Cleaning Up Projects at Byron

I headed out on Thursday with Tanya to show her the bouldering at Byron and to explore the area a bit more.  While I’ve had a few very good days out at Byron, doing many of the classic lines, there are still many problems I haven’t done as well as projects I’ve been keen to try. This was also my first time to Byron without David and it was nice to have the guidebook as a reference.

We started off at the Arkenstone Boulder and warmed up on the two slab problems to the left of the problem listed in the guidebook as a project, and another problem on the boulder next to the Arkenstone Boulder.  These problems were all pretty fun, and a good way to remember the nature of the rock at Byron.  After that I jumped on the Arkenstone Project.  This proud problem was sent a couple of weeks ago by Jamie Emerson during the film project and called Smaug – v8.  It has been high on my to do list since I first saw it last summer, but I had been intimidated by the landing.  The top moves are pretty committing, and the landing is pretty rough.  I was able to do all of the bottom moves quickly, and then took a few tries to figure out some solid controlled beta for the top, and was able to send it next go.

Sticking the Lip on the Arkenstone Project

Sticking the lip on the Smaug

Next up was heading over to the Erotics boulder for Tanya to try Glacial Erotics and for me to try the Oosik Project (the left arete).  Tanya made good progress on Glacial Erotics, slowly figuring out the crux opening moves.

Tanya Working the Crux of Glacial Erotics

Meanwhile, I looked at the arete and tried to decide if I should really try it.  Given that my last time out on the arete had resulted in this:

Me ripping the flake off the left arete.  You can see the flake in the air in front of my chest.

Me ripping the flake off the left arete. You can see the flake in the air in front of my chest.

I wasn’t very keen to try the full arete without extra pads and spotters.  As I was looking at it, I noticed that it looked like you could link the sit start of the arete into the top of Glacial Erotics.  This seemed much more reasonable for the day since I was confident about the topout. A bit of beta-deciphering and I was able to put together this new line resulting in C0dependency – v7.

After a bit of time for both of us playing on other problems on the Erotics Boulder, we headed over to the Lorax Boulder.  I had never been to this boulder, and I was blown away by how big and cool the main face was.  David had told me that the Once-ler was a stellar line I needed to get on, so that was the main goal.  During the filming a couple of weeks ago, Stephan, Keenen, Jamie, and Wendy had all come out and tried this line with no success for any of them, and they were pretty convinced it was harder than David let on, so I wasn’t sure how it would go.  The Once-ler climbs up an overhanging dihedral on pretty cool holds and some funky stemming, to a huge move at the top.  For David this move is a small jump to a jug with a huge swing.  I slowly figured out the bottom stemming section, which seemed ridiculous at first, but got easier and easier as the moves started to flow.  Once I got to the top, I was able to just barely make the span without jumping, but still had a really cool foot cutting moment.  I have to agree with David that this is a really stellar v6 and one that anyone climbing the grade should do.  The top moves are really intimidating, but I think that with good pads and spotters the move is safer than it would appear.

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Sticking the Lip on the Once-ler

After doing the Once-ler, I set my sights on a really nice looking project to the right, while Tanya sent the v4 on the left arete, and started working Fire Escape – v5 (which by the way has had the top holds mostly cleaned now, and is a REALLY good problem).  David described the project in the guidebook as “you will need to pull hard on features that don’t want to be pulled.”  After trying to figure out how to get my butt off the ground unsuccessfully for a while, I was inclined to agree.  But like most things, as the beta slowly started to sort itself out, I was able to channel my inner ninja and figure out the trickery that allowed upward progress.  A short while later, The Truffalo Tree – v8 (Page 75 #4) came to life.  As the day wound down, I was also able to knock off another project and add Thneed -v6ish (page 75 #6), cleaning the upper part as I climbed it resulting in a brutal calf workout.