Monday, October 27, 2008

The Gun Club.

So Shawn "Sparmaster" and I made our way to "The Gun Club" at the La Madre South area. It's a mere 12 minutes from where Sparmaster resides and the approach is 5 minutes from the parking lot. The easy access also appeals to local hooligans who have littered the entire approach with broken budweiser bottles, beer cans of various everyman brands like Milwaukee's Best, and other sundry items like street signs riddled with bullet holes. Below, Sparmaster regales us with his "Hey Ladies" look. Personally, I'm not sure if he thinks he's going rock climbing or to do some calisthenics with Richard Simmons.
We warmed up on Skeet Surfin' 5.10d and then we tried Marksman 5.12b. On Marksman the 3rd clip was 8-10 feet above the 2nd clip with small crimps so that gave us some pause. Sparmaster used the clip and grab the draw trick, which was wise to avoid him landing on my head. I need to employ that more often on face climbs to avoid cartiledge crushing whips into the wall. Anyway, as I was manuevering the crimpy 3rd bolt crux, I heard a muddy tearing sound in my left shoulder, which I've heard before only in my right. F*ck. My 33 year old cartiledge or connective tissue just ain't what it use to be. Instead of drinking Grimbergen belgian ale after climbing, I should probably get a therapeutic massage. We then moved on to some unnamed 5.6 slab/book climb after Sparmaster decided that Pot Shot 5.11d was not worth the candle.

We finished by crossing the canyon wash to try Muzzle Loader 5.12a. I led it with two breaks, one in the middle crux, and several at the top. No individual move was hard at all and the feet were great. The route seemed beta intensive but that's no excuse; I really need to improve my ability to read the route/onsight. Very fun route that I want to try again... in fact not sure it's 5.12a, or I'm misreading the guidebook, which is very likely. I usually just pass the guidebook to Sparmaster because I'm incapable of mapping the author's hand drawn diagrams to actual features in the rock.

Sparmaster must have a higher IQ or something. For example, he knew about "totem animals" and claimed to be at first an echidna (an australian animal with a four-headed penis), and then an ibex. I said it was cheating if you called your own totem animal; it should be a given designation or else it would be an untruthful anthropomorphism of your idealized self. He would have none of it; ibex it was because they headbutt atop treacherous cliffs. But, would an ibex grab a draw? I think not. Echidna it is. And based on this youtube video they would definitely grab a draw. To be fair, for the record, I've never grabbed a draw, but I think I might start. Chris Lindner advocated it in the last Urban Climber magazine, so it must be the cool thing to do.

Perplexed by the guidebook.

The below photo of Sparmaster suspended between bolted limestone and housing developments provides commentary on Las Vegas. Note the pointing in two directions (one towards the housing development and the other towards the cliff) signifying the eternal struggle in the western world between civilization and nature. Light versus Darknesss. The squares vs the hippies. The bulldozer versus the mountain. The verticals vs. the horizontals. Prickles vs. Goo... According to a local bearded sage, John B, Sparmaster is levitating in a magnetic spectrum (I don't know what that means either, but it sounded good.) The choice is simple, says the Sparmaster: Choose between your housing developments or chaotic, unfurling and uncompromising nature. Or is he secretly acknowledging the unity betwixt the two? For without the housing, he would not be there, hanging suspended for all eternity on the internet.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Victoria meets Kraft.

Scott and Nicola from B.C. Canada were in town so I escorted them from the Flamingo Hotel and Casino where they were staying to Kraft Boulders for some crimpy dynamic fun-stuff, which they consequently crushed. They are two strong and motivated boulderers that live on an island in B.C. I met them last Christmas at Bishop. Note that if you're bouldering in Bishop during Christmas in sub-zero temperatures, I automatically place you in my "Excellent Persons" file. We warmed up on the 30-40 ft 5.9 chimney at Plumber's crack. Then Potato Chips V2 for more warming up... The Pearl V4 went down with a flash by Scott (!) and Nicola sent second try. Scott then flashed Jenna's Jewelry V4 dyno and sent Caliman V7 with relative ease.

We then moved to Classic Monkey V6 at the Monkey Bars boulder. At that moment, the Pilar-Unit made a surprise appearance with her digital SLR. I think Pilar got some nice shots with the sun setting allowing for some high contrast polarization. I'll have to make a point of bouldering only at 3pm, or when the sun is at that certain shadow-producing angle.

Deadpoint to the jug... I missed it and ended up on a sloper for three fingers instead.

On our exit lap, Scott and I tried the Angel Dyno V7. No luck.

I took one of my patented wild helicopter-spins off the gaston and Scott saved my ass by literally catching me as my aforementioned ass plummeted to the earth like a hell-bent steroid. Mental note: Ensure presence of 6ft tall skillful spotter that outweighs you by 30-40 lbs. when doing a ridiculous dyno.

Donkey Punch V4 offered the day's finale.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Glock whipped.

So I was back in the my favorite state of mind, the Garden State of mind, visiting my friend, who I'll refer to as "The Diggler", in Chatham. Now, "The Diggler" recently started to question the stability of the future as the stock market started tumbling. What would the collapse of the financial structure imply? Hungry, desperate denizens of a failed republic... clawing at the windows because they know you have a gallon of gas stashed under your bed next to your last three and a half rations the emergency provisional government handed out. And your Wii... yes, the one you waited in line for all those early morning hours! Why, if they knew you were keeping one of those devices from them! Clearly, one has got to defend oneself. But how? Why, obviously, with an Austrian-built 9mm semi-automatic and 1,000 rounds of ammo! One in the head and two in the chest (1000/3 = 333.3 zombies)! Take that you commie bastards!

OK, that's probably not how it went down in "The Diggler"'s mind, but I think my version of "The Diggler"'s thought process is likely the more entertaining version. Besides, the end result was the same. I'm standing in his kitchen, having a Smutty Nose Oatmeal ale with hummus, and there it is on the counter...

Cold, Austrian steel. Simple and reliable. I guess we won't be arguing about politics anymore. "The Diggler" is now officially always right.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Driving to Mt. Charleston.

Another normal Saturday heading up to the Compton Cave...

We planned on making a short tripumentary but our camera batteries died shortly after the seatbelt-bound pelvic thrustifications.