Monday, October 16, 2006

Four Friends, Three Pads, Two Six-Packs Of Beer And One Uncharted Bouldering Area.

In an attempt to find some form of climbing that is not far from the paved road—as the weather was taking a turn for the worst and there is nothing more exciting than driving the “clay-dirt” roads just outside of Disappointment Valley—Jim, Karen, Daiva and I went looking for boulders. Out of the vehicles for the first time in hours, Jim and I went for a bit of a jaunt. At first, the quality of what we were finding was not impressive. Later, back at the car, Jim said he had found a few boulders over a ridge that where worth a better look. So, what do we all do, we gear up and head-out. With clouds looming over head and rain eminent, we cached out pads and packs under an overhang at the first boulder we encountered and took off again in search of “it”—convinced it would rain before we would get a chance to climb. Boulder after boulder, we became convinced that the area had potential—OK it’s not the “mother-load” we were all hoping for, but it’ll do. Then we turned an observational corner and there “it” was (see photo ).

After an extensive examination of the boulders and convinced we would come back in the morning, we were “charged”—our motivation was very high. Back at our cache—it was not yet raining—we broke out the pads and got to work clearing landings, cleaning holds and working problems. Four hours, three boulders, two beers and a fist full of problems climbed, the sound of thunder and a wall of rain heading our way, we charged back to the car. Just in time.

Normally, soft rock such as this cannot be climbed on after a serious soaking. Bummer for us! What to do? Head home, camp…. But the bouldering looked so damn good. The idea of setting up the tents in a down poor was not worth entertaining. We pulled our cars closer. After a minute of talking out loud, we decided to stick it out—in a cheep (very cheep) motel.

We would be back in the morning! And what a day we had. We wasted ourselves…by 5:00 pm we could climb no more. Here is some of what we found (photos).

And there is more! More what? More ridges, more boulders, more climbing—lots more!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Telluride Area Ice Conditions 2006/2007

Ice is here to stay. Winter is early. Here is a photo of BV Falls take 12-10-06.. Ingram Falls in connected, but still has a way to go to be considered before it can be considered “full” conditions. If your looking for a challenge Ingram may be for you!
Bear Creek ice is in good condition. Ames Falls is in also—slabs on the left and the main falls are climbable. Silver Pick Falls is in but thin (I have not been to the base yet this year, I have seen it from the road). It is snowing hard right now (8:00am 12-11-06). The Telluride Ski Area has accumulated well over 12 inches thus far (last 24 hrs) and there is no sign of it letting up. Climb safe!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tabeguache Climbing Area

Tabeguache climbing area is a hidden treasure sporting just over 14 bolted sport routes; albeit not easy to find, located well off the beaten path and easier to show on a map than to attempt to describe in words. But here goes; From Naturita, make a right on 97 (this will take you right to Nucla). Once in Nucla continue north to the end of town—continue straight along this road (97/Main St), it will begin heading west/left. Right on 27 Rd., stay left (27 Rd. will head off to the right)…you will now be on AA Rd (heading west). Right at Z26 Rd (north), and make a left at the “T” (staying on Z26 Rd.). This road will descend into a canyon and back up to a mesa. Once on the mesa heading north about a mile or so, look for a two-track road on the right (take this right). In a little ways you should pass an old crane (from the 50’s), then a fence (leave it how you found it). Then you come to a 4-way intersection (of the two-track dirt road type)—continue straight (same direction you are heading). From this intersection drive about 1/4 mile…look for an even less distinguishable road on your left—take it. This road will continue for some time and eventually begin to head left/west—this is the roughest part of the drive…look for a big, flat and seemingly open area to park. Look for a trail that heads to the top of the cliff—head left along the cliff. You will see anchors along the top of the cliff. Rap in or look for the weakness in the cliff (about 10 minutes hike). Also see The Wild Wild West climbing guide for a map (p. 172). I will create topo’s for this area in the future (as soon as I can use Illustrator on my MacBook Pro). Photo: Charlie Fowler on The Clean Air Standard, 5.11-. Other *** (three star) routes include Lichen It Alot, 5.10-, Tumbling Tumbleweeds, 5.11-, and Fair And Balanced, 5.11.