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A question for our fellow boulderers

March 19, 2012

It’s pretty rare that 6 of us can randomly go bouldering outside on a Thursday, but it happened last week.

The climbers: Art, Kevin, Max, Seth, Erin, and Jackie
Hydration: Talisker 18, Dominion Big Thaw Bock, Crispin The Saint, Victory Headwaters Pale Ale, Troegs Nugget Nectar

Arthur on Creekside Traverse (V6)

Arthur on Creekside Traverse (V6)

Before we discuss all of Kevin’s sending on his first trip to Governors, let’s fast forward to our time at Creekside Traverse, which is rated V6 in the guidebook.  It is obvious that by traversing across the bottom, using the chalked holds only for hands until you traverse to a large sloper, that the problem would earn its V6 rating.  However, as Eric discovered last year, the problem can be sent using all the same holds but mantling to a stand up position in the middle of the boulder and reaching out to the large sloper to finish the mantle to the top (Art is about to try this in the photo to the left).  Sending this way seems much easier than V6, maybe only V4ish.  Here’s where the dispute comes in.  Help us out – do you think that:

a) The easier beta is a variation.

b) The problem is still V6.

c) The problem should be downgraded.

Vote on Facebook by clicking here.

OK, REWIND!

While everyone was warming up, Max decided to go over to his project Huck Norris (V5) and send it without any spotters.  Kids, don’t try this at home – the fall can send you tumbling down another boulder.  Max got a good scolding.  The rest of the group then headed over to the Juggernaut Area, where Kevin also sent Huck Norris and everyone decided that a better friction day was needed for Pimp Smack (V5).  And Juggernaut (V5) was a no go, much to Seth’s and Kevin’s frustration.

Jackie points out the holds while Max sends The Egg (V5)

Jackie points out the holds while Max sends The Egg (V5)

Next was the Cave Area, where Kevin and Seth both sent C-Sit (V5).  The girls were frustrated that the V1 and V2 on the same boulder were so difficult, even though Jackie had previously sent the 5.  That’s grading for yah.

That’s when we went to Creekside Traverse.  The easier version/beta led to a bunch of sending.  Jackie was stubborn and kept trying it the “V6” way after the guys said the other beta was not V6.  She also managed to bloody up her knuckles when she inadvertently punched the rock attempting Creekside Throw (V7).

We visited The Egg (V5) next, and almost lost Seth after a somewhat crazy fall.  Miraculously, his glasses did not break.  Thank you crash pads.  Erin was probably wondering what she was doing hanging out with us after that one.  But, Seth is a trooper and kept at it.  Max finally figured out how he must have sent the problem a couple years ago and Jackie perched on the top of the rock to point out the out-of-sight last hold.  Then, Seth and Kevin both sent as well.

Smoking a Stogie on Pyramid (V1)

Smoking a Stogie on Pyramid (V1)

After The Egg, the ridiculousness started to set in.  Seth, Kevin, and Max in one place just leads to this.  A heap of peer pressure from Seth led Max to climb the Pyramid Slab (V1) while puffing on a stogie.  Seeing as this is a highball, about halfway up Max decided he needed both hands. so Kevin suggested that Max throw the cigar down to him.  Defying common sense, Kevin snatched it out of the air without harm to either him or the cigar.  Too bad that wasn’t caught on camera.  Triple douchebag points for all of them. 😉

The day ended with a lot of feeble attempts on sloper problems in the Circuit Area and then some headlamp-lit tries on boulders by the entrance.  We then went to dinner, which is always a hoot with Chef Kevin.  This day’s winner of the Chef’s wrath was Bullys, which has an excellent beer selection but unfortunately most of the menu items taste like sweet bbq.  Seth learned that he should’ve listened to Kevin and not ordered the bouillabaisse, which tasted more like sweet stir fry.

Art took some more photos:

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 20, 2012 7:14 am

    Already put in my Facebook vote, but just to clarify I think a rating should be based on the easiest beta, unless the problem description specifically requires it to be done a more difficult way. Variations would then be beta that changes the sequence to make it harder, such as ignoring large holds, dynoing, staying below the holds instead of mantling, or possibly even climbing with a cigar. Though I’d think anyone who could climb a slab with a cigar in one hand could do it with a glass of cognac in the other. Just saying.

  2. March 20, 2012 11:27 am

    Taha! I suggested a bottle of beer in the chalk bag….

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