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.