It’s hot. With highs hovering around 95 degrees, the THOUGHT of climbing at Smith is enough to make your palms sweat and your toes burn. It’s time to hunker down and take a long break from the never-ending list of projects on the tuff. Looking back at the past few months of climbing at Smith, I redpointed approximately 70 new routes, with 20 in the 5.12 range. Not a bad first season!
Despite the heat, we are still climbing. We’re always climbing. Instead of cooking in the sun on small pockets and edges, the past few weeks have found us hanging out in a dirty cave, roof climbing on jugs and incuts. I managed to make relatively quick work of the few classics at The Horse Caves, ranging from V6 to V9, and am loving the rad power-endurance style. These lines are steep, powerful, and LONG! 20+ move boulder problems are the norm out here, and make for a pretty great training option, if you can brave the bat poo, broken glass, and gonorr-herpe-syphilitis infested condoms littering the place.
After I sent ‘The Back Nine’ a few weeks ago, Eric invited me to join him in tackling an incredible line dubbed, ‘The Super Proj.’ This is truly the king line of the caves. With 40+ moves in total, and sustained power climbing the whole way, this thing is becoming quite an endeavor. I’ve had six sessions on the rig so far, including two days working the V7 that it links into and finishes on, and have it in three separate chunks. The link is going to be the result of MANY more tries. It’s difficult to hypothesize a grade for this thing as it kind of bridges the gap between bouldering and route climbing. V11? 5.13+? Who knows. All I can say at this point is that it is HARD. This thing is definitely the most involved project I’ve ever invested in, and a huge opportunity for growth. I get more stoked about it every time out! I will be sure to post updates on our progress in the coming weeks.
Last weekend I made it up to Bellingham to check out and represent EP at the grand opening of a new bouldering gym! With sick walls, fun routes, and 24-hour access, this place is Bellingham’s dream come true. I’m stoked for all my Bham buddies! You guys are gonna get STRONG! Thanks for an awesome weekend.
Job well done, Vital. Way to step in and do it right. Cheers!