Archangel Valley

Yesterday, I got an early start and headed up to Archangel Valley to do some new development.  I started the day off trying to find the Aldershade Boulder,  which my old friend Dan Kryger found and showed me a while back(10ish years ago?) along the early part of Archangel Road.  I eventually found it and marked the trail with a big easy to see boulder/cairn.  I don’t remember if we named any of the problems back then, so I’m just going to make them up now.

While I started re-cleaning the boulder, Drew and Will showed up.  They jumped in and kept cleaning as well.

I had forgotten how nice this boulder was.  It has 10 lines on it from v0 to v8 and an easy downclimb on the east side.  The northeast corner/side of the boulder has a v0sds problem which is really nice, but needs a bit more cleaning, and a v2/3sds, called Going Green, up  slightly overhanging arete.  The North side is lower angle and has 3 pretty nice v0’s.  On the west side of the boulder there is a chest height undercut which has two sit starts Chopped Liver-v3 and Chop Suey-v4.  After warming up on these, we headed to the southwest face (see picture).

South face of Aldershade Boulder

We did three fantastic problems on this side, the first two I think we had done stand starts for 10 years ago, but the third was still a project.  First up was a problem called Crawfish Pie – v5 on the left corner of the face.   In the picture this line is under the roof in the middle.  This problem starts on a good side pull for the left hand and either a sidepull/undercling for your right or a ledge just under the left sidepull.  Move right to the crimp on the face, then left under the roof, trend up and left to finish.  Next up was the line following the seam on the left side of the face.  This problem, called Dancing Queen– v7-9ish, starts low on a sidepull in the seam and a low left crimp with good feet. reach up into holds in the seam and follow the seam to the top.  Drew and Will had a very difficult time with this problem, and Drew felt this could be in the v9 range, I felt it maybe around v7ish, but my crimp strength is abnormally good right now, so I’m not sure……

Last up was the project up the right side of the face.  This problem starts on a good two handed jug at head height and moves up and slightly right through some tensiony moves to a good hold at the lip.  After I figured out the lower beta I headed up to clean the top out.  While I was up cleaning and chalking the top out, Drew snagged the FA.  He named it Feelin’ Alright, and this is definitely a five star problem.  Contrary to the previous problem, I felt this was in the v8-9 range while drew felt this was more v6-7ish.  Here’s a Pic of Will on Feelin’ Alright.

Will Crowther on "Feelin' Alright"

Felling pretty good, as the weather seemed to be staying clear, we headed up valley to Archangel Proper.  Next up was a large triangle shaped face visible on the left side of the entrance to Fairangel Valley.  I had seen this face for years, but always remember thinking it was too small.  Last year walking out from the Girlfriend Boulder I walked past this and was astounded to see a couple really nice looking lines of crimps.  Here’s a pic of the boulder after cleaning and climbing.

Triple Take Boulder

We cleaned this and managed to climb three lines, while leaving 3 more to come back to as projects.  Will and I climbed a nice short arete/prow on the side of the boulder (far right in photo), which I called Take a Toke – v5.  Then we moved around to the right side of the face to a really nice looking line.  I climbed this first go and it felt like about v4ish, the Will got on and broke a large critical jug right in the middle of the problem leaving a small sloping cimp/pinch.  We ended climbing two different lines from the same start.  The first goes from the start straight to the arete via a big move, then follow the arete to good hold to pull onto the face.  This problem is called Single Take – v5.  The second line starts from the good start holds reaches right hand to the new crimp/pinch Will “created” via breakage, moves left to a bad crimp, then reaches right to the arete and the good holds to pull onto the face.  This line is called Double Take – v7.

There is also a third line which will continue up the face to the top of the boulder with a pretty scary landing, which we didn’t clean or climb, but looks really good.  I’d like to call the full problem Triple Take, but we’ll see if I  can get out and send.  We did clean two more lines on the left side of the face, but were unable to climb either of them, so they are open projects for anyone interested.

Drew and Will were psyched to go try a problem put up by Ander Rockstad last year.  I wasn’t sure where/what they were talking about so i followed them up to where they thought the problem was.  It turned out to be on a boulder we cleaned/climbed on a few years back, but I don’t think we did the line he worked in the middle of the face. Here’s a pic from 2004 when we first cleaned it.

Carnal Knowledge goes up the middle of the face

Here’s a pic of a really nice line on the same boulder that goes at v4.  I’ll have to see if anyone can remember the name.

Chad Jenson on v4

Anyway, we worked on this problem for a while, but couldn’t quite figure out the beta, so we moved over to a boulder right next to it with this really nice overhanging face.  Once again, here is a pic of the boulder from 2004.  I know we climbed the left arete at about v3ish, but I don’t recall climbing anything up the face at that point.

Tap Shoes Boulder

Drew and I worked this for a while, and I finally managed to send both a left and right version.  Both versions start on the same low small crimp.  The left version seemed easier to me, but had a wicked move where I crossed from a sloping crimp to a good incut. My feet had to cut, which caused a really hard footless twist to try to stick the good hold. The right version had big tension moves off small holds on an overhanging face.  As I said earlier I am abnormally strong right now on this type of climbing, so I have no idea how hard these are.  I’ll let others figure that out.  My guess is somewhere between v6 and v10, which is a pretty big range.  The left version is called Excuse the Booge.  The right version is called Tap Shoes.

While Drew was still working these, I went back to Carnal Knowledge to try to figure out some different Beta.  I found a heel hook that allowed me to stick the opening move.  After figuring out the new Beta, Drew fairly quickly fired it off.  I couldn’t manage to keep my heel on after the opening move, so I never did manage to send.  It’ll wait for another day.  At this point it was quite late and definitely getting cold, so we headed back to the car for the drive out. and down to Drew’s ride.

All in all a good day putting up new lines, rediscovering old lines, and doing some hard climbing.