Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Continues!

Summer continues, unabated!  Luckily for the boulderers in Southern Alberta, temperatures cooled off a bit this weekend, offering a respite from the hot sunny weather of the previous week.  Projects at Frank Slide are falling, with Josh B sending the long-time project The Shield (V9, but likely much harder for shorter folks) as well as Fully Fed (V7).  Combined with recent first ascents of The Cure (V6), The Blessing (V7), and The Right Right (V8) in the City of Giants in the last few weeks, it's shaping up as a banner year in Frank Slide, especially in the City of Giants!

Screen grab from video of Josh B working The Shield prior to sending it.  Solid effort by Josh!

This past weekend Kyle and I headed out to the Slide where we spent the day exploring the City of Giants with Kristal and Jason (of the Ropeless Blog fame!).  Arriving in the parking lot, we met Josh B who was on his way out from the Slide after a morning session, and was heading back home.  We quizzed him about his new problems in the City (especially his ascent of The Shield!), before packing up and hiking into the blocks ourselves.  Shortly after arriving in the City, we were joined by Morgan from Fernie, resulting in a fun group to climb with for the day! 

We warmed up by climbing a handful of new slabs just east of the Split Boulder, as well as a fun but unfortunately cramped V3ish arete that climbs out of a pit.  We shuffled our mats over to the Split Boulder, then went on an exploration mission in the City, looking at the blocks and speculatively feeling the holds of future problems.  After an hour or so, we ended up back at the Split Boulder.  Morgan and Kyle set to work on the Split Left project.  So far, I have been unable to manage three of the moves on the Split Left Project - even in isolation - and so I am incredibly impressed by how much progress Kyle is making.  He's done all of the moves, in three overlapping sections, and it's starting to look like it might be possible after all.

Kyle sticking the fifth - and final - hard move of the seven-move Split Left Project.  Hard!

I headed over a rise into a cluster of boulders just south of the Feed the Need Boulder to try an easy-ish line I had partially cleaned and built a patio for last week.  There ended up being three fun lines on the boulder, all starting on the same long edge below the rounded lip of the boulder; The White Album (a V0+ line that climbed directly up the tall slab after a punchy move to a jug), Snow White (a V2ish problem that traversed left to finish up some anglar slopers), and Great White (a V2+ line that traversed all the way left around a prow to finish up fun edges).  Great moderate lines, though a little off the beaten track.

Wrapping up those three problems, I headed back to watch Kyle and Morgan work on the Split Boulder projects.  I put on my shoes to try the Split Left project, but was completely shut down.  Kyle, on the other hand, was making good progress, linking pairs of moves.  After an hour or work, he had linked all the moves in pairs, a pretty solid accomplishment for the session.  Jason and Kristal returned to the Split Boulder as well, after trying Paleofit (V7) and Trent's Cave (V6)  We spent a little time trying a new crimpy line to the left of the Split Left project, but after finding the moves simply too difficult, we packed up to try Sandman (V7ish) on the next boulder over.

End of the day at Frank Slide!  Morgan, Kyle, Kristal, and Jason hanging out with stacks of mats at Sandman.

Sandman is a angled prow/arete problem established by Mark D earlier this year.  It has a very awkward and cramped start, though we improved it somewhat by moving a couple of large rocks out of the way.  From what we could gather, the problem started on a small crescent-shaped edge for the left hand, and a tiny (!) horizontal edge near the arete for the right hand.  Morgan sent the problem fairly quickly, but it took me many more tries to figure out the foot positioning for the first move.  With new beta in hand, I did the problem in just a few attempts.  A very cool problem, which unfortunately climbs somewhat oddly to climb due to its cramped start.

Late in the day in the City of Giants, photo taken from the Split Boulder. Just right of center on the skyline is the huge Shield Boulder.  

Jason and Kristal had also added a new crimpy problem to the left of Sandman, but by this time it was getting late, so we packed up and headed back to the parking lot.  Another fun day of bouldering in the Slide, with some really fun people.  Thanks to Kristal, Jason, Morgan, and Kyle for a great day of climbing!

Until next time!

PS> If Jason and Kristal don't get back to me with names for new problems, I am going to call the tallish slab we did at the beginning of the day The Kristal Method... just saying. ;)

1 comment:

Kristal said...

I like it! Thanks for the post, Trent.