Sunday, June 29, 2008

New Way Lake Highball

*** Video added below ***

Quick update from Way Lake yesterday. Andrew sent Crimp Ladder (V7) after fine-tuning his beta by falling off the last move a few times.

photo - Jeff Sillcox

Jeff Honeywell finished off the burly Karate Kid (V8) after the hold breakage (by him).

photos - Jeff Sillcox

And I did one of my highball projects without dying. The picture doesn't really do it justice. It's about 25 ft to the top of the face (roughly V4) and if you fall off the last move, you might get lucky and land on the pads or you might take the 30+ ft fall into the pit (don't do it). Andrew shot some video of it so we'll get that up soon. Maybe I'll have a name for it by then too.

Andrew trying the line

photo - Jeff Sillcox

The highball video... still no name yet

video - Andrew Stevens

I wandered around for a while after Jeff and Andrew took off and put up a very nice 15 ft V2 face on perfect rock. Took a few more pictures also. (Andrew, this is where the climbing ends, so look away and go upload the highball video.)

This is where the mosquitoes live

photo - Jeff Sillcox

Mammoth Mountain from the backside of Emerald Lake at sunset

photo - Jeff Sillcox

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another Man vs Cat?

No, it's not another National Geographic post. It's a battle of potential boulder problem names. (You can figure it out for yourself.) I went to check out the project that Andrew and Jeff H. had been working on up near South Lake (Bishop, not Tahoe). It's a really cool offset seam that will probably go in the V7-10 range. Conditions were not very good even at 9000ft. We had a some rain and the mosquitoes were insane. Jeff killed nine with one slap.

There's a couple different ways to do the opening sequence...
The pussyfoot method involves a big move with the left hand and some technical footwork. Andrew demonstrates:

photos - Jeff Sillcox

Uh... yeah, so the other method is the manfoot. Same big move but with the right hand and a giant foothold. I decided that this way was a little harder but sets me up better for the rest of the problem.
Jeff "Full Moon" Honeywell demonstrates:

photos - Jeff Sillcox

Either way it's still not the hard part. I think bringing my feet up by my face on this move will be the crux and as soon as my finger bones recover from the fingerlock, I'll be back for it wearing my full mosquito suit.

photo - Jeff Honeywell

And a little Way Lake action... Jeff "Fat Ass" Honeywell broke the right hand undercling on Karate Kid (V8) with his giant (fat) biceps. I repeated it with a much worse undercling and it's probably hard V8 or easy 9 now. Here Jeff almost sends with the new hold...

photo - Jeff Sillcox

Should be more from Way Lake this weekend.

Monday, June 23, 2008

National Geographic or Climber vs Everything Inferior???

We all know that climbers cannot be hurt and can easily escape any dangerous situation with ease and style... but why? To answer this age old question, I going to start a series of blogs (or at least one) listing the strengths and weaknesses of two (or more) mortal enemies: climber vs some sort of natural beastie...

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this pressing global issue, I must ask the reader: what should I call this series (post)? First (and last rule): you can only pick one of the two titles of this post. Although I may give consideration to very creative titles, I wanted to start a National Geographic post for a while now, and I am very partial (narcissism) to my own ideas...

Today, we have me vs Timmy the Bobcat.

Eric (Climber) on Saturday Night Live, v4 Joshua Tree
Photo by Abbie Mood

Reasons I am superior:

1. As you can see from the picture, Eric has a vertical leap of at least 3 or more inches. This extraordinary feat is exceptionally useful in any situation in which escape would only be possible by jumping over a 3 inch object.
2. Opposable thumbs... yea, yea I know...
3. Rock Climber (get used to that one).
4. Cats suck

Possible Inferiorities (or opponent's luck as I like to say)

1. I have terrible camouflage. My German and Native American heritage has prevented me from being able to hide in the desert, casinos, or in any place where the smell of sour cabbage is unusual.
2. Heavy cocaine use... by the cat.

Bobcat (we'll call him Timmy since I'm pretty sure I could take most Timmy's. Oh and he is in the catergory of Everything Inferior). Joshua Tree
Photo by Eric

Reasons the cat may stay in the fight longer

1. The cat can jump waaaaaaayyyy higher than me. Enabling him to run away from me and hide in high places
2. Good camouflage, except for that whole being out in broad daylight while I stand 30 feet away...
3. Pointy ears that may or may not be sharp, but let's be serious; would you ask the guy mugging you if his gun had bullets???
4. Claws...

Reasons the cat will always be inferior

1. uhhh... he was friggin' dozing off while I was taking pictures of him... maybe he was faking but I doubt it.
3. I would not make a cool hat... timmy would and will... someday
4. Understands capitalism and investing in mutual funds less than I do. I hear he isn't maxing out his 401k either... we'll see in 30 years...

Verdict: I win

Climbers - 1
Everything Inferior - 0

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Big Pimpin'

So after playing Guitar Hero until 3am (see Eric's Holga post), we made our way over to Palm Springs and the Tramway for a few days. We stayed at this top secret location with Drew Rollins and spent our days up at the Tram and nights in the pool.

photos - Jeff Sillcox

Eric performing the "happy baby" pose on the bottom of the pool. By the way, I can hold my breath waaaaay longer than him.

photo - Jeff Sillcox

It was 110 degree in Palm Springs and a much more bearable 75 at the top of the mountain. Still pretty warm for the slopers on Flight of Osirus (V6). Drew gives it a go...

photo - Eric Lang

This one might be a new problem. It's on the boulder just uphill from Vanishing Point. I did it from a sit start at some underclings at around V6 or 7 and the stand is V3ish. If it is a new problem, we called it Fromundacling.

photo - Eric Lang

I tried The Elf (V9 from the sit) at the end of the day and got shutdown. I came back to it a couple days later and did the stand (V8) and the sit will be high on my list for next time.

photos - Eric Lang

We checked out Shades of the Old School (V2) and were a little disappointed. It's a proud line, but was pretty dirty and fairly boring climbing.
Drew pretending to be scared...

photo - Eric Lang

I thought White Flight (V3) (pictured below) and Emerald City (V0) were much better highballs.

photo - Drew Rollins

Can't wait to get back when the temps are better and check out Black Mountain.

Friday, June 20, 2008

That's a huge bitch!

Yea, that's right... big body, clunky, low maintenance... red... made in china?!? Her name is... (see picture below)

Jeff, meet Holga. Holga, this is Jeff
Photo by Eric (not with Holga)

So for my birthday this year, Abbie got me a large, plastic Chinese camera with a German name... jzreyupHOLGAyunmi (all of the letters are silent except h,o,l,g, and a... I believe it may be Sanskrit). Before I get to the pictures, I will show you her modeling shoot...

The many facets of Holga
Photo by Eric

Let's go through the basics (and by "basics" I mean the "every-details")...

The Holga has 2 shooting modes normal (normal) and bulb (where the shutter stays open as long as you have the patience). The normal shutter speed is roughly 1/100 sec (at least until the spring wears out, or until Jeff cuts it). So setting my camera's shutter priority is a little simplistically problematic...

The Holga has 2 aperature settings designated by symbols: a sun (f/11) and a cloudy (f/8)... no confusion there...

There are four distance to which you can set the Holga to focus (designated by symbol of course): a person (1m), 3 people (2m), 6 people (6m), and a mountain (10m - infinity inches)... the last conversion baffles me as I have no idea how many meters that is...

It shoots medium format film (it can also shoot 35mm but needs some help) in one of 2 orientations: 12 shots of 6cm by 6cm or 15 shots of 6cm by 4.5cm (in the shots below, I opted for the latter). The lense is made of plastic, and my flash (not standard on all Holgas) has 4 different color settings: Red, blue, yellow, and white (and a few combinations in between). The camera has no automatic wind and no mechanism for preventing multiple exposures (awesome), and most (not mine so much with the color film, we'll see how it affects B/W) leak light like a sieve... but enough of that, let's see some art... or at least some pictures...

Abbie better get to "da choppa," b/c someone's got her in his sights...
Photo by Eric "Predator" Lang

Daisy was all like, "Look where, you ass?! How am I supposed to see anything in this pitch dark roo.... owwww! my eyes!!!!!"
Photo by Eric

Jeff getting his first dose (3.5 hrs worth) of Guitar Hero III... i'll friggin hit YOU with my best shot... ass
Photo by Grumpy Eric

Jeff did a fantastic job keeping my head relatively level on this double exposure
Photo by Jeff

At the club with Glowstick Lang aka, Mr.E... This was taken with Jeff's D40, and the Holga's blue flash as a "manual" off camera right flash... my reactions are sick when I'm all E'ed out, look at those pupils!
Photo and flash by Eric

By the way, I didn't edit any of the pictures except for some very simple cropping... I wanted to post the raw images for everyone viewing pleasure! Please click on the link below to see the other pictures!!!!!!!!!

Check out the slide show of all the pics!!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Quick catch-up post from last weekend at Tahoe before the pimp post (it will make sense later).

Eric celebrated his birthday and return to climbing after two long months off with the extremely technical, invisible skateboard handplant over Emerald Bay.

photo - Jeff Sillcox

Abbie running a couple laps on a V1ish arete at Bliss State Park.

photo - Jeff Sillcox

Eric eased his way back into climbing by doing a jump start to a small left hand crimp (his bad hand) on this V3 at Bliss.

photo - Jeff Sillcox

Drive-by-shooting of some tourists taking a picture of trees or something. Aren't they beautiful?

photo - Jeff Sillcox

Friday, June 6, 2008

While I'm Complaining...