Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Washoe Boulders Nevada - Winter 2015

Washoe Boulders, Carson City, Nevada - "Winter" (March) 2015

Desert volcanic welded tuff boulders, wild horses, sweet views and four-wheelin just on the outskirts of town.

Possible first ascents of 4 V4ish problems near the classic "Hollywood Hangover" (V8/9!?) at the Lower Washoe Boulders in Carson City Nevada:

"Gastoned" V3/4 stand, V4 direct sit - traverse low from left to right past classic gaston match moves up into the fun V1 right arete - or direct face (no arete) variation dyno to add a /(slash) grade (V4, V4/5) or dyno by itself is V1/2 stand start no right arete to big pointy jug on lip.

"Hangover Traverse" V4 start right arete sit (V3 by itself into V1 stand) then traverse past no-hands rest at base of Hollywood Hangover and then bust a final V1/2 section to no-hands finish in the big wide crack.  

"Wild Horses" V4/5 traverse low from far right to far left around corner. Long and pumpy with three distinct and varied crux bulges.
Some of these or even all of these may have been done before but they had the tell-tale signs of fa's; no chalk but chalk on problems next to them, partially uncharted area separate from the already not so popular main area and loose and/or uncleaned holds. If not fa's they were fun problems anyways and I will delete these nicknames if/when I find out someday :)

Lower Washoe Boulders - YouTube

"Gastoned" V4 fa!? - YouTube

and some of the original Washoe classics: 
"Jason Lives" V3 + "Storm Cycle" V5 - YouTube

The Washoe Boulders and possibly also the nearby Prison Hill bouldering area will most likely be covered in the small "nearby areas" section of the next edition of my Northern California Bouldering by SuperTopo. The updated info will be coming out in a few years in the print book format but hopefully this year in the eBook version. For now check out a lot of info for Washoe in our Lake Tahoe Bouldering eBook which is not available in print format any longer but is available at the link above on as an eBook. Now that the new and more comprehensive, locally published Tahoe Bouldering Guides are out we are no longer making the print book for Lake Tahoe Bouldering. Check out the new locally made Tahoe Bouldering Guides here:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Clear Lake Berryessa Bouldering Tour

Bouldering areas listed south to north 1-10

Locations on map are not precise. Follow written directions to established areas listed below or wait for more info to possibly come in future editions of my guidebooks also listed below or message me for info on the currently unlisted new/developing areas:
{potential = how much potential there still is for new first ascents in the area}

Other than the excellent Vacaville and Putah Creek basalt most of these rocks are not for everyone. Most boulderers may not want to drive on long back roads to a small wild place with only a handful of funky problems until they have tried the other more popular and easier to find and access main local areas. These rocks could be good for you if you like to get out and see something new or if you are in the area. Have fun :) cheers!!

Solano County Basalt Areas (#1 #2)
The highest concentration of good moderate problems is at Vacaville and a few of the most classic as well as most of the harder problemos are at the similar but smaller Putah Creek.
For more info check out: Bay Area Bouldering by SuperTopo
#1 Vacaville aka NutTree
Two separate grassy hillsides of rock with nice oak trees and cows. The Stonewall and The Mother are the coolest boulders but the single must do problem is the intoxicatingly addictively fun classic Gimme My Forty Sucka! V1. 
{mostly tapped potential}
About 150 problems from VB to V9.

#2 Putah Creek aka Purgatory
This is the single best spot in the Clear Lake Berryessa area. The basalt is uniquely featured and steep. Many classics such as Welcome To Whine Country V8, Hellspawn V7 and SHP V5.  
{mostly tapped potential}
About 50 problems from VB to V9.

Putah Creek Bouldering YouTube

Lake Berryessa / Knoxville Areas (#3 - #7)
A cool drive after a rain when the paved road dips through the creek about 10 times! Depending how high the creek is you may need a 4x4 with clearance. These spread out areas are a mix of a few semi old spots and a few newer ones that are all a bit rough around the edges and have never been visited by more than a few locals a few times. At or near all of these areas is some mostly untapped potential for more new, mostly easier to moderate level problems. A unique mix of pocketed, edgey and cracked volcanic features along with some serpentine type green stone at Pope Creek and around Lake Berryessa. *#6 and #7 are closer to Lower Lake/Clear Lake than Lake Berryessa but they are near the adjacent Knoxville so they are considered part of the Knoxville areas. The main area out of all of these is the roadside Billboard Boulder (#7) and it is the closest to Clear Lake but as mentioned above it is very near Knoxville that is in between Clear Lake and Lake Berryessa.
#3 Lake Berryessa
This area has a lot of rocks but most have unsure access and some are sadly on Private Property. There are some established boulder problems spread around. Most are at the newly developing Sunshine Boulders below the bridge on the northwest side of the Lake and nearby at Pope Creek (listed below #4).
{big potential - access issues}
About 25 problems from VB to V5.

#4 Pope Creek
Poison Oak and weird short or tall problems and kinda chossy yet unique rock. Pumpy traverse. Pope Creek/Heritage Rock is the main area with legit access and the other area, The Drought Boulder has the classic "Redemption" (V4 sit V3 stand) but also questionable access. There are a few more problems on these rocks to do and other rocks in the area to be explored.
{small potential}
About 10-15 problems from VB to V5.

"Redemption" V4 fa YouTube
Marc Bowen on the new "Drought Traverse" V4.

RC Hollenbeck "Drought Traverse".

#5 Devilshead / Knoxville
Possible access issues here now. A few fun moderate and scenic highballs and a short fun crack on this slightly ominous and exposed pillar of stone. More potential in the area if you like splorin!
{small potential}
About 15 problems from V0 to V4.

#6 Bushwhack
Gnarly 15min uphill bushwhack hike - access unsure. Big boulders with a few grand problems.
{medium potential}
About 10 problems from VB to V6.

#7 The Billboard
Out of all the Berryessa/Knoxville areas this is the single best as far good and varied problems at a mix of grades with easy and fairly legit access (in a roadside creek with a huge pullout with a nice view and no fence or priv prop signs etc). *As stated above; this area is closer to Lower Lake/Clear Lake than Berryessa but it is near the adjacent Knoxville so it is considered part of the Knoxville areas.
{small potential}
About 15 problems from V0 to V6.

"The Billboard" V0r fa YouTube

"Billy Jack Traverse" V6 fa YouTube

Mount Konocti / Clear Lake Volcanic Areas (#8 #9)
Pocketed volcanic stone with mostly moderate lowballs and easy legit access with good landings. 
For more info check out: Northern California Bouldering by SuperTopo

#8 Black Forest
Legit access to small pocketed boulders with flat landings and short mellow approach trails.
{small potential}
About 25 problems from VB to V6.

Lake County Bouldering YouTube

#9 Clear Lake State Park
Campsite 110 has a few fun problems and to the right of the park entrance.
{small potential}
About 10 problems from V1 to V3.

Bartlett Springs Road Area (#10)
A long drive on a deep back-cuts dirt road is required to the main Cascade area but other new unclimbed rocks could be lurking around any corner out there.

#10 Cascade Falls
Several boulders spread out in the cool cascading creek alongside the road in bum fuk.
{medium potential}
About 15 problems from V0 to V6+!?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pope Creek Boulders

Pope Creek Boulders
My grandma was from nearby Pope Valley so this is part of my heritage. Not the best quality rock but for how back country it feels it is a cool little spot. Easy public access along the creek with good fishing and roadside parking for the wilderness area. Not worth a long drive unless combined with other nearby areas but good if you're in the area since there's not much around :)

* = low quality
** = ok/average
*** = good!
**** = great!!
***** = world classic!!!

1 V1** stand start 1-move-wonder.
2 V2* right sit up left into #1.
3 The Pope V5** low left roof sit right into #1.
4 Heritage V4*** same low left roof sit up left.
5 Heritage Traverse V5** same sit then go left.
6 V0** sit start short bulge pull onto big ledge.
7 V1** low left sit start on rail up to ledge.
8 V4** bulge traverse from #6 to #9 or reverse.
9 Poison Oakey V1** slab face traverse on back. 
10 Top out up left or up right onto high slab!?
11 V1-V3* old overgrown boulder face(s)!?
12 V0-V1 face on front and on opposite boulder!?
?? Top-rope face/arete over poison oak!!??
*Fun easy up/down climb gully on back side.

Heritage Traverse V5fa YouTube

Thursday, October 30, 2014

McKee County Park Boulders

More delicious new Mendocino bouldering!

 Russian River Headwaters

 Joshua Anderson on his direct V6fa!

 Joshua Anderson on "Pothead" V3 low sit 2nd ascent!

Chris Summit on "Synergy" V5fa!
Photos: Joshua Anderson

Addison Cox on "Synergy" V5

Addison Cox high on a new V4fa!

 Addison Cox on a short fun V4fa

McKee County Park Boulders, East Fork Russian River, Potter Valley, Mendocino CA
Most of the easier to moderate lowball to medium size problems have been done but there is potential for a lot more easy to moderate highballs as well as some big tough looking projects!! :)

* = low quality
** = ok/average
*** = good!
**** = great!!
***** = world classic!!!

Right to Left:

Pothead Boulder
Right to Left - downclimb #4 Pothead or jump to adjacent VB slab boulder (#12) and downclimb!? Bring shorts and maybe even sandals to cross creek (waist deep in summer/fall) - not good in winter or spring when creek is high - great on hot summer days! Also bring fishing pole for trout. Small but beautiful area with chill beaches, fishing, short hike and roadside access. 1 min approach from legit parking lot at McKee Creek County Park or from pullouts along Potter Valley Rd about 1 mile from CA20 west of Ukiah and Lake Mendocino. My grandma grew up in Potter Valley and some of the other side of my family lives there so I am sort of a local!?

    Pothead Boulder
    *Recommended seasonal (Summer/Fall) creek crossing zone*  

1 "?" V6? traverse uphill from low sit start below rail on right side of main face (same as #5) or "?" V7!? full traverse from sit start farther right next to creek on far right to the far left into #6 to finish!? FA=?

2 "?" V2/3?** sit start far right and up? (mossy ) FA=RT/CS 90's?

3 "?" V2/3?** same sit but up left variation? (mossy) FA=RT/CS 90's?

4 "Pothead" V3**** low sit start (same as #7 and #8) center of main face then up over steep bulge V1** stand or V2*** mid sit on jug - downclimb) FA=CS 90's

5 "Pothead Traverse" V4*** fun link-up traverse from low sit start same as #1 below horizontal rail on right side of main face and traverse left and up into Pothead. FA=CS 90's

6 "Sleeping Beauty" V3**** sit start compression sidepulls and go up to jug top! V2*** stand
- or "Sleeping Pothead" V3** same sit then traverse right into #4 FA=JA/CS 2014

7 "Synergy" V5**** low right sit start same as Pothead #5 then low left up into #6. Adds more fun heel-hook compression moves into the mega classic Sleeping Beauty! FA=CS 2014

8 "No Tape" V6**** low right sit same as #7 then direct straight up then left into #6 FA=JA 2014

9 "?" V4*** low start on far left with rock slab at your back and angle up right into the top out of #6! (or into undone direct straight up left scary top out over rock!?) FA=AC 2014

10 "?" V? backside left? FA=?

11 "?" V? backside right? FA=?

12 "?" V3*** or V4** direct with no left jug - small boulder behind #6+7 FA=AC/CS 2014

Main McKee Boulders

13 "?" overhang/roof?

14 "?" short face/arete?

15 "?" slab(s)!

16 "?" high arete/face?

17 "?" big high sicky!?

18 ?



Fishing Hole Boulder
(On the trail down to the main fishing hole #1 just below the parking lot. No river crossing needed - you can see the Pothead Boulder across the river just upstream. Micro size but a nice mix of slab to slightly steep. Partial sun all day so it's climbable all year, if it's dry. Many fun lowball variations!)

21 "Fish On" V1** stand V3*** low stand V4/5** sit FA=CS 2015 - or V6/7 low scrunchy sit project!?

22 "?" direct up into top of #21+23!?

23 "Fishing Hole Arete" V1** stand V2/3* sit V3/4** low sit - up direct into prow top out or around left into #25 traverse in reverse for a bit more challenge and fun FA=CS 2015

24 "Fishhead" V0 slab FA=EB 2014

25 "Mossy Stroke" V1 traverse from far left side, left of #27 below the top lip to far right into #24 FA=J? 2015

26 "Fishing Hole Traverse" V5? sit #21 then traverse left into #25 in reverse?

27 VB stand start short slab face on far left side.

Jeff does first ascent of "Mossy Stroke" V1!?

"Fish On" V4/5 sit fa!

The Mini Pinnacles
(Further down the road toward Potter Valley)

28 "?" face FA=?

29 "?" crimp dyno face? FA=?

30 "?" sit start roof? FA=?

FA's = =
Original old school classics: Chris Summit, Ryan Tolentino
New school classics: Joshua Anderson, Addison Cox

"Synergy" V5 FA YouTube

Look for this area to possibly be in the next eBook update of Northern California Bouldering by SuperTopo coming this Summer/Fall 2015 along with a lot of other possible new additions around Mendo, Shasta, The Bay Area and Lake Tahoe! For now check it out here:
Northern California Bouldering by SuperTopo

Monday, September 8, 2014

Traverse Fetish

The crux of the 150ft "Pine Flat Traverse" V6 fa

Not sure exactly what's wrong with me I guess I like to get sideways ;-/ I actually really like traversing and am not sure why more climbers don't. Here's why I do and why I think most climbers maybe don't:

traversing is great to do if you're alone because you can often do a lot of hard moves and get a good workout without a lot of risk because you're usually not very high off the ground.

traverses are often one of in not the hardest line on any given cliff.

traversing sideways or diagonally is more rare than going up or down and therefore is unique and special in its own way.

traverses can give you a pump like you would get on a long roped route but without the hassle of gear and a belayer.

traverses are often overlooked and a total first ascent score right under everyone's noses still to this day at a lot of popular crags and boulders.


traversing is usually lame and wimpy because you're usually not high off the ground and you get in everyone's way as you prance around the base of the entire crag in front of everyone like you're on frkn parade.

sayings like "who wants to go sideways when you can go up?" and "watch me climb" come to mind.

the spread eagle splits are often involved along with other embarrassing frenchy moves like cross throughs and roses, too much resting not enough action, etc etc..

"Stoner Traverse" V6 fa Aquarian Waterfall, CA

Here's a list of some of my favorite traverses that I did first ascent of and are rarely repeated because, as mentioned above;
"traversing is (desperate and pathetic and..) the bastard step child of sport climbing" :)
 - John "Verm" Sherman (i think verm said it first?)

"Trinity Traverse" V3fa
Diagonal uphill slab/vert traverse with many cruxes and no hands rests along the base of the sport climbs. Fun to the end but what's wrong with someone who does a lame traverse at a cool sport crag.? Direct without a big foothold midway it is about a grade harder but has a worse landing.
Trinity Aretes CA

"Subway Cave Traverses" V3/4/5fa / 5.11/5.12fa
Traverses inside the entrances of the lava tubes.
FA= 2 me and 1 Richie Esquibel
Subway Cave CA - "Exit Traverse" V4/5.12- fa YouTube

"Porky's Traverse" aka Little Shop of Horrors Traverse V5/6fa
Traverse from right to left along the base of the sport climbs on the Little Shop of Horrors.
Pig Rock NEV

"Mickey's Traverse" V4/5fa
Traverse in either direction along the base of the sport climbs on the west face of the Main Crag.
FA= J Thornburg, M Nunez, J Follett, J or J Campbell???? and maybe me from the lowest sit?
Mickey's Beach CA

"The Foolish Traverse" aka The Full Remilard Traverse V3/4fa
Do the original traverse from the left then continue up the diagonal ramp below the roof and over a rocky landing with a weird slab crux into a pumpy fun finish at the far right uphill side that is also over a rocky landing but not as bad as the landing at the crux.
Remilard Park, Berkeley CA

"The Great White Traverse" V8fa (sit crack) and the shorter "Hammerhead Traverse" V7fa (stand)
Traverse from left to right up over rocks to end on V0 diagonal crack on top of Orange Pleasure.
Mickey's Beach CA - "Hammerhead Traverse" V7 fa YouTube

"Super Abalone Traverse" V8fa and the shorter "Abalone" V7fa (start from center low sit)
Traverse from right to left along sloper lip with assorted heel and and ab flexing toe hooks.
Super Slab CA - Ryan Tolentino "Super Abalone" V8 YouTube

"Renegades of Funk Traverse" V9fa start on the original Super Slab Corner 5.6/VB and then traverse left around arete into Mouse Crack then drop down into the sit start to Over The Hill and top it out.
Super Slab CA - Kevin Jorgeson "Renegades of Funk" V9 YouTube

"Rossta Traverse" V8/9fa
Traverse from right to left from Swiss Cheese past Living A Dream arete and down a move to "the ball hold" on Fort Rossta then end on Left Arete.
Fort Ross CA

"Goldbugs Traverse" V3/4fa?
Traverse from right to left along horizontal crack to the crux at the end.
FA= me?
Tuolumne CA

"Fat Man Traverse" aka Fat Tire Traverse V3/4fa
Traverse from a sit start on the arete to the left along a rail reminiscent of the Iron Man Traverse.
Fat Tire Boulder, Tahoe  CA

"Chris' Traverse" V6/7fa
Traverse low from a sit on the far right into the far left arete.
Low Brow Boulder, Christmas Tree Valley, Tahoe CA

"Starfish Traverse" V3/4fa
Traverse from the far left to the far right arete/roof to finish. Also done into The Wave problem V4/5.
The Wave Boulder, Secrets CA

"40 Oz Traverse" V6fa
Traverse from far right around arete to end on the far left.
40 Oz Boulder, Vacaville CA

"Motherfucker Traverse" V5fa
Traverse from far right around arete to end on the far left uphill backside.
The Mother Boulder, Vacaville CA

"Stoned Dangler Traverse" V5fa
Traverse from far right to end on the far left.
Bloody Madness Boulder, Vacaville CA

"Pine Flat Traverse" V6fa (150+ft!)
Traverse from far left uphill along base of crag to end on the far right. Epic long pumpfest!
Pine Flat, Geysers CA

"Rattlesnake Rock Traverse" V4fa
Traverse from far left around arete along base of crag to end on the far right.
Geysers CA

"Sticky Green Traverse" V6fa
Traverse from arete on far right to left into top out near end of long sloper lip.
Muffins, Castle Rock CA

"Backscratcher Traverse" V3/4fa
Traverse up and left through backscratching corridor from low start on right side at slab arete to end on fun juggy arete on uphill left side.
Indian Rock, Castle Rock CA

"Tender Biddles Traverse" V6fa
Traverse from Tender Biddles sit low and left along base of slab into semi highball crack on left.
Biddles Boulders, Castle Rock CA

"Dubilious Traverse" V6/7fa Stand start Way Dubious Contortionist and traverse left into the original Billy Goat Traverse (V6 FA=Dave Caunt) or V8/9? from Way Dubious low/under-cling start.

"Billy Goat Gruff" V7fa Stand start on far left side of Billy Goat Rock and reverse the Billy Goat Traverse (V6 FA=Dave Caunt) to the right into Way Dubious Contortionist (V5) to finish.
Billy Goat Rock, Castle Rock CA

"Stoner Traverse" V6fa Left to far right into Sunray V2 to finish (V7 low start).
Stoner Cave, Aquarian Valley Waterfall, Castle Rock CA

"Stop In The Name Of Love Traverse" V3/4fa or "Stop Dragging My Heart Around Traverse" V4/5fa Traverse from right to left along backside of main wall. "Stop Dragging.." is the lowball butt-dragger. Start to the right of the word "Stop" spray painted on the boulder.
Saddle Boulder, Tahoe CA

"Loosers Keepers Traverse" V5/6fa
Hard slab traverse. Traverse from arete on left near start of Looser Weepers to V0 just before the right side (to continue far right for a few more moves may add a / grade but feels less natural).
Lost and Found, Burnside Lake, Tahoe CA

"Lost and Found Traverse" V4/5fa
Start on Lost and Found and traverse left into fun V2 in corridor (or into V2 on far left = V6/7? or from V2 on far left = V7/8!?)
Lost and Found Boulders, Tahoe CA

"Limestone Natural Bridge Traverse" V5/5.12fa
Traverse from about the middle of the inside of the bridge to end on the far left (about 75ft!?). A rocky landing with weird moves on amazingly sculpted but dusty limestone in a dark cave makes this a fun and challenging adventure. Many good rests but sending this still feels like leading a fairly long and steep 5.12 sport pitch. And/or start on the far right and do about 20ft of V6 over rocks and seasonal water holes called "Bridge Creek Traverse" and step off or go into a long undone crux section (V8/9?) that when all added into the V5 will be the complete traverse (150ft!?) and probably sick double digits!?
(dark - a headlamp helps)
Hayfork CA "Limestone Natural Bridge Traverse" V5/5.12 fa YouTube

Sean Brady 2nd ascent of "Pine Flat Traverse"

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mendo Exploring/Climbing/Bouldering/4-Wheelin Summer 2014

M61 Boulders (0.6 miles from M1 on M61)
1 V0 slab
2 VB crack/corner
3 V1 arete to slab crack
4 "Pistol Grip Arete" V2
5 "M16" V3
6 "AKV47" V4
7 3rd and 4th class scrambles to top
8 arete/face?
9 overhang right?
10 overhang left?

Mendo Bouldering Summer 2014 - YouTube

M1, Yuki and Mendocino National Forest Bouldering areas
(more info coming soon):

The Swimming Hole
bouldering VB-V5 so far with more potential!

Shady Crag
bouldering and top rope/possible sport potential

M61 Spires / Bean Rock ?
bouldering and top rope/possible sport potential 

M61 Boulders
bouldering VB-V4 (see above)

M1 Crag
bouldering V0-V4 and possible short top rope potential 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Bay Area Bouldering overview map and list of areas.

The first printing of my bestselling guidebook Bay Area Bouldering accidentally had no numbers in the list of areas to correspond with the numbers on the map. The problem has since been fixed in the second printing but in case you own the first print book here is the overview map and fixed list of areas with the numbers to correspond with the map: