More New Problems in Hatcher Pass, and The Final Days of Filming!

On Saturday, David and I headed up to Archangel with plans to meet Chris B and do a bit of bouldering, then meet Chris Alstrin and Jared to get some more video shot at the Diamond.  Chris B, David and I warmed up at the Fly Right Boulder, then headed over to do a little cleaning on the Zen Boulder.  First up on the Zen Boulder was the face to the left of Zen (guidebook page 134, problem #2)  We had tried this ground up many years ago (probably in 2004) but the upper holds needed cleaning, so we didn’t get very far.  After cleaning this on rope, we sorted out the pads and headed off, David and I were both able to climb it. in relatively short order, and Chris B made it to the last move, but couldn’t get his feet sorted before his skin quit on him.  Clarity- v4, starts matched on a decent rail at about head height with poor feet, makes a move right to a good gaston, then heads up the face on good holds and big moves to a huge reach for the lug lip. This is a 5 star problem, and with a few pads the landing is reasonable.

David on New Problem - V4

David on Clarity – V4

Next up was cleaning and figuring out the line to the right of Zen around the arete.  After a bit of beta work, I was able to send the stand start (Guidebook page 134 problem #4 – Breakdown – v7) which starts with the left hand pinching the arete and the right hand on one of several options around head height, pulls on and makes a hard right hand move to a sloper, then does a couple of bumps into a good rail.  From here I traversed right into an easy top out.  It does look possible to go straight up from here, but I hadn’t cleaned it and was a bit concerned about the fall.  I also added a sit start to this problem (v9) which starts left hand on a crimp, and right hand down low on a rail.  Make a move to a thin sharp crimp for the right hand, extend out left to the arete pinch, then drop into the sloper and finish as for the stand start.  We also cleaned and climbed Guidebook page 134 problem 5 – Simpler – v1 while we were there.

After that we headed back over toward Fly Right Boulder and ran in Jamie, Wendy, Chris and Jared.  They wanted to film a couple of problems we had put up last summer near Niffleheim, so we headed back that way, and while we were walking by Sweet Home Alaska, I decided I had to try it.  I’ve been walking by this arete for years and have never really given it a good effort, which is ridiculous as it is one of the most aesthetic and striking problems around.  We set down the pads, and Jamie showed me the beta Brian had used to send it two years ago.  After sussing out the top moves, I was able to climb it in just a few tries which felt great.  Jamie and David were also working on it, with Jamie coming agonizingly close and peeling off over and over.  After way too many attempts, Jamie was able to do the 3rd ascent of Sweet Home Alaska, and Chris was on hand to film both ascents, so hopefully we’ll see some great footage of it.

Jamie after sticking the second move of Sweet Home Alaska - v9

Jamie after sticking the second move of Sweet Home Alaska – v9

After that we headed up to EBM and HonkyTonk to try and get those on film, which ended up being successful as well, although in trying Honkytonk Direct I broke a chunk off the crux sidepull making it a touch harder, but still climbable.

On Sunday, a group headed up to Independence Mine to do some filming, and David and I decided to head up to do some recon and check things out as well.  I was amped to get on “The Projects”.  Jared, Keenen, Jamie, Wendy, Chris and Kaden were all out there at the Fantasia Boulders when David and I got there.  Jamie made a really impressive flash of The Nothing, while the other guys worked on Falcor and Rockbiter.  Kaden was able to do his first ever outside boulder problems, and learn about sharp rock :)

I headed over to finish cleaning the projects and went to work.  We were able to send 4 of the 7 projects listed in the guidebook on page 174 and also add one not listed.  Here are the names/grades to fill in the guidebook:

1. Rock n Roll v5sd

5. v1

6. Petting a Porcupine v6sd

7. Kick Ass Mustache v2sd

8. Incidental v5sd – This problem starts on the same holds as #7, and head up and left on good crimps to a big throw at the top.


David at the top of Kick Ass Mustache – v2