dinsdag 24 mei 2011

Joe's Valley - The movie!

Here is a nice little movie of Joe's valley, edited by my colorado friend Thomas Seymore!

Joe's Valley from Thomas Seymour on Vimeo.

donderdag 19 mei 2011

Some climbing done!

Last Sunday evening I’ve met two French guys where I was camped. Nicolas AndrĂ© and Matthieu Mercier. They are on the road for 6 months, first they will spend 9 weeks in the states, after that they’ll go to South Africa and New Zealand.

On Monday I climbed with Matthieu, he is more a multi-pitch climber and he even does some alpine climbing. Nicolas is more of a boulderer, and a really strong one to.
We tried to climb ‘Monkey Fingers’, an 8 pitch long 5.12b. The 12b pitch was the third one witch I tried to on sight but it didn’t work. It was a really small finger crack in a corner, even the book says harder for big handed folks! I felt it!
The rest of the route we could finish without any problems! It was a real adventure again those multi-pitches.On Tuesday we climbed with three, it was going really slow because of all the rope organizing but it worked. We tried ‘Plan B’, a 6 pitch long 5.12b. This one was definitely a little bit harder! The second pitch was a nice Indian Creek style splitter witch I lead without problems because of the Indian Creek experience. The third pitch was pretty dangerous, Matthieu lead it very good.

After that I and Nico followed. Just before the anchor was a huge pillar the size of a fridge that moved 5cm backwards when I was hanging on it. I kept my balance and leaned forward again to put my weight of the fridge sized rock! I screamed pretty loud because I thought I was falling with that fridge in my hands! Luckily nothing happened and I could continue in the 4th pitch. This was the crux pitch of the route! It was a 12b roof-crack, but long and big! I liked it a lot but I fell twice! If I would try it again I think I’m able to do it. After that Matthieu and Nicolas followed, but because it was a big roof there was a lot of friction. We also lost one Camalot #1, we bought a new one together afterwards.
Because of this crazy friction in the roof, the rope was getting used! At the end Matthieu fell and I just heard him screaming pretty loud. I had no idea what was going on because I couldn’t see him. After we did some crazy rescue style I saw that the mantle of the rope 2 meters above his nut was broken and you could see the core very well. That last part of the roof I belayed him on a thin rope we had to haul up our bag! Luckily everything worked out pretty well and we didn’t have an accident, we’ve just lost a cam. After Nico tried to get the Camelot back for 30 minutes we were tired of all the shit that had happened and came down. Too bad because it was a really nice line! Just not a line you want to climb with three people.
Afterwards in the coffee shop we looked back on the day and had a lot of fun. Those days need to be there, that’s how you get experienced!

Yesterday we wanted to climb again but the rain made us leave Zion national Park. I came to Las Vegas to pick up my title of my car and stayed at the house where my car is registered. Rian, the owner of the house, let me wash my clothes, clean my whole car out and finally wash myself in his house! It feels awesome to have everything clean. I’ve vacuumed my whole car, really everything. This all because I’m scared a bear is going to yank out one of my doors to get in for food!

So now I’m going to leave Las Vegas again and go to Yosemite! I’m really excited because I know a lot of people over there right now! And in 10 days Florian is coming!

I also doubled my rack! I've almost two full racks from 0.3 up to 3!

maandag 16 mei 2011

In Zion, Utah but without climbing!

I’ve spent two days in Zion right now! I still didn’t climb because I can’t find a climbing partner. The guy were I normally should have climbed with today, Arturro from St George, fell with his mountain bike yesterday so he can’t climb anymore.

Yesterday I walked around trough the whole canyon, I saw the climbs I would like to climb. Moonlight Buttress looks amazing, it motivated me even more!
I’ve already a lot of contacts now here in Springdale. Now it’s just a matter of time to wait until some local has time to climb.

Today I went to Bryce Canyon, 1.5 hour north from Zion. It was beautiful but I still feel frustrated because I couldn’t climb while I’m in an amazing multipitch sandstone area! Enjoy some of my pictures from the view of a tourist!

zaterdag 14 mei 2011

Joe's Valley and heaven food!

It has been a while ago since I wrote a blog post. I’ve spent the past five days in Joe’s Valley with Tom, Mike and TJ. Mike left after one day to take a little break in his one year climbing trip. He went back home for two weeks, really long I think! So I had to say goodbye to Mike for a long while, because from now on our future destinations are not the same anymore!

I’ve had quite an adventure with the car on my way to Joe’s Valley. When I just past Green River my van acted really strange, it was something with the transmission that was clear. I stopped at a rest area where I saw that there was steam coming from underneath the car. I let the engine cool down a little and filled up the transmission oil, it was completely empty. There was definitely a leak somewhere. I realized that I had to go back to Green River to see a mechanic. After an hour waiting I left on the highway the same way I was going until I saw a place where I could make a U-turn. This U-turn was illegal so I was happy no cop saw me. Towards Green River it was all downhill so I’ve put the car in neutral and just rolled down 15 miles, pretty slow. In Green River I saw a mechanic who told me I probably could drive toward Price the closest ‘bigger’ city where they probably could fix my car. And I did those 60 miles with one quart of transmission oil in the engine. When I arrived in Price it was already 9pm so I slept there at a Wal-Mart parking lot. The next day was a Saturday and almost every mechanic was closed, I was almost crying when I found a little mechanic named John! Mechanic John was my hero for the day! He found out where the leak was and showed me everything. Now I know my car a little better and know what was going on. He even fed me some cinnamon rolls and coffee. At 10:30am I left Price and drove 35 miles towards Joe’s valley.

That same day I climbed on my own a little because the others took a rest day. It was strange to boulder after 1 month of trad-climbing but it was a good thing for my body and strength.
The second day I did already a nice V9 named ‘Worse case scenario’. I felt I had to build up my pure power again but it came back fast.

Next day we took a rest day because of the rain, it was raining and even snowing pretty bad! We went to town and later on TJ, Tom and I watched Watchmen in the bus. That was a perfect rainy rest day activity! The next day the weather looked better in the morning. We could climb the whole morning until it started to rain again. We did some beautiful slabs on a boulder half in the river! Really beautiful climbing there. It reminds me a lot at Fontaine Bleau! Doing some nice V8 slabs with tiny footholds and big slopers. So the heavy rain sent us back to the bus to watch another movie. Rain is annoying when you’re psyched!
My 5th day at Joe’s valley was amazing, I flashed 5 V7’s and one I did second go! Everything was just flowing and going! I also did a nice and powerful V9.

Joe’s valley was a nice relief from all the dessert climbing I did during this trip. Although Joe’s is still high dessert it was still nice to climb between some trees who give that awesome smell you forget when you’re in the low dessert all the time. Most of the boulders are some amazing quality, the sandstone is pretty hard and you can find a lot of different styles. From overhang crimps to hard slabs on slopers! The boulders have a nice bleu color with orange strikes. I could stay here definitely longer but I had to leave if I still wanted to climb in Zion before it’s too hot. I’m sure it was a good thing to do some bouldering for five days in combination with all the trad-climbing. Keep my strength on an acceptable level.

Now I’m in Zion for my first day. I haven’t been in the canyon yet, I’ll do that in an hour! I’m excited. I just don’t have a climbing partner for today. Tomorrow I will climb whit Arturro Calvo, he is a climber who lives in St George. A friend of mine, Lauren Lee, connected me with Arturro. He doesn’t speak much English, most of the time he speaks Spanish. So good for me, I hope to learn a little bit Spanish. I’m planning to try Moonlight Buttress one of these days. Before I try that 10 pitch V 5.12d I want to try something easier to get used to the style!

In Joe’s valley I made my best dinner ever! It was so good that I’ll give the recipe on my blog!

- First you learn how to make a campfire if you don’t know how to do it yet. Wait until you have a lot of nice hot red cols.
- You wrap a whole sweet potato in aluminum foil and throw it in the cols for about 40 minutes.
- Wrap some onion and carrots in some foil too, add some pepper, garlic salt and olive oil! Throw this package of heaven in the fire for about 20 minutes (depends how good your fire is.)
- When the vegetables are almost cooked you take them out of the fire and add some honey and cheddar cheese. Now, throw the package of ultimate heaven back in the fire for 2 minutes!
- When both, potato and vegetables, are ready you take them out of the fire.
- Now you take your time to make heavens bites! First you take a salty cracker, put a slice of sweet potato on top of that cracker. On top of that you put a piece of smoked trout (river fish). And as final touch you put the honey, cheese vegetables on top of the tower of happiness!
- Take that piece of happiness and enjoy your life!

I hope someone will try this because it’s really good! I feel definitely a better person right now!

vrijdag 6 mei 2011

Send of 'Air Swedin' 5.13R

Bitch yeah! Life is good!
After the really nice rest days at Tom’s dad Condo in Moab Kevin, Liesel and I went back to the lovely Creek! Tom and Mike left to Joe’s Valley to do their boulder thing again!

On Monday Kevin, Liesel and I woke up early enough to go and try ‘Air Swedin’ again! I tried it once more in top(gay)rope and then gave it a real try with all the gear! This was my second try on lead and my 4th try in general. I felt way better while I was climbing but I screwed up my beta just before I could place the C3 #0 BD and I fell, I fell deep, really deep! I was psyched! Not scared at all, just really concentrated! I love that feeling, that’s why I climb! After that try, the line was too much in the sun to try it again! So I waited the rest of the day. I wanted to climb but I had a pretty bad headache so a just slept in a little place of shade behind a little boulder. When that headache was a little better I climbed a little to stay awake and ready for a second try in the late afternoon when the line was back in the shade.
At six pm I tried it again! And guess what? I flew up that line like it was nothing! I was in the best focus ever! And it’s pretty necessary to be in a good focus if you do the crux of a 13R 3 meters above a tiny piece of gear! I love this line and am glad I could do it!

The day after that Indian Creek for me was open again! We went to the 4x4 wall where I did my first 5.12+ (‘Hydraulic Pump’) only in my second go! It’s a nice .5 to .75 BD splitter with some lay-backing and two difficult corner switches at the start and in the end!
Those two last days where great and I feel I’m really getting in to crack climbing!

On Wednesday I had an easier day of climbing but a lot of hiking was involved! Ken (One of my favorite Canadian!) and I did the North Six Shooter! This is one of the two obvious towers in Indian Creek! The hike took us two hours but it was worth it. We did the line called ‘Lightning Bolt Cracks’ (5.11-). This is only a three pitch line but it’s at the highest point in the Creek and it’s nice and exposed! Ken lead the first pitch and I lead the second and the third because of the rotten anchor at the second pitch. The last pitch is a 5.9 unprotected squeeze chimney! For the ones who don’t know what a chimney is, just think about a crack in the rock that is too big to place fingers, hands, arms, feet or legs! But the crack is big enough to crawl in to! So I got as deep as I could into that crack and used my feet, knees, back and hands to go up! You can see at as two opposite walls with nothing to hold on and you just compress your body between the walls and struggle your way up! And the squeeze of squeeze chimney means that it’s pretty small. My head and helmet got stuck a couple of times! Really scary climbing because once you relax your body, you just slip down! Even this was an awesome experience and I’ll do it again!
The view from the top of the tower was amazing, we could see all over the Creek, Canyon lands and the Abajo Mountains.

Yesterday I found somebody to go to Zion National Park but this morning he changed his mind and decided to go home today according to his original plan! So I still don’t have a climbing partner for Zion! I really want to do ‘Moonlight Buttress’ (V 5.12d), a hard but classic 9 pitch climb! It is hard to find a partner for this climb because I want to free-climb it. Two weeks ago Lauren told me that she news some people who lives near Zion where I maybe can climb with! I’m going to try to contact them because I don’t want to leave Utah before I did some big walls on sandstone! Today I left Indian Creek for real; I’m going to join Tom and Mike at Joe’s Valley for a couple of days! It was really sad to leave this place! Indian Creek is by far my favorite place in America until now. I’m really going to miss this place! Everything was perfect! Tons of different walls, beautiful free camping, far enough from civilization, nice people, all climbing grades, beautiful environment, high quality sandstone and easy to gear placements! You see? This place is amazing!

This is a little tick list of my best climbs out here:

- Air Swedin 5.13R
- Hydraulic Pump 5.12+
- Tenderloins 5.12
- Slice and Dice 5.12
- Not That Funny 5.12-
- Comic Relief 5.12-
- T-Bones Tonight 5.12-
- Swedin-Ringle 5.12-

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