Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Winter's Friction

Montana's typical high pressure has been bringing mild temperatures and blue skies.  With such weather, its criminal not to get out and touch some stone.  Pulling down on sunny granite as opposed to greased limestone is an easy choice for some soul climbing on a winter's day.  A good looking crew gathered this past Saturday to enjoy a bit of the "Desert" area low on the Delmoe Lake Road.

Starting at the "Mastodon" boulder and barely moving we managed a full day with several FA's and quite a few repeats.

Joe on the FA of an open-project

Committing to the exit

Zana showing the beta...and Patrick finishing off Betadine

Whitmore flashing the FA of ArborMedic V4+

Atop Variety Cracks

A really great day spent with a good posse of pysched and positive people.  Days like this give the feeling that this area is not yet close to being tapped out, as is the case with most areas of the Batholith.

Go touch some rock today!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Organic Slider Pad Review

Almost a year ago I picked up the Slider Pad from Organic


First, all I can say is I wished I picked one up sooner!  This light 1" thick half sized pad slides easily into most standard (and all Organic) bouldering pads, with room to spare.  Over the last year I have found it very useful in various bouldering situations.

Slider Pad protecting the opening moves of a project in the Benchlands
It's been working great for sit starts, low starts, and is nice to have in scenarios where a full pad could be considered unnecessary but some protection would be helpful. This pad also excels with low balls, invert offwidths and other problems with 'dab potential'.  

Opting for a slider pad over a normal pad to avoid the dab potential...

The construction is bomber, as is the fabric. It has three handles which makes it easy to move and adjust. They can also be used to fix the pad in position if needed. It would be nice to see a fourth handle added, which would aid in fixing...it would also create some nice options for attaching makeshift shoulder straps, in case you were thinking about taking the pad out solo on an ultralight circuit.

I've used it quite a bit as a 'luxury seat' for shoeing up... and the carpeted top is nice for wiping you feet, I was concerned it would pick up pine needles etc, but it hasn't seemed to be a debris magnet either...WIN!

Chasing Windmills, Slider Pad patching seams
It also works nice for 'patching' seams between pads and leveling out landings...in fact, every time I bring the Slider Pad with me, it sees usage.

Price-wise it's a great deal, clocking in at $30! The only sting is the shipping price, a bit high, but  fair considering it's a larger item...so if you're thinking of picking one up, perhaps get one of your bouldering partners to get one at the same time, and save on shipping!

Overall, this is a great pad to pick up. After adding it to my bouldering kit, it became an often used item, and I've opted to take it with me every time since I've picked it up.

Bottom line: a solid additional pad for the arsenal.

Tom Kingsbury

Monday, January 7, 2013

In the Moonshine

Tom on Toblerone

Tom, Whitmore, Derrick and I all ventured back to the newly discovered area now dubbed "The Moonshine Boulders" again this weekend with some more pads and man power to give some of the taller gems a go.  The morning started in the single digits but soon warmed to the upper 20s- prime Montucky crimp crushing temps.

Whitmore sampling some Toblerone

After warming up we ventured over to "The Moonstone" to figure this awesome boulder out.  After some attempts of different variations we finally unlocked a killer highball 'Heavier than Heaven'.  Sorry no shots of the FA but you get the idea.

Whitmore feeling out the holds

The Moonstone is a sketchy techy dream

Tom then ventured down to a weird feature below The Moonstone a small opening in the ceiling between two boulders.  After multiple attempts he finally squeezed through this crazy small hole.  Oh yeah and he had to drop down to his onezie long johns to send the squeeze the "Breached Whale".  Sorry no photos of  that either.

Breached Whale 1st attempt
Hangin at the Two Bit


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Years Later...

About 6 years ago, I went and checked a small piece of BLM land out in the Boulder Batholith. There was a handful of decent looking problems, and one gem, but none were climbed that day...just out looking....and I never went back...until the other day.

I showed Odenbeck a pic of what I considered the best looking problem out there, and it didn't take long to find motivation. Soon enough we were back on the hill.

Beyond the Breakers

It climbed like a dream... A few tech slab moves and it blanks out to a long reach.

Then a nice combo of balance and gusto to move the feet up.

and one last reach to gain some great topout holds...which is helpful, as the landing is a bit dicey.

Perhaps the best ~V3 I've climbed in the Boulder Batholith, and a stellar way to round out a great year.