This really sucks. Some guys decided it would be a good idea to trash the boulders at Quartz Mountain by adding spray paint. The State Park is now involved along with the local Sheriff’s department in finding and apprehending the turds responsible. Go to this topic on the WMCC forum or this topic on rc.com.
I’ve had a few web design jobs lately. Just finished up another one today. So far each job has been through word-of-mouth so thanks to my friends/family for that. I’m not looking to quit my job and take up designing sites for a living. It will continue to be something I do on the side. But I thought if I were going to continue in this direction I’d need to have a site to promote my services. What’s a web designer without a web designer site? So here it is. If you know someone who needs a website, send them my way.
I have scanned my copy of Southern Exposure: A Climber’s Guide to Oklahoma and added it to the website for download. You can find it under the new Guides page.
This is the first guide to Oklahoma climbing and still a valuable resource. Though it doesn’t say in the guide itself, I believe it was published in 1980. Written permission was granted by one of the authors, Duane Raleigh, to make the guidebook available to the climbing community as a downloadable/printable file. Enjoy.
Valley of the Moon required an hour-and-a-half drive east of San Diego into the heart of the desert. We then turned south on a gnarly 4×4 road over a rocky pass and drove another 5 miles. VOTM sits on the Mexican border – and I mean ON the border. There’s no checkpoints, fences, walls, or concrete culverts seperating the US from Mexico. Where the dirt road ends Mexico begins. The rock was like Joshua Tree but with huge huecos scattered across many of the formations. Miles and miles of rock – everywhere. Unfortunately, the day gradually turned from sunny to windy, cloudy and cold. We spent most of our time wandering around the granite mounds overwhelmed by the potential of the area.
The next day we visited Santee, a small bouldering area located only yards from a convenient parking area at a city park. This was the opposite of Valley of the Moon. A few dozen huge egg-shaped granite boulders scattered among the hillsides. The climbing was fun, technical, and crimpy. Many of the more impressive problems were highballs and would have been fun to try if we’d had a crashpad. There were quite a few students and others who stopped by after work or school and wanted to get a few problems in before the sun set. Nearby, an old guy cruised several problems working to complete his 45-problem circuit before the day was done.
On Monday we went to La Jolla Cove for some bouldering on the beach. If you’ve never climbed on a beach it is a unique experience; waves roll onto the shore, all around is sand for your crashpad. You don’t need climbing shoes or chalk. The one rule: you can’t complain about a hold being too sandy or too slick. The rock was a soft sandstone with a smooth-polished surface making top-outs difficult – but exciting. Most problems required tricky balance and open-handed smears. Slapping for the top of the rock you couldn’t be sure that there would be any hold there and if there was it might have sand, seaweed, or sea creatures on it. The best problems had super-grippy sandstone, much how I would imagine gritstone to feel. The climbs ranged in height from 10 feet to over 25 feet. Exploring the beach for new lines was half the fun, some of the stuff that appeared easy at first glance turned out to be more difficult due to the texture or lack of holds.
We continued to climb as the sun sank into the Pacific and traces of golden light lingered on the water. Even as darkness set in we were finding new rock that we wished we had found earlier. Overall, it was our best day climbing of the trip.
Rock climbing and bouldering are rooted in the idea of exploration, discovery, and adventure but there are plenty of times when you want to spend less time roaming the countryside looking for something to climb and more time climbing. Hence, the guidebook.
Climbing guidebooks have evolved quite a bit over the years. What was once a list of routes and hand-sketched topos is now a combination of high-res digital photos, route descriptions, gear lists, danger ratings, and beta.
Hueco Tanks: The Essential Guide to America’s Bouldering Mecca by Matt Wilder and produced by Wolverine Publishing (2004) is a set up from the typical guides of today. Every page contains high quality color photographs making it a cinch to match up the boulder in the field with what you see in the book. Placing the photos alongside the more traditional overview line topos and directions means you should have no problem locating the exact project you want to try.
Hueco Tanks covers all the necessities of getting to Hueco, reservations, access, camping and amenities in a no-frills to-the-point manner that’s appreciated by climbers. The route descriptions provide enough info to document the route but not so much to take the surprise out of that hidden crimper you discover midway through the crux.
Being one the best bouldering areas in the world requires a great guidebook and this is certainly one of them.
I can’t let the holiday season pass without mentioning a couple of CD must-haves. These are not for everyone – only those who like rocking. The first one is The Darkness’s new album One Way Ticket to Hell. As good, if not better than their debut album Permission to Land.
The second album is from a band I mentioned before, The Moistboyz. They’re got a total of four albums now and it’s amazing, given their ferocious songs, that they’ve maintained for this long. Still, if I,II and III are good then you know IV is great – I just hope they don’t meltdown before V.
Finally, a band that might fit in with those enjoying a little more classic guitar rock, a band from Detroit, The Muggs. They’ve released their first album this year and my predicition is these guys are going to be big. Check them out on itunes.
Now here’s a little treat for holiday season…
I’ve had a few requests for the guide from the 2005 Oklahoma Boulderfest, which includes an overview of the main upper area of Chandler Park. Obviously, not all the problems are listed in this guide so you’ll have to make due with what’s here or fill in the blanks as you see fit.
Feel free to make copies – but please respect the copyright and do not pass this work off as your own. That means no copying of descriptions, etc. for the purposes of another guide. If you want to make your own guide, go for it, the resources are out there!
The file is designed so that you can print it out double sided and staple it in the middle – you’ll figure it out.
I’m watching the news this morning before heading off to work and they’re talking about the top-10 holiday (dare I say, Christmas?) movies of the season. Of course there was A Miracle on 34th Street , Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol (strangely enough someone made the mistake of writing Miracle OF 34th Street – was it a typo or had the graphics editor not seen the movie, made me wonder)….but then, listed at number 6 was something unexpected – a movie I hadn’t seen – Black Christmas. A horror flick! The anchor said something like, “Black Christmas, isn’t that a horror film?” It seemed to throw him off a little. I thought it was interesting that such a movie actually made it into their top 10 Christmas films. I haven’t seen it yet but it got me to thinking about other frightening holiday films to put you in that Christmas spirit. Here’s a few along with brief descriptions:
Black Christmas (1974)- A sorority house is terrorized by a stranger who makes frightening phone calls and then murders the sorority sisters during Christmas break.
Gremilins (1984)- A boy inadvertantly breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town. A classic – special effects are a little dated, but who could hate Gizmo?
Silent Night Deadly Night (1986)- On Christmas Eve a man and his wife are driving home with their two young children in the car after visiting family. A man dressed as Santa is pulled over on the side of the road who they stop to help. The man dressed as Santa kills the parents and leaves the kids there. When on of the two grows up and leaves the orphanage he gets a job at a toy store, when he is asked to dress up as Santa, he loses it and goes on a killing spree. I saw this when I was in 7th grade and it was scary then. It probably sucks now.
Silent Night Deadly Night 2 (1987)- Mainly flashbacks from the first installment as told by Ricky the younger son who is in a mental institution being interviewed by a shrink on Christmas Eve. Let’s just say he escapes and picks up where his brother left off.
Silent Night Deadly Night 3, 4, 5 – Haven’t seen 3, 4, or 5 but the story changes quite a bit after 2.
Jack Frost (1996) – Haven’t seen it – probably won’t. A killer snowman is created when a serial killer is melted by genetic acid which combines with snow.
Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Snowman (2000)- He is back! After being resurrected when a cup of coffee falls into the tank of anti-freeze that the killer was stored in. I’m not watching the first one but this one sounds kick ass.
Santa Claws (1996) – Haven’t seen this one either. A young man finds his divorced mother having sex with a man in a Santa Clause hat and shoots them both dead. I think there’s also a Santa Claws 2. The box cover looks more like porn – this one goes to the top of my list.
Sean introduced me to a cool area over the holiday break – The Farm in Bartlesville, OK. There were some great problems that I would really like to revisit. In particular was this awesome arete that was about 14 feet tall. We had 3 pads stacked up over some embedded rocks at the base so the landing wasn’t too bad but neither of us dare go for the top. The move to the top was completely a go-for-it move and if you missed there’s no telling where you’d end up, maybe on a pad, maybe against the tree, maybe off to the side in the rocks. After checking out the top-out, I was glad I didn’t make it that far; there was one decent hold a the lip up then it turned into one of those grovelling slopey affairs with no holds and a difficult mantle – those scare the crap out of me! I’d like to have another couple of pads before I try the final moves and the top-out.
Another cool problem (shown above) was on this glowing overhanging face. It had nothing as far as footholds but there was a line of sweet edges and pockets just below the lip for hands. The line started on the lower right in a sit-down start and climbed diagonally up and left for at least 25 feet of climbing. The moves were long and powerful and the footholds frustratingly small or nonexistent. We went from warming up on this line to nearly burning out. I’d like to go back and get this one too.
Overall, it was a good day of bouldering and it left me with plenty of new goals. The Farm is on private property so access is tricky, I went with someone who knew the family who owns the property so everything was cool. I don’t think I’d just show up out there without permission. Hope the family remains on good terms with climbers, this is a cool area.
Everyone knows that the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year. So I try to avoid it. But if I had to go shopping (instead of climbing) I would listen to Parry’s CD – For Those About To Shop, We Salute You to get me in the mood.
51 shopping jingles in 35 minutes.