Below Zero Sucks – Must Remember Projects

I’m addicted to climbing.   I think about it all the time, I dream about it, I fantasize about climbing routes and problems.  I like to do other things, but I’m addicted to climbing.  Sometimes that makes living in Alaska tough.  Particularly when the weather decides to sit between -10°F and 0°F for weeks on end. 

Anchorage Weather 2012

It’s too cold to do most things.  Too cold to skate ski, too cold to get out backcountry skiing (for me at least – I’m not that hardcore), too cold to start the car some mornings.

So to combat this cold, I’ve been trying to remember all of my projects for the summer.  Jamie Emerson listed a few on his blog from his trip last summer (see here: , and I’ve got quite a few more(too many actually), so here’s my top 5 list (in order of my priority).

1.) The Barstool Project – Awesome arete in the talus below Niffleheim.  I worked this a bit last summer and broke the starting right crimp.  This is basically a gnarly sidepull crimp for the right, a bad sloper for the left, tension of a left heel? and pop up to a decent left crimp.  Set up for a big balancy move to the lip and top out.  Oh yeah, all of this over an intimidating landing pit.  Below is a shot of me on getting ready to do the move to the lip.

Todd working the upper moves of a project after breaking one of the start holds

2.)  The Abomination Project – This project sits just off the trail above the monolith.  Drew and I worked this a bit last summer and Drew stuck the first move.  I really want to get back and clean and try this on a day with better conditions. It starts with a sick core tension move off a poor crimp and heel hook, trending left into better holds.  I direct finish would add what look like hard moves high up, although this hasn’t been cleaned at all.

3.) The Glacial Erotics Projects (plus everything else at Byron) – I only managed to get 1 day in out at Byron, and that was cut short by an unfortunate injury.   Before the injury, we had cleaned a new arete line on the Glacial Erotics boulder which I am super excited to get back to.  In addition to this arete, the center of the face and the right arete had more potential….  Not to mention all of the other pics David’s shown me.


Cleaning a new project on the Glacial Erotics Boulder

 4.) Mr. Universe(sit) – This project is on the Traffic boulder in Ptarmigan between Traffic and Epiphany.  I’ve been working this on and off, strong and weak for over 10 years now.  Every move has been done, but I’ve never even been close to linkage.  The crux move is using a dead vertical sidepull while inverted with just a low left heel hook for opposition and moving to a  horrible left hand sloper at full extension.  If your heel stays, you’ve done the crux, now just a taxing sloping slap fest to finish.  This has been on my list way too long and needs to get done.

5.) Fairangel Arete – Jamie found, cleaned and worked this with no luck (either weather or success), and so it sits as a stunning project just waiting to get sent.  This one is about 2/3rd of the way up Tunnel Vision Gulley on the left side.  Jamie has a nice shot of it here:

What are your projects?  What motivates you during the cold dark winter inside?