Friday, June 23, 2017

Spring Training in Frank Slide!

After a somewhat cold and wet late-winter season, the spring in Frank Slide has been amazing!  Despite my assessment that some areas of the Slide are getting tapped out, new problems (and old projects) continue to be sent every week.

To kick the spring season off in late April, we spent a long day hunting down new lines in the Hulkamaniac Sector.  First, on the western end of the area, we put up a handful of new lines on a boulder that had been passed over in previous trips.  The crimpy lines The Pavlovian Way (V4), and Ring The Bell (V1/2) were among the worthy additions the boulder added to the Hulkamaniac area.  After a little exploration (what trip to Frank doesn't include some exploring, am I right?) we moved to the eastern edge of the sector, where I saw something fairly novel; a large boulder I had never seen before!  After a little work, we added the juggy Baba Yaga (V0, a nice height, and would be a classic if it were more centrally located), the high slab Chicken Leg (V0/1), and the very Squamishy Finisher (V3/4).

Mark starting up the edge-tastic arete of Ring the Bell (V1/2).

In May, we spent a few days climbing and fixing landings at the eastern end of the Karst Valley sector, on and around what we have come to call the Rusty Marker Boulder (due to the rusty survey marker nearby).  Dan A. put a great deal of work into climbing the lines on the Dirty Dan boulder, unearthing several great lines including the classic Dirty Dan Singing (V3) which follows a blunt arete up to an exciting topout.

Kyle on the cruxy first move of Dirty Dan Singing (V3), a great new line in the Karst Valley sector.

The Rusty Marker boulder itself yielded many moderate lines as well, including Minotaur (V3), the contrived but tricky Whistling in the Dark (V4), and the techy arete WAYSITHK (V5).  With a little effort, we also added a trilogy of harder problems on the so-called Escape Boulder nearby, on perfect rock; Escape From LA (V4/5), Houdini (V3 or V4), and the very cool arete Straitjacket (V5).

Dan and Kyle trying to decide how to Escape From LA (V5ish) (top), and Dan grappling with Houdini (V3/4) (bottom).

As the spring season progressed, I was keen to get back to some of the projects (both old and new) I've had my eye on in the City of Giants.  On a solo trip in late May I added several very easy warmups to the zone near the Bad Wolf boulder, including Solitary (V0), Confinement (V0), Rusty Cup (V0), and Rusty Plate (V0).  Up the hill, I also cleaned and sent a new line which is one of the best easy lines in the area, Victoria (possibly V2).  On a follow-up trip with Dan A. and Jonas G., we added a harder right-trending line to the boulder, calling it Victor (V5).  I also managed to send Paleofit (V6/7), which is one of the best V7s in Frank Slide, in my opinion.  I was also psyched to send Paleofit because I consider it to be one of the "Seven Sevens", a list of the seven best V7s in Frank.

Davin on the techy start of the arete WAYSITHK (V5ish).

In my estimation, the "Seven Sevens" of Frank Slide are...

1. Paleofit (V6/7)
2. Evangelist (V7)
3. Evan's Seven (V7)
4. Lost (V7)
5. True Detective (V7)
6. Fender (V7/8, IMHO)
7. The Ice Cave (V7)

In early June, I headed back out to The Slide with Evan and Kyle, where we hiked up into the Cit of Giants and repeated Victor and Victoria.  We also did a few Josh Bylsma lines on the Snake Boulder, including the amazing and spicy King Cobra (V5 or V6) and the horrifically dabby Sweep The Leg (V3).  I also put in a short session with Kyle and Evan on Evan's Seven, and although no one sent the problem, I did make some very good progress.  Next time, for sure!

Me on what is likely one of the best V2s in the Slide, Victoria, City of Giants (top), and Kyle trying to avoid getting bitten on the first move of the fantastic King Cobra (V5ish) (bottom).

With summer looming on the horizon, the bouldering season at Frank Slide is shaping up nicely.  I have lots of projects on the go, and with Tour de Frank only three months away, I need to get busy with that as well.

See you out at the boulders!

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