Last year during the mid summer heat Mike May joined us for a weekend full of expouldering and climbing fun, except this time we were equipped with several Digital SLRs to shoot some video. Several of us headed out from Seattle on Friday night after work, while others couldn't beat the Route 2 traffic so they waited until Saturday or Sunday morning to head up.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings while several of us (Pablo, Will, and Miles) were still sitting around camp on crashpads drinking coffee and eating Granola (or "Rabbit Feed" as Will calls it), several friends arrived (Jared, Kerwin, Beno, Sam and Ryan) and got us stoked to climb before the summer heat started rising. We finished up breakfast, put the remaining food in the barrel, threw crashpads on our backs and headed up the hill in hopes of some cool new first ascents that we had brushed off during a previous expouldering trips.
First we stopped at the Split Atom Boulder, which has many fun problems on it and started working a line with a crimpy start to big moves and slopers. The piano man is the first climb shown in the short video. I particularly like the how Mike edited the movie to play Deadmaus Piano in the background while Jared's fingers reach and fight to get friction on the top sloper. Once Jared got the first ascent it gave a few of us the extra motivation we needed to send it.
A few of us looked at several other lines on the Split Atom Boulder, sent them and then headed up the hill to an area located just before the bigger boulders (Drop Zone and Lynus Outline), which were just 5 minutes up the hill. At this little area we stopped at Will and Jesse found a few short fun lines. Mike and Will got on a mini slab line that was particularly fun, but difficult to establish on. I (Pablo) tried the line at least a dozen times but couldn't pull the start.... I'd like to blame it on the shoes, but I think I just need to improve my slab climbing skills ;-) Will and Mike both sent it and called the mini slab "Will Power" which goes at about a V6. Meanwhile Jesse was working a mega crimpy line near it, which he called Shadow People (V8).
Continuing up the hill to hide from the sun, we stopped at a really cool line with a mantle start and slab feature. After many attempts by everyone Mike May was able to reach the right hand crimp and move up to the finish jug. We had originally rated the problem as a V6, but since then new beta was discovered and goes at V4-5. When naming the problem "Dropping the Chicken," Mike May and the crew were reflecting on the previous evening's camping fun. We were chatting about how the chicken seen later in the video was dropped into the fire (covered in ash) and needed to be washed off with beer ! ahahah ! We joked about it and laughed in conversation then we thought, about how this boulder kept dropping all of us. Someone said the catchy line, "Either you drop the chicken or the chicken drops you" ! This was the perfect name for the committing line!
To finish off the day we moved up the the Lynus Outline Boulder where I sent a line I was very excited about climbing. The problem climbs steep on big holds (except at the crux) with a solid heel hook. Many of use pulled hard to put up this powerful line, but I was able to find the extra strength needed to get the first ascent....perhaps from the beer and ash seasoned chicken from the previous day's dinner. I named it the PZexperience, which has been a nickname of mine since high school. The line has had one repeat and goes at V9 or so. The problem is shown in the video, but I wasn't able to repeat it for the camera.
Just around the corner we got on the "Rocking Chair" that Jesse had put up several weeks back, but we were syked on trying the dyno variation. Ryan, Kerwin, Will and I organized the perfect pad placement and gave this some goes. As shown on the video Ryan was the first to stick this fun dyno variation.
That weekend was one of the best weekends of the summer ! We are really looking forward to more of these now that the weather for 2013 seems to have turned !