was wondering how something like that could be right there without him doing it :)

Anonymous said...

Nice vids. Hey, has anyone done the lower start/traverse from the right jug into what is now Dead soul? Basically beginning where his right foot starts?

Robin said...

As far as I know that hasn't been done yet. You can't really see from the angle of the video, but there's actually a low roof below the problem that could add another 5-10 feet if you started all the way back and then linked into Dead Soul. Assuming there are enough holds on it of course. If someone's going for an extension, I'd really love to see that go down!

Chris Bell said...

Cool update!

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