Naturally I can never just go with the flow. Eventually objectives always sneak in. This year it's the infamous 'Goblin', a Logan Carr problem put up about 10 years ago. It ascends a striking prow in the center of the Depot near Farewell Bend park. It begins with some easy compression moves and progresses to a hateful 2-finger tooth at double head height. From there you must leap to a horrendous rail system from which you carefully top out. So far as we know it has only seen a handful of ascents, no more than 3 or 4.
|Jesse cleaning the hateful crimp.|
It's not all projects and self loathing. I recently had the pleasure of touring around Leavenworth once more. I had been there once prior in 2008 during a hot weekend in May. It was a productive trip, but I left unimpressed with the rock. It seemed like everything I climbed was lowball, flaky, or baby poo soft. This time I was fortunate enough to sample some amazing lines: The Shield, Nosebleed, Cotton Pony, Yos Highball, Thunderdome to name a few. I was successful on everything I tried except the Cotton Pony from the sit. I landed the dyno several times from the mid, but couldnt string it together from the start. Frustrating!
I ended up punching a hole in my finger on the first day. I guess I havent really figured out this pacing thing. Either way, this turned out to be the best strategy as it would dump rain for the next several days, prematurely ending our trip.
Jesse climbing Ginsu V7 at the Depot
Bouldering grades have been something I've never really understood. So many factors come into play when doing near-limit movement that Im reluctant to really give my true opinion. Hence my lack of participation on the 8a.nu bouldering section. For instance, I was able to do Thunderdome V10 relatively fast, then after a rest got completely stymied on a 7 of the same style just left of it. Pimpsqueek V9 is another example. From what I gather, that problem's grade has consensus. Tho I flashed it in 90 degree heat with direct sunlight on it, something I dont normally do. I thought of it no more than 6. The same could be said for my current project. The Goblin has been called v9 and done in a day by a couple people, but for me it's at least 11. Examples like this are very easy to come by.
I usually consider boulder grades as a measure of strength and route grades as a combination of fitness & strength. It serves as a decent justification for the variance you experience from crag to crag. I can see how someone who spends an entire summer developing an area can end up featherbagging their sport lines. You lose a lot in the process. Bouldering on the other hand is a much less involved process. Assuming people grade boulders honestly, one would think convergence would be much more prevalent. This is far from true.
Here are my rules for detecting grades which stray from the mean:
- The problem sees many ascents in a short period of time.
- The problem is '1st of the grade' for many people.
- The problem is in reality a route protected by a crashpad/there are no stopper moves.
- Many child ascents.