Monday, December 30, 2013


Tom and I ventured out to the mythical Benchlands Sunday.  Temps started out pretty chilly 4 degrees but soon things warmed up to around freezing.  As usual Tom knew where to go so we checked out some old projects and ventured way back into the jumble of this massive area.

Very cool looking project gonna need some more people and pads for this one

After gawking at the roof project- which was in the shade and a touch too tall for my liking with a nasty sloping landing, we ventured further in to check out these old overhanging fin projects.  Tom basically gave these to me as a Christmas present I must have been on the nice list.  Many options on this fin in particular exist with lots of cool holds and patinas.  One problem on this fin Verus has a stand start through a flake, a direct, a sit start and a harder right to left problem Priscus.

Verus - Gladiator Fin - Benchlands
Another angle of Verus
After the fun on the fins we went way back into the Benchlands and of course discovered some more things that we should visit another day.

Getting way back in the Benchlands

After wondering around a bit we found ourselves at another old project. Here is a short vid of one of many failed attempts.  It is one of those problems that is not super hard but requires a fair bit of precision and fingertips of steel something I lack.

Yet another failed attempt

Cicada skin this is how a felt after this project destroyed me yet again - empty

After giving up on my old nemesis.  We made our way to an overhang by Trengel an old invert problem from the days of yore.  This problem looked really difficult to me especially the top (which I have not pictures of) it is just blank.  I beach-whaled the top of this like no other on the FA - loosing many style points.

Dirty Girl - Trengel Area - Benchlands

What can be considered a success without a little finger carnage?

All in all a great day!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Black Friday in the Dryads

While many where out there in malls and department stores fighting the crowds - we were fighting stone in the Dryads.  It turned out to be a stellar day before an arctic blast descended on Montana this week.  For some reason it ended up being the day of highball FAs.  The temps were good the mind and body were steady - might as well go for it right!?  The only thing I can attribute the steadier nerves than normal is the increased levels of tryptophan in my blood stream from the night before.  The first on the menu was a crack problem that we all said we would do someday - but really we didn't want to top it out.  Bring on being scared!

Guy working the start to Black Friday a fun and painful crack problem

Don't blow the top out on this one ladies and gentleman.  The top section of Black Friday

Next on the list was a project on the En Vogue Boulder left of Denier cri.  Tom actually pointed it out to me a while back.   I thought it was way too thin and too powerful for me.  Plus the upper section had a terrible landing.  Somehow I was able to piece it together unlocking a very cool and technical problem.

Mad crimping on du Jour - En Vogue Boulder - Dryads
Last week the crew was projecting this scary looking wave featured boulder.   I had looked at in the past but never put any time into working it.  With the help of Tom's beta from last week I was able to send.  Yet another no fall monster was born.

The final sketchy slab moves on Wavelength
The final FA of the day we got no pictures of - the problem was not that hard but after topping it out I realized I had made an amateur error.  How do I get off of this thing?  I ended up having to jump off the top about 8 feet down to another boulder in with my climbing shoes on- ouch that'll teach yah.

On a side note Tom and I are doing a slideshow at Northern Lights this Weds the 4th @ 7:30 about our FA of the Pisce Wall in the Beartooths this Summer.   Come on by and join us.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Back in the Dryads

Headed out last weekend and meet up with a psyched crew in the Dryads for a great session...with the holidays near, my time to write is limited, but all in all a great time!  Hopefully more sessions like this in the near future.  All pics by Jeremy Champion

Warn temps, psyched crew

Taylor on a new one

New Invert OW:  Phalanges & Femurs

New one...yet to catch the name...

This Kneebar Tastes Like Chicken
Emma on the repeat

Noah on the Direct

Star Kid Tech

Joe & Norma

We rounded the day out on the Scoop Project...really good, but still a project


Thursday, November 14, 2013

The druthers of the Druthers

This past weekend Ari and I were able to check out an area that had been scoped out in the previously that is just North of the Druthers.  This was one of those places that I took some photos of and really never inspected the rock.  Well lets say that some of the blocks that I thought were good were certainly not.  However there were a couple good problems that went up.  Two blocks in particular are certainly worth it.  One other thing that adds to the ambiance of the sub-area are some old mining camp junk, caverns and holes more typical of what you would see on the top of Homestake Pass- you gotta love Butte.

Topping out "Out of the Frying Pan" - Artifact Boulder - Northern Druthers
Ari on "Into the Fire" - Artifact Boulder - Northern Druthers
Ari attempting a super hard slab proj on the Forgotten Clay Boulder

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Darkside of gniredluoB - Ticks and Stashed Pads Oh My....

 I have been climbing for 19 years now.  I have seen some pretty nasty and careless things especially in other locations where I have lived and climbed in the past where some things really got out of hand.  Usually it was people just not thinking about the consequences.  Or just getting too psyched and forgetting that the environment is more important than a project.  Unfortunately I have seen some of these things creep into Montana a little bit and I just have to say that I am a little disappointed to see some of these things here.  I think we are smarter than this.

Two things in particular are so easy to deal with.  We should really aim for a leave no trace ethic if we can when we are out there having fun.


Not brushing off tick marks after your session is over.  Yes if things are ticked they are easier to see.  But we don't need to leave them that way.  Remember we share the Boulder Batholith as a resource with other user groups, tick marking maybe considered graffiti to some of them.  Check out the Heart of Darkness boulder from this Saturday.  This is after it was cleaned up after the comp then it got at least another serious session the following week. Please: if you must tick, scrub it off after your session.

Heart of Darkness Boulder -  Needs some tick mark cleaning


Stashing pads.  Yes we know you hiked like 5 miles one way and *ooof* it was hard.  You leave your pad there and you will get it in a week or so when you come back (a likely story...).  But then you find out that animals love all of the foam and nylon that your pad is made of...  They eat it and use it as insulation for nests, it is not biodegradable and it usually gets spread all over the place.  By the end it looks like some bum has been sleeping under the boulder for at least a year in the talus where the pad had been stashed.  Tom and I found this stashed pad this Summer.

Nasty stashed pad found this Summer (notice all of the chewed fabric and foam)

This is certainly not typical in our areas and finding these types of transgressions are pretty rare, we also know most folks are very conscious of these.  We just feel that being proactive and reminding folks to strive for the best is a good way to go about things.  If you encounter trash, ticks, or other potentially dubious activity, please do your part in keeping our area clean and enjoyable.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Sharkfist - The Druthers

A new one in The Druthers

You can also check out more Druthers action in David's & Christine's blogs.



Friday, October 18, 2013

4th Annual Butte Bouldering Bash wrap-up

Well...year 4 *went off!*

What a great turn out and time! Even with the weather looking uncooperative (chilly and a 40% chance of afternoon rain that slid right by us) many folks showed up, ready to send, and the day turned out great!

Photo by: Jeremy Champion
Photo by: Emily Stifler Wolfe

-over 60 psyched, friendly and smiling competitors from all across Montana
-over $1300 raised for the SMCC

After a brief competitors meeting a padded train descended upon the Trailer Boulders, ready to battle the various granite challenges.

Photo by: Jeremy Champion

Whit and Eli
This year the marathon category was added, and many disappeared into the woods for the day, only to return after slaying the majority of available problems.
 Jeff Ho on Tiger Blood   Photo by: Kris Zigich 

Others concentrated their skin on the additional high point projects added to the comp, including a sds to the Heart of Darkness and a linkup from Airsteam to Jetstream.

Tony Chang on Heart of Darkness    Photo by: Kris Zigich 
Beer Goggles project  Photo by: Jeremy Champion
Northwest Arete   Photo by: Emily Stifler Wolfe

Obtuse Perception  Photo by: Jeremy Champion

Obtuse Perception  Photo by: Jeremy Champion

Midway through the day, the grill was fired up and people returned to the lot for a mid-day BBQ...most visits were brief as most were eager to return to the fray. During the BBQ I smiled as I watched the predicted rain stream down onto McClusky, just a bit north of us, once again the rain shadow in the Boulder Batholith provides.

Rec Specs   Photo by: Jeremy Champion
Airsteam   Photo by: Kris Zigich 

Aristocrat (left) Photo by: Jeremy Champion
Aristocrat (left)  Photo by: Jeremy Champion

Tympanum   Photo by: Emily Stifler Wolfe
The afternoon seemed to pass quickly, and before we knew it: scorecards were being turned in, the keg was tapped, the bonfire was rolling and burgers and kebabs were on the grill. We had a warm reception for our sponsors, competitors, the boulders and for the great day. Trophies were awarded and feats were recognized, and smiles seemed to be shared all around.

Trophies by Derek Thomas of Sterling Fabrication   Photo by: Jeremy Champion

Photo by: Jeremy Champion
Photo by: Jeremy Champion

Photo by: Jeremy Champion

Photo by: Jeremy Champion
Grill Master Clay   Photo by: Jeremy Champion
Photo by: Jeremy Champion

Photo by Robert Wilkie

Photo by: Jeremy Champion

Eli lends a hand   Photo by: Jeremy Champion

Photo by: Jeremy Champion
Some folks came and went through out the day, only able to stay a bit, but happy to be able to tour the boulders and join in the festivities. Others stayed through the night, and were ready to continue exploring the boulders the next morning. Everyone's presence was greatly appreciated.

 Bowie says 'thanks' as well   Photo by: Jeremy Champion

A *HUGE* thanks to this year's sponsors:

and thanks to everyone who came out to participate, spectate or volunteer. Everyone coming together makes for a great event! Though we strive to improve and do it again next year...stay tuned...and


Tom Kingsbury