Thursday, July 30, 2009

Magnum area.

Sunday my old crew visited the magnum area in the gunks for some conglomerate bouldering. Warmed up on some zeros on the back side of the Magnum boulder. Above is a tallish slab. Hope those crystals don't break under the weight of your toes.

V5 Resurrection - sent. Very nice movement here with varied holds. The best part is the bump to crimp with your left toe naturally latching a toehook without you having to think about it. I know - talking about a cool move with no accompanying photo is totally rookie. Sorry about that.

V7 Poo-pah - couldn't get the go go gadget extension to the pinch. A move that Mark somehow made look easy. According to him it required a tension in the left oblique and a counterintuitive twist, and some "P90X" workouts (apparently they are good for a beach-body AND climbing Poo-pah). My mind-body could not mimic the thusly communicated concept. The V8 topout on the second ledge looks exhilirating but the talus filled landing and dearth of paddage was mildly discouraging.
Small note on the etymology of "poo-pah": I hear the individual that named this problem was hanging around some prostitutes somewhere in Queens (a perfectly respectable activity) and one of them referred to another as a "puta", which is spanish for prostitute. However, since this boulderer did not know spanish, he heard it as "Poo-pah", which must have made an impression on him since he decided to name a boulder problem after the word. Anyway, from what I saw, Resurrection and Poo-pah were the best of the area in that grade range. Although next time I want to try the overhanging boulder by Resurrection with the heinous sloping topout where all the v9 or v10s lay. There's also the arete/prow facing Resurrection ("Henry's Arete") which is apparently much harder than it looks at V8, and has been known to pop unprepped tendons. Needless to say, we left that guy alone. We concluded the day by flailing on the v5 "Old Gringo" on the front of the magnum boulder, all the while succumbing to poor technique, greasy holds and battalions of mosquitos.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Ibex! Oryx! Siberian tigers! Giraffe!
Here I take the "Out of Africa" tour guide's recommendation and feed the giraffe with a carrot held in my mouth. The dextrous tongue still licked me though.
Back in Flagstaff for dinner, Pilar noticed that practically every establishment in town is "voted the best [fill in the blank] of Flagstaff!" But it's such a small town, there's only one of each anyway. Of course you're the best if you're the only one. Trying to get past the self-promoting best-of buzz, I found a website called (kudos for that title). They are two flagstaff locals that rate restaurants. I enjoyed their reviews, as they were straightforward and honest. At any rate, they said the best restaurant was a german restaurant called the Matterhorn. Intrigued, we went. It was excellent. How can you go wrong with a pork chop, a fried egg, and anchovies? (answer: you can't). Guess I shoulda taken the photo before chomping on the potato pancake.
The Optimator on tap was quality; it was like thomas hardy without the super thick caramel aftertaste.
Returning to the hotel with nothing to do, we drank and blew bubbles.

4 hours to Flagstaff.

What can I say? I love Priest Draw... probably because when it comes to bouldering I love everything I suck at (slopers, horizontal roofs, toe hooks, etc.) The four hour drive from Vegas is sort of boring. Luckily Pilar volunteered to drive the entire Route 40 stretch. Lots of cops with their fancy 2 inch sirens that are hard to spot. Four hours and two turkey sandwiches later, we finally arrived at "the draw". I started warming up on some zeros and ones. And then the thunderstorm started. Noooo! Pilar and I fled to the Bat Roof to wait it out and struggle with despair. Well at least I despaired, because I wanted to try Anorexic again, and the top out would now be wet and slippery.

But it didn't matter because I didn't get it. Stymied by the crux foot cut, my screams from trying to hold the foot cut echoed through the draw for a good second. Undaunted by my fledgling core strength and terrible campus abilities, I hurled myself at it from the start over and over again. I can't figure out how people (shorter women?) put a left heel hook into the starting hold. It looks super positive that way, but I just can't get my foot in that shit.

Afterwards, we went into town and had so-so tacos at locos tacos or tacos locos or something like that. I fucked up and ordered a "Grand Canyon raspberry wheat beer." What the fuck was I thinking? Then Pilar ordered what tasted like an alcohol free margarita. In fact, it had such a paltry effect on the spaniard, she promptly drove to an Albertson's supermarket, purchased a bottle of Freixenet champagne, and started swigging directly from the bottle in what she termed was an effort to "get totally fucked up."