Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pena Blanca: Asian Boulder

I really wanted to get out, so after finishing some painting for Liz, Sasha and I drove out to Pena Blanca for a bit of bouldering. I warmed up on the Smith family Boulders. The rubber on my "new" Katana climbing shoes is worn through at the toe and is starting to be a hindrance. So much for having high-performance shoes. I think I trashed them while scuffing up on slab routes.

I checked out some boulders I hadn't been to before, all the way around to the east side of the rock formations. The first boulder with good problems turned out to be a boulder called "The Jewell. On the SW corner of the bolder is a nice hollow with a perfectly formed hold, what appears to be two giant testicles dangling. They are large enough where they need to be palmed and require some decent body tension to pull the first moves. I flashed the exit to the right starting from these holds which according to a local's website is a V1. I also flashed the problem on the SE corner another V1 called Bling Bling. The slabby face looked fun but I wasn't in the mood.

Slightly further up the hill is a large boulder with some wild looking problems. I took one of the shorter ones which started in a narrow cleft between two boulders. It is a short problem but satisfyingly tricky. The starting holds are poor sidepulls. Once on the wall, I needed to do a balancy move to reach a high right hand side-pull. Once on this, I took several attempts to work out some foot-work which got me high enough to go for the top lip of the boulder. A stronger climber could probably hit the top all static, but for me it was a smooth dyno, the kind that you're surprised to actually stick. In faact, I'm not sure I was even gripping hard when I stuck the dyno and remember thinking to myself, "I should be falling, because I'm not gripping". After getting over this shock, I mantled up and was elated. Lowell rates this as V2 and doesn't even give it a name, but it felt like a triumph to me.

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