2014 Season Roundup

Firstly – I’m sorry we’ve not been posting very much content on the blog this year.  We made the decision to create a facebook page and have been posting pics and short updates there, but that has made it even easier to neglect the blog.  Here’s a link to that page: AK Climber Facebook Page.

It’s also been an odd summer.  David didn’t get back into town until early July from his roadtrip, and I’ve been trying to find the right balance between climbing, family, and work.  We’ve had a couple of attempts at Hatchers gatherings with differing levels of success (credit to Ian for pushing these through).  We’ve had alot of rain, some sun, some new development, some filling in at main areas, old testpieces getting repeats, new testpieces getting repeats, and new testpieces getting sent.  We learned to deal with the bridge being closed, which helped pushed exploration into Reed Valley, Sydney Creek, and The Lost World areas.

The July Boulderfest ended up with pouring rain through the morning, but a motivated group still climbing in the rain, and while the sun came out in the afternoon, psyche was a bit low (at least for me) due to being soaking wet.  The August Bloc Party ended up with a small but solid group coming out and perhaps the largest number of boulder pads in Hatchers at any one time, culminating in a new highball being cleaned and climbed and using all of them (aptly named Bloc Party-v5).

Will on Bloc Party

Will got back in town in late June and David got back in early July and the bouldering development really started.  With the Archangel road bridge closed, it really pushed the development into different areas than the last couple of years.  In the Reed Valley, David, Will, and miscellaneous others developed the Wetness and K-Bone Boulders in the lower valley (before snowbird Slab) and the Trailside and Celebrity Shoutout boulders in Lower upper Reed Valley (just past the gap) along with miscellaneous other problems. Davids first foray though was up the Sydney Creek drainage on the left side of Archangel Road.  He developed the “” boulder there which hosts the new classic Rock ‘em Sock ‘em v6/7 along with another 9 problems in the area.  Some new stuff was also cleaned and developed in the Lost World, Upper Roadside, Diamond South, and Fairangel Talus areas.

Some notable repeats also happened this year with the biggest being the 2nd ascent of the highball testpiece Zen by Will, which had gone 10 years before being repeated.  David and Hunter both repeated Through the Looking Glass (soft v10?) for the 2nd and 3rd ascents.  Hunter snagged the 3rd(?) ascent of Traffic up at Ptarmigan, and the 2nd ascent of Falling Up – v9 out at Byron.

Right towards the end of the season David found and put up what he considers his best FA to date – A Vertical Life.  This line is a tall proud arete highball in the Reed area  which  David found, cleaned, hauled pads, and climbed all solo.

A Vertical Life – David Funatake

I also managed a trio of new testpieces in the last few days knocking off Down with the Brown-v11/12? which is the full sit start to Brown Hole, The Bear King v11/12? which is a proud arete on the Mr Big boulder, and finally my proudest send to date More Buff than Muff v13 – The old project to the right of muffin man.

More Buff than Muff

I’ll put together another blog post on the last one, but until then the season is still holding on, conditions are prime here in Alaska, so get out there and CLIMB!!!!!