Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jade Video

I finished off the Jade video last night, in quicker than usual form.  Glassberg and I filmed some exit interview stuff in the morning and I think it turned out quite good.  Actually it turned into sort of a rant, but regardless, I think that with so much talk about grades lately, people will be psyched to hear a somewhat new perspective.  The actual climbing footage turned out better than I had hoped.  Going into the whole thing I had some angles that I was psyched on capturing, but it turns out that they required a helping hand to achieve.  Such hand was non-existent on my solo adventure.  My favorite angle is the one from the screen shot floating around:
This shot required me to extend my tripod to the fullest and prop it on top of my climbing bag while leaning it against the wall.  Not the most stable setup!  Luckily I was able to stick the crux move again to make the setup worthwhile.  I think the shot does a decent job of showing the actual size of the holds, which I feel has been missing from prior Jade videos.  Let me know what you think!  Should be on very soon!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

RMNP Update

Motivation has been very, very high for me lately.  And it shows no signs of backing down.  Even the 90 hours of route setting in the past two weeks hasn't been able to bring me down.  So this past Saturday, following roughly 4 hours of sleep (due to some serious partying in downtown Boulder), I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and made my second attempt (for the year) at climbing in RMNP.  Sticcs and I left Boulder a little late, 2 o'clock to be exact, with plans to climb at Emerald Lake with some friends.  I think we both had no real intentions to accomplish anything considering the previous nights adventures, and the serious lack of sleep.  But a day outside in the sunshine is too hard to pass up.  After I nearly fell asleep at the wheel on numerous occasions, we managed to make it to the Bear Lake parking lot and thus began the hike.  It was rough.  I am out of hiking shape.  At the Dream Lake fork, I was faced with a tough decision.  Head up the hill to Lower Chaos to check the snow levels, or continue on to the Emerald Lake boulders for a mellow session with some friends.  After little debate, I said fuck it, and strapped on the snow shoes.  Lower Chaos here I come.  Sticcs was without snow shoes and felt like doing some climbing, so we parted ways.  I was unfortunate enough not to find the trail between Dream and Lower, and instead headed straight up the very steep hill.  Midway up I encountered some very steep terrain with some dead trees and lots of ice:
Very fun maneuvering that steep slope.  3 steps up.  Slide 10 feet back down.  10 steps up.  Slide 3 feet back down.  Climb over rotten trees with snow shoes on.  Get a foot trapped in some branches and eat shit on your face.  Exciting stuff!  Finally, the actual trail came into view (really not sure how I missed it from the start).  However, as I attempted to pull myself onto the trail (kinda like manteling choss), two barren hands grasping some poor souls previous boot tracks, I happen to tip over backwards and tumble about 20 feet back down.  Awesome...  The 2nd attempt up the last slope proved successful and I continued along the sketchy trail:
 The rest of the hike to Lower Chaos proved fairly casual and soon I was staring into Chaos Canyon where the boulders should have been.  They weren't really there: 
Curiosity took hold and I ventured across the snow in search of the boulders.  Along the way I nearly tripped over the Warm-Up boulder that holds such classics as Potato Chip V7 and proceeded to stumble upon a 6-foot Centaur boulder: 
And just around the back, a short wheel-chair ramp that is the top-out to Nuthin' But Sunshine V13:
Unimpressed by the current conditions of Lower, curiosity once again got the best of me and I found myself hopping over the Gobot V11 and continuing, like some kind of Jesus, directly across Lake Haiyaha and up the hill to the Green 45.  What would normally be a maze of talus, was replaced by a thick layer of snow forming a giant sledding hill, formidable enough to make any 5 year old wet himself.  Without walking on a single piece of rock, I found myself beneath the great Green Giant:
Dry and perfect.  The whole boulder.  Very excited at this point, I immediately jumped on the stand start.  Climbed that 3 times all the way to the top of the wall.  The conditions were surprisingly warm and it would have been smart to wait awhile before attempting Jade from the start.  But hey, you can't stop psych!  I spent awhile brushing some chalk into the odd conglomeration of texture that forms the crux crimp: 
On my first attempt from the start I nearly did the crux move static before my foot picked.  9 more tries from the start, each try getting desperately close, and my ring and pinkie finally split:
It's frustrating considering that each attempt that I give could be the one that leads me to the top of the boulder.  But with every mistake (foot cut, fumbling the left hand, not grabbing the crimp right, etc.) you can literally watch your skin disappear.  It's such a finicky boulder problem.  It is certainly powerful and the holds are small, but the real crux of Jade relies upon executing everything perfectly at the right time.  You can't do the move completely static, but you have to be very controlled.  The perfect amount of push.  You can't fumble the left hand.  It's a good hold but you have to stick it perfectly right.  I've stuck the crux from the bottom a few times now with only two fingers, but the re-adjust to four continues to leave me on the ground.  Is this really what V15 comes down too?  This isn't crimp strength.  I know that, cause I have very little compared to my abilities on pinches and slopes.  Should things be graded harder because they are more condition dependent and harder to execute?  All I know is that for me, 4 hours of hiking for 10 tries (essentially 20 total movements on rock), is worth it to find out.  What are you willing to do to change your perspective?     

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Battle In The Bubble Highlight Video

Though not the official video, this highlight reel best demonstrates what happened the night of the comp.  Proud effort Zack!  One man with one camera:

The Battle in the Bubble - Boulder, CO from Zack Sticcs on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Burnout Video

A few weeks ago I pulled off a quick ascent of a local Ro Ro classic called Burnout V12.  It could definitely be one of the best boulders of the grade in CO.  Here's the video courtesy of Zack "Sticcs" Smith:

Carlo Traversi on Burnout V12 from Zack Sticcs on Vimeo.

Harder, stonger, longer, and more entertaining posts on the way...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

This Could Get Interesting.

Tomorrow I will be heading to Upper Chaos in RMNP to try and finish off Jade.  I'm not sure anyone has ventured that far up the canyon this year, so we'll see how it goes.  It could be perfect up there, and it could be completely miserable.  Trust me, the whole experience will be well documented.  Here's a video I posted to Vimeo a few weeks ago of some attempts I had on the boulder in the fall.  It felt surprisingly easy and I thought it was in the bag until...well, just watch the video.  Following that particular outing, the season abruptly ended.  Considering how I've been feeling on real rock recently, and if conditions and skin hold up, I feel confident that it could go down very quickly.  Or it could take all summer.  Who really knows?  The important thing is that, I AM FUCKING PSYCHED!   

Attempts On Jade from Carlo Traversi on Vimeo.