Monday, August 31, 2015

Road Trip Moe's Valley

Moe's was a battle to say the least. The weather so far on the trip was way to hot, but the day we show up in Moe's we woke up to a foot of snow. We chilled in a hotel room for two days to get some much needed R&R. While waiting for Moe's to dry out we tried to go sport climbing at Hurricave. After driving around for awhile, we finally saw it and we where underwhelmed to say the least, chosspile. So we headed to the Cathedral. The directions were horrible, never trust Mountain Project for anything that website is a waste of time. We found the parking area then walked up the wash way to far and had to cut across the hill side to what I thought looked like the right place. We got lucky and found it and boy is that sport cliff amazing. Golden stands out on the cliff as one of the best sport lines I have ever seen. As soon as we started to climb we realized that the rock was way to cold, numbing out ten moves in. I only managed to climb the warm up before we threw in the towel.
Back in Moe's the weather had jumped from freezing to 75 so shade was a must. First on the list was Crusaders for Justice v12/13. I had gotten close on it two years ago but got shut down by hot weather. This time the weather wasn't much better but I guess I had gotten better as a climber and managed to squeeze it out one morning before the sun hit the problem, making the slopers impossible to hold.  Another amazing problem, Show of Hands v11,  always stood out to me as one of the best lines, so I was really happy to put that one down as well. The toe hook on that thing is deceiving. It looks like a jug toe hook but the rock is slippery on that part of the problem making that the crux for me. I really wanted to try Booka Booka Booka v13. It looks awesome, but after trying it a couple times I realized I could not hold the three finger pocket with my injured finger.
After a couple days of bouldering it decided to rain for seven days strait. On semi dry days we past the time climbing at the VRG. The girls are not fond of ropes and they let me know it. I climbed a couple ok routes nothing that stood out to me but I didn't get to try the cool looking harder routes because the girls were not down with belaying on the ledge.
After what felt like forever Moe's finally dried out. Davita crushed her project Israil v6 and Roxana climbed a v4. I tried Meatbag v12/13 a sweet roof with big moves on perfect edges. I got really close but decided to come back. The next session the weather had jumped to 85, I tried to get on Meatbag before it got too hot with no avail. I flopped all over that thing making no headway. The weather was getting to all of us so we decided to head for greener pastures. Meatbag will have to wait until next time. Joe's Valley here we come.
The Goose v4
Fun v3
Sichuan Peppercorn v5
Davita trying the best line in Moe's
Gription v9 

                     Road Trip more Red Rocks

Reflecting Pool V13

Stand and Deliver V11
 Taking it easy is not my cup of tea. With this in mind, Nick and I spent a lot of time shredding the skateparks and we tried to take it easy by sport climbing. Most of the walls we roped up at the group was not to psyched on. Once I saw Monster Skank 5.13b it changed everything. Every line on that wall is amazing. Despite these beautiful lines, the girls where done after a week of sport and wanted to boulder. All I could think about was the lines I wanted to finish before I left, but I will be back for Monster Skank, it's to good not to do.
    Because I hurt my finger in the palm on an open hand three finger, I couldn't three finger anything, but if I backed it up with my pinky it wasn't so bad. Also the crimp position felt better as long as I wasn't yarding on it. The three lines I really wanted to do before I left were Hungry Hungry Hippos v12, Reflecting Pool v13, and Siren's Call v11/12. It was getting even hotter so we headed to Willow Springs. The area is mostly in the shade the second half of the day. I had a really good day where I managed to flash Ride the White Horse v10. I finally didn't botch my flash. Davita climbed Little Pony v5/6 on the backside then I climbed Stampede v7 and started trying to add a direct. When complete, it will be a very reachy tension filled line.
I then worked out the beta on Reflecting Pool. The crux for me became changing my heel hook to a toe. A couple days later I had a heart breaker where I hit the final jug, I had it in the bag, when my left hand fired off sending me screaming and running around. Thankfully I sent next go or I would have been furious. Because of the heat, we where searching out lines deep in the shade of the canyons. We made the 45 min trek out to Juniper Canyon where Davita and I sent 25 cent v4/5 which is maybe the best line in Red Rocks and Stand and Deliver v11 also a definite contender. I had spent a couple days trying Siren's Call and Hungry Hippos but they both sit in the sun all day. On our last day the weather dropped to 65 degrees and cloudy with some wind. I waited for Siren's to go in the shade in the evening. I finally stuck the precision move to the left hand crimp only to blow the dyno. A couple tries later I stuck the crimp again but my foot blew. I was surprised to hold it and stick the dyno. That deadpoint ended up being the hardest move I did on the trip.  Last up was Hungry, we made the trek up the hill. I wasn't felling great having tweaked my index finger on my right hand on Siren's but it was the last day. I surprised myself by putting it down in a couple trie. Boy the wind and clouds made a huge difference making it feel significantly easier. It was the best finish to a trip I have had in a long time. Rarely do things work out so well.
Dyno on Siren's Call v11/12
We Need Ice V11 
Davita on 25 Cent v5 the most perfect boulder
40 foot highball V2 in Windy Canyon
Hungry Hungry Hippos v12
Stampede Direct Project
Little Pony V5/6
Flash of Ride the White Horse V10 

Friday, June 5, 2015

red rocks

Roadtrip Red Rocks

We got off to a good start. After a great day in Black Velvet we decided to see Kraft and Gateway.  We ran around climbing a lot of classics trying to put in a lot of milage. We stopped at the Monkey Bar Boulder where Davita was getting close on Monkey Bar Right v6. I managed to flash Monkey Bar Direct v8. Feeling good, we went back into Gateway to try Book of Nightmares v11. Personally I think it is one of the best looking lines in Red Rocks. I surprised myself by doing it in a couple tries. Then we went up to Americana Exotica v10 where a cool guy named Nick and I proceeded to try it for a hour and a half before I finally figured out a way that worked for me. That thing is tricky. Such a fun day of climbing.

The weather on the trip was not ideal hovering around 70 degrees. A couple days later it was a little cloudy so I thought I would head back to Kraft to try to improve my flash game. I'm not very good at flashing but it is fun to try. We met up with Isaac Caldiero, a really good climber I had met a couple days ago. It's not very often that I get to climb with people at my level. It's nice to push the session to higher levels. We headed to Angel Dyno v7 where I botched the flash then sent it right after. Next was Progressive Guy v10. On the flash I stuck the crux move when my heel popped. Someone suggested a different heel and there went my second try. Third go I switched back to my heel beta and sent it. We then tried Scare Tactics v10, Isaac gave me a great spray down. Flash go my foot popped on the first move. Pulled right back on and sent. All in all, I such at flashing but I'm getting closer to one day flashing something hard. 

Second comp, first finals. 

The weather was looking like rain for the next couple days so we decided to take part in a competition at the local climbing gym. I had done one comp prier to this one a couple months ago. It was a black light comp. This one was a lot more fun and not a lot of pressure at all. No lines, it felt more like a session. Two climbs into the comp Davita ruptured a pulley on a crimpy line. That was a bummer. I was the only one who managed to send the hardest problem in qualifying. I was really nerves when they called my name for finials. Comps are tricky, you climb hard for three hours then sit around for two hours and cool off then you have to try super hard. I came out of isolation really nervous and not ready to climb hard. There were only two finals problems. First was a dyno to a techy mantle I almost sent but fell off the end. The second was a roof climb that I could not have read worse. After seeing the correct method it didn't look that hard at all which sucked but I guess thats comp climbing for yah. I got fourth. 

First day back real climbing we went back to Black Velvet to finish off Wet Dream. After refiguring out the harder bits I thought to give it a go from the beginning. On the first move my foot popped unexpectedly but I tried to hold it anyway and as I rotated the pulley on my right ring finger inside my palm made a nice pop. ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. no not now! I could barely weigh it. A lot of emotions were running through us with both Davita and I injured. In my rage I was ready to throw in the towel and head home. After I came to my senses I thought we should just take it easy. We did decided there was no way we were going to Hueco not only was it super hot this year but now with both of us injured steep edge climbing was out. Sport climbing was now on the agenda.  

Random 5.11 onsight

Big K v8 Flashed on the walk out one day.
I love this girl.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Road Trip Part 2: Red Rocks 1

Red Rocks

Red Rocks is an amazing climbing destination. It has everything: bouldering, trad, sport climbing, and endless trail systems that are really hard to follow. Of course, most of our time was spent bouldering and thankfully there were awesome blocs to choose from. Ben and I were both able to send two hard lines in one of are first days in Red Rock. Black Velvet has a small concentration of lines but they are beautiful. I was able to take down a line that has crimpy but surprisingly friendly holds called Freedom Fighter v5/6 and this other super cool line called The Little V4.

Freedom Fighter

The Little
The Little felt pretty hard to me, probably because it was a compression line, which I am not very good at. Despite this, it was probably one of my favorite sends of Red Rocks and it is a stand alone awesome line that I would highly recommend. I also did Natasha's Highball V2, which took all my will power and mental strength to flash, but I am so glad I did. It is definitely high and mentally straining but I would also highly recommend this line. It is graded a V2 but the moves are all V0 moves.

Natasha's Highball

Ben was able to send two sweet V12's in the area. He took them both down pretty quickly, each within about 15 tries. The first one he crushed was Abaddon v12. This climb is this really cool overhanging face that ends with a dicey topout, which was probably more scary for me than for Ben. Red Rocks has probably the most beautiful rock I have every seen. The rock has stripes, spots, bumps, and so many other different formations.

It is probably the friendliest sandstone I have ever climbed on. None of us got one hole in our fingers the whole month we were there. One of the only drawbacks to Red Rocks is how spread out it is. Besides the Kraft area, you have to hike on average for about 30 minutes for a very small cluster of boulders or even just one boulder. To Abaddon and The Little it was about a 35 minute hike, but the area you are hiking into, Black Velvet Canyon is a super cool canyon.

Atlas Shrugged

It has these huge jutting walls that have multiple trad climbs on them with perfect maroon colored rock. The boulders sit in the gully below this awesome cliff. The other line Ben sent was Atlas Shrugged V12. This is such a beautiful line that has big friendly holds and cream colored rock. This is probably our best individual climbing day in Red Rocks.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Road Trip: First stop Bishop

This is Davita Gurian. Our first stop on this climbing adventure was Bishop, California. We were originally suppose to meet some friends in Bishop, but we left a few days late and were unable to climb with them. Never the less, we climbed in Bishop and started to hone in on some projects. As we climbed more and more those first days we quickly got reunited with the sharp and slippery rock that is the Buttermilks. It is surprising to me that rock can be sharp, painful, and slippery all at the same time. I began to work on Iron Man Traverse v4, which I personally think is very stiff for a v4 and I wouldn’t mind an upgrade of this line. Maybe it’s because I don’t have much endurance so I get really pumped by the end, but this line just felt so hard to me. I put about 4 days into it and still was unable to make a send before we left.  The moves pulling the lip on Iron Man are truly heartbreaking. 

Sent Cave Problem V4 
One of the days working my proj was pretty exciting because Daniel and Courtney Woods showed up to climb on Iron Man. It would be weird being a pro climber having people just stand around you whispering while taking pictures of you climbing. I also did all the moves on a v6 called Milk the Milks, but I was also unable to put this one together before we left. We were kind of itching to leave because we were really not enjoying the Buttermilk texture. Roxana had been trying Solarium, which is a fun v4 in the Happy’s. She put a few days into this problem as well and got super close but was also unable to send before we left. I personally think the Happy’s are much more fun than the Buttermilks because the rock is so much friendlier. Roxana did put down a really sick v3 called King Tut in the Buttermilks.
Ben was able to put together some really cool lines. 

The coolest looking out of the lines he did was Solitaire Sit v10, which has a wild first move leading into the v8 stand. Besides this quality line, Ben sent Maze of Death v12, which has extremely sharp little crimps and slippery feet. It is amazing in Bishop that foot chips can be so big but so useless because they are so slippery. Granite in Washington is nothing like this. You can have tiny feet with great texture that are more secure than some of the bigger foot holds in Bishop. Maze of Death took Ben about 3 days and he sent it the day before we left. It was a relief when he sent it because Roxana and I didn’t necessarily love the hike up to Maze of Death…and we were also super psyched for Ben for sending it. We stayed in Bishop for about 10 days in total, and by the end we had decided that next year we will skip the sharp and painful holds of Bishop and head straight to Red Rocks or Moe’s Valley in Utah for some fun sandstone climbing. Our next stop is Red Rocks. Bring on the hiking.

Sendage of Maze of Death v12

A scary highball in the Happy's

Ben sending Therapy v8.

He Got Game v11

Having some fun on Heavenly Path.

Even though the rock may not be the best, Bishop is a beautiful place.  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Skate Part

Climbing has been taking up all my time in the last couple years but on rest days I love to skate.
I managed to get out a little with my friends and stack enough footage to put together a short part.
My part starts at 8:40 enjoy.

Spring in Leavy

Leavenworth Spring 2014 from Ben Herrington on Vimeo.

Nate on Geronimo v8
Obe Wan v9

Spring was short lived but fun. I had a really fun trip with Nate and Alex. I wanted to get into outdoor shape by trying to flash some lines. We went to the Star Wars boulder where I managed a flash of Emperor's Lightning v7. Feeling good, I tried Obe Wan v9. Thirty try's later I finally stuck the first move and put it together. Man is it just me or is that thing hard for the grade? Then I tried Yoda v9. Bad foot choices cost me the flash.  I bared down second try and finished it off. Obe Wan felt way harder. Then we headed down the road to Geronimo v8. On the flash go I slapped the lip in the wrong place and fell. I cruised it right after with the right beta. All in all I suck at flashing.

FA of Mr. Yuk v12

 I was feeling a little aimless having finished off a lot of the lines I really wanted to do. I started to search a lot for new projects to get psyched on and returned to ones I had found in the past that I had deemed to hard. I was walking down from the 420 boulders when I remembered a sweet line of barely there holds with a cool starting rail. I went over there to check it out and it was even cooler then I remembered. I got to work cleaning and figuring out the beta. At first, I thought it wouldn't be to hard maybe v10/11. I was getting really close on that first day. I tried to find better beta for the top when I broke a giant foothold and slammed my chest against the wall. The top became a bit harder especially from the beginning. I came back a week later, but it was too hot and I had to wait until the sun set to try it. The holds are so small and barely there. I got really close a couple times then I split my finger on the crux left hand crimp. I tried for a while with tape but I wasn't getting anywhere with such small holds. I ripped the tape off and gave it the classic last go. When I stuck the crux move to the small crimp I thought, don't screw this up. Mr. Yuk v12 was born and my finger was thrashed. It was really cool finding this line not knowing if it would go and then coming full circle and climbing it. That is the feeling that makes developing so fun, the imagination, the unknown.

Nate on Emperor's Lightning v7
Alex on Darth Maul, v5 in my book
Yoda v9 

Should have flashed but I will settle for second go

I found and cleaned the Rager proj it was hiding in plan site
Really cool holds on really good rock

I spent a day at Middle Fork at the Booka Boulders. This line Man About Town v8/9
and The Gong Show v9 are the standout lines of the area. I tried to add a funky
stemming low start to this problem but I couldn't make one of the moves.

Quantum Mechanics v10

Let it be known, that the original Quantum Mechanics was
 done from this start. The v7 start needs to get a different name. 
Davita cruising Giant Man v4
Sick proj. Jug start, it climbs up the arete with little crimp
side pulls to oppose on a 70 degree wall.
Sweet highball project