giovedì 30 gennaio 2014

Red rocks - The second part

With the ascent of the incredible “Meadowlark lemon” I finished my trip to Red rocks. Two weeks ran really quickly and the time looked faster than in other climbing moments. During the second part of my stay, I had also two pretty nice resting days, when Giulia and I enjoyed two of the great natural parks of the country. The first of these has been the death valley national park, one of the hottest point on the earth with its depression below the sea level. The driving required 2 hours from Vegas, but it has been definitively worthy. I love seeing natural places and this one is really particular. It is huge and we had just time to check three of the many spots that the park offers. It has really different contests from salt dunes, sailing stones, sandy dunes, rocky dunes, desert valley, colored conformations, sales desert and many other natural features. We just visit the sandy dunes, the salt expanses, Zabriski point and the colored mountains. It was fun. The second day in a park was in the Bryce canyon, located 2500 meters on the sea level. I was quite doubtful about this, but in the end we decided to go, despite the 4 hours of car to move towards Utah. Probably it doesn't worth the long driving from Vegas in a day, But it is certainly another amazing environment I saw. It was not various as death valley, it has basically just one landscape but it is breathtaking. Those are two photos that I tried to take. On the web you can find best photos that represent what the nature can do.

Death Valley National Park - CA

Bryce Canyon National Park - UT

The second week in Vegas began with a day in “Red Spring” sector, a new area for us. The place is close to a pic nic area, where every persons asked us about the use of the pads. In the morning I checked the cool wall of "the red wave" V10, an historical wall that counts just one move with a big swing. I completed it after few goes and it was a beautiful feeling, like many essential problems are able to give. I was happy for its simplicity and its aspect. The other good day was in Gateway canyon when I climbed again in Giant boulder area sending "Lethal design" V12, one of the worst in Red Rocks in my opinion, "Stake your claim" V9, "Abstraction" V9 and I missed the single move of "Aktrite". "Abstraction" is another impressive problem I did there. It is simply emotional at its sight. It appears like a big chip of milky chocolate, with sidepulls for the right hand and a lip for the left one, characterized by a technical climbing style that recall me Fontainebleau. It looked perfect. I was under it with Daniel, a guy from California I met in the morning and we were both syked to try this inviting piece of sandstone. We tried to figure it out and after some time of work and some pushing each other, we understood a possible beta. I failed at the top since I was afraid, so we quickly went to took other pads under the giant boulder. We were both happy to have find a good beta that would have worked on a this arête. We covered every stones with the pads and safely I reached the top. I was dazzled again. It deals of one of the best problems of this difficult I have done and thanks to its spotting I was able to send.

Abstraction V9. Photo Giulia Paoletti


The day after I came back In Black velvet canyon where I finished the line of "wet dream" V12. After the pumpy sending I rested a bit and I understood still once again how strange is bouldering. I put the pad to try the right version, which is graded easier, just curious to try the different moves of the bottom. The first part went pretty well and I reached the end where from a slopy good rail you have to lock the finger in a crack (same moves of the original version). I tried 5 or 6 times and I wasn't anymore able to lock them. I was with the same hands, same feet but maybe, coming from the right, my position was just a bit off by the correct one and I went down. I became crazy and at the same time happy to see every time how the bouldering requires precision, technique with the right balancing of strength and body positions in the correct moment. A detailed difference can do a big change from sending a problem or failing it more and more, attempts after attempts just for a question of millimeters. it is hard and funny at the same moment.
In the afternoon I tried a possible left start version, that would have joined into "wet dream" adding three more moves. The start might be not perfectly logical, but the moves and the rock of the first rail are awesome, so I felt motivated to try. I linked the first problem discovering the beta and I started to be positive. After a long rest I gave a try and I failed at the end, tired, pumpy and a bit nervous. I was too tired to try it once more, since it would have been too physical for the few energies I had. So I did "red dragon" V6 and then I got back home to eat.

On Wednesday we planned to go to check the super classic “stand and deliver” V9/V10, at the top of a canyon called Juniper. I knew the hiking would have been really long, but I didn’t aspect such a tiring path. We took one hour and 10 minutes to reach this problem but the walking worth a lot for this gem that isn’t so hard but it has a high quality rock. The flash attempt was ridiculous as usual and I was at the top on my second go. While doing its mantle , every kind of doubt about the hiking vanished. In the evening we had still a bit of time to check “Siren’s call” V11 in Pine creek canyon since it was on the way of the return. The day was closed successfully, taking the ascent of this little boulder with super essential moves.

I needed a rest. My plans were to go back on Meadowlark but I would have liked to be totally new to try it seriously, so we took two full days off. They worked well and they gave me a full charge of energy that were really helpful on the sessions on Meadowlark on Saturday.
After that my skin wasn’t good, but I felt that I would have had to attempt one more day the left version of “wet dream” in Black velvet canyon. Also this one has been put up by Ethan Pringle, who got free some good lines out of Vegas. The first part of the problem went well as usual but I still had troubles on the crack lock at the end. I wasn’t able to understand the reason of this issue. Every time the lock went well but from the previous day I wasn’t any more capable of using that strange hold. It was frustrating. Moreover I knew it was the last day in the desert and my skin started to be bad. I knew that If I would have climbed it I would have had just few more goes. Giulia kindly pushed me to feel more times the problematic crack, and I fall every time. I tried to lock the fingers, I got up the foot and I went out. After many goes I finally understood a different and better position, probably the first used in the first day, when the lock was perfect. It was just a small difference, almost imperceptible that at the end made a huge improvement. I did the single move and I got a long rest. Some girls were trying “wet dream” and I looked at them really impressed. The line is totally physical and they were able to do many moves on this “male” overhanging. It was nice to see their motivation. The rest finished and I finally reached the top of this left version. I was happy to have understood my problems about that hold.

The days was at the end. I didn’t want to leave this area and a bit of melancholy grew up. I climbed the last easy ascent of “Natasha’s highball” and then I called it the day.

Now we are in Bishop and the rock is totally different. Sharp granite, painful edges and bad holds. I hope to get more positive feeling in the next weeks of climbing in this area.

The life in Black Velvet Canyon


Nocturnal Emissions V13/Wet Dream V12. Photo Giulia Paoletti
Nocturnal Emissions V13. Photo Giulia Paoletti