Opening Tag

A place where I can openly indulge my megomania

Monday, June 3, 2013


Let's see here....Ive been bouldering. Yeah, I've said it. Bouldering. Im ashamed to admit it. I feel lazy about my climbing to say the least. No training, which is highly unusual for me, as my spring regiment has been a staple of my climbing for the last decade. It's surprisingly liberating. Whenever the mood strikes me, I jump in my car, drive 5 minutes, get a short session in, and go home after I've wrecked my skin. Easy!

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 odd having a boulder project,  a project where I have to work the moves. So far I have only made contact with the crux holds. A much different scenario than Im used to. Normally when working a sport route I can do all the moves first go and the problem becomes a strategy/fitness issue. Now that Im a few sessions it still feels miles away. Im at the point now where I feel it's necessary to take drastic measures (rope + Gri Gri) to get this thing figured out. I can only waste so much skin on this before I start to regress from lack of variety.

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 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.
Who knows, maybe one day I'll figure this out. I guess you'll know when you see my 8a bouldering card.


  1. The depot is possibly the most underrated bouldering area in the US. Good luck on the Goblin, have you tried going for the crimp rail as a right hand gaston off of the heinous crimp instead of the left hand chuck fest? I too saw that it been graded as a 9... FTW? But he also called The Wizard an 8? I'm done with bouldering grades... Well that's a lie. For some reason I still enjoy them--or maybe just complaining about them. Anyway, have you put any effort into The Rack? Or the epic project that goes up and left on The Rack instead of up and
    right? I apologize with hittin you with this flurry of questions. It seems that I have stumbled into some basaltic nostalgia. Although I can deal with the lack of dust. Why is it so dusty there??


  2. Also, perhaps it has already been discussed, but is this a place for your megalomania? Or Megomania? Because if indeed it's for Megomania, there needs to be a LOT more pictures of Megan Fox.

  3. Funny you mention that method. That's the way I was attempting it.

    As for those other problems, I actually have no idea what they are. I've done most of the things in the area, just have no idea what they're called.

  4. The Rack is the problem starting on the sloper at the base of the jug warm up to the left of the wizard. You go up into the scar in the middle of the face, then work up and right and finish on the holds at the top of the warm up. Greg put a rope on it one time and we cleaned it, but failed on a tough blocky undercling. There is a project that goes up and left from the scar too that Rob Reynolds pointed out to me. Both of these routes are super proud and I think the Rack has only been done once. Supposedly it was Tommy Caldwell, but this is hearsay. Good luck on The Goblin!

  5. One year anniversary of your last post.
    RIP paleo blog

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