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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Natural Bridge Climbing

A slow day at work plus an invite to go climb in the afternoon found Kyler, Manfred and I on our way out to Natural Bridge Falls State Park by McLeod. We 'warmed up' on a 5.11C called Adventure Time. Kyler lead it, I followed it with one sit. Next we moved down to the Antiquities Wall so Kyler could work on his 5.13b/c Frankenwhore project. Nearly flashing the route, Kyler fell between the last bolt and the anchor. So close! We walked around down canyon to force a break/rest before Kyler got back on it and did about the same thing. It would have been a waste of good rubber and chalk if I had tried it.
Adventure Time
Kyler resting below Frankenwhore.
Looking down canyon.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Dragon's Back: Proboscis

Sam has always wanted to have another climb day following the bouldering bash so we went and climbed an area classic called Proboscis 5.8 trad 3 pitches up the Dragons Back. I climbed this with Lucas way back in the day and it was just as fun as last time I was there.
The route starts on the lower right and finished at the top left (go figure). The crux is the last sunny headwall going right to left.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

8th annual Butte Bouldering Bash

Sam, Manfred and I made it out to our 3rd or fourth Butte Bouldering Bash for a weekend of camping, climbing and camaraderie. We started the day with some strangers and finished the day with a few new friends! People came from all Montana and even a couple of out of staters showed up. Its technically a competition but is way more of just a festival. There is no feeling of competition. Everyone is cheering everyone on. Lots of encouragement. Nobody was happy to see someone not send the route. Sam took me out to Superbia where I climbed 27 routes, a V4 being the hardest I actually got. I was very close to sending a V5 and a V7. We got back to the staging area, ate a couple of cheeseburgers, tapped a keg and started a bonfire. Sometime that night, a few of us thought it would be a good idea to go climb a route that requires you to invert and climb feet first. Needless to say that made for some laughs. Its pretty cool we have a crew of climbers and an area to host an event like this. Thanks to everyone that helped make it happen.
Cant climb on an empty stomach! Breakfast Sandies!
We climbed with these guys all day.
The Superb Boulder. This is the V7 I almost got.
My score card.
How long have humans gathered around fires?
I just held a light. That looks hard.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Revenue Village Climb Day: Road Ramp

Sam and I were able to squeeze one last climb out of the weekend on a proximal buttress I call the Road Ramps. The route, Mushrooms are Good for Sundays, is a 5.11-ish 14 bolt to one small cam 30m route. Neither Sam nor I could link all the moves however we could do them all. I scrubbed the rock but apparently not enough. There are two kind-of-sort-of jugs on the route but otherwise its sustained the whole way. This one is going to be a classic for the grade.

Sam giving me a catch.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Village Climb Day: Proud Face

I cleaned and bolted this rock at the end of last season and had not been back since. This year, I brought a crew with me. Matt H, Steven H, Peter R, Sam M, Eric M, Manfred and I ended up climbing every route out there. Matt and I climbed Incessant 5.6 and Wake Up Call 5.7 while Peter and Steven worked on Proud Face 5.10d. Matt and I then climbed Empty Rangers 5.10d followed by Proud Face. We finished the day with Weed Stems 5.7 and Its Pronounced Eye-Gore 5.7. Meanwhile Steven and Peter sussed out the moves to the Fugitess Crack 5.12 on top rope. Eric and Sam got a late start but where able to squeeze in Weed Stems and Its Pronounced Eye-Gore. All in all this crag is definitely worth the hike and the climbing is, once again, awesome.
Peter and Steven on Proud Face.
Matt following Incessant.
Matt, Peter high up on Proud Face to the right.
Steven on Wake Up Call.
Proud Face: There is a rope line but you cant see it.
Sam on top of Weed Stems. Fugitess top rope can be seen.
Peter on the Fugitess.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Whiskey Gulch Bouldering

Finding good climbing weather has proven difficult lately. Bozeman is experiencing a very early winter unlike the normal Indian summer we usually get. Luckily, we have a rain shadow desert in Montana known as the Boulder Batholith. The continental divide squeezes all of the moisture out on the windward side while the leeward side remains dry. East of Butte in the Pipestone area is a great place to escape bad weather. Sam, Manfred and I gambled on the weather being at least tolerable so off to Whiskey Gulch we went. We drove through a couple of rain showers and snow flurries but arrived at a dry, albeit cold, trail head. Our first stop was at the Entryway (?) boulders. There is a somewhat highball V1 (sandbag!) that I have been walking by for years but decided to give it a try this day. I got at least half way up it before I got flash pumped and had to jump off. Its not quite what I was hoping for. Not sure I really want to try it again. I climbed another V1 on the same boulder immediately to the right and flashed it. Next we found The Force area and climbed a classic V0 dihedral and the V1 arete right next to it. Sam then took us to an area I had never been to and we climbed a V1 crack then spent some time figuring out the V4 (Zombies and Gummy Bears?) just to the left. It was good enough to climb twice. We finished the day on the Seamstress, a tall heady V1. It spat snow on us a couple of times but only for a minute. Upon driving back in to Whitehall it was very apparent we dodged a fairly major ran shower.
The Force Area: V0 right above my head and a V1 a little ways over my right shoulder.

The curvy crack is the V4 and the straight one is a V1.
Seamstress climbs the right crack.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Gally Rally: The Waltz, White Streak, Spare Rib

Sam is always on my case about climbing in 'the canyon' so we turned South at Four Corners instead of staying West to the Village and spent a gorgeous day in the canyon. We started off with the ever classic and much frequented Waltz. I lead the first 5.7r pitch and made Sam lead the second 5.6 pitch for his first time. Then, as we walked up the hill towards Spare Rib, we spied a beautiful quartz dike crack that had to be climbed. It turns out the the route I/we onsighted is called the White Streak 5.8 for obvious reasons. Next, Sam lead the first pitch of Spare Rib 5.8 and I lead the long, exposed, money second pitch. Had we not run out of water, we may have finished on Skyline. Who knows. We were, however, hoping to jump in to the Gallatin River for a quick swim but when we hiked down from the rocks, the river had turned a nasty, dirty, chocolate milkshake color! It was crystal clear when we hiked in. I wonder if another shit pond in Big Sky broke or if there was some kind of catastrophic landslide somewhere upstream from let say an old burn area. I really hope its something closer to the latter.
Gallatin Tower from across the canyon
White Streak is the left white dike in the sun
The Fish Face area
Spare Rib route climbs the skyline
Mr. Dr. Professor Trad