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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

3.5 hours 73 points

Today was just one of those days where i felt on. I woke up late (the perfect start to a morning), ate some choco krispies (another amazing addition to the morning), and drove up to the Magic Wood. I arrived around 2:30 pm and hung out until around 3:30 until the sun left "New Base Line" 8B+ and i got very psyched to try it! I did the line first go today and just decided to continue on with a rampage "a muerte" as the cool people now-a-days seem to say. I strolled down to "Deep Throat" 8B, nearly flashed it and sent the line second go. After that i headed up to "Steppenwolf" 8B, ate some lunch and in a half hours time was battling with the final mantle and luckily pulled it off for a send! After that it was off to the classic 7c with my friend Garrett, we both dispatched quickly and then it was off to "the arete" 8A+. I had tried this one the other day but had been extremely tired when trying it and got shut down quickly and gave up for the day. I felt good on it today and finished it up in a few mins. Getting tired and with the light fading i opted for one more climb, "free 4 all" 8A/8A+. It is given 8A+ in the guidebook but at the end of the day seemed a bit easy for the difficult grade of 8A+ and opted to downgrade it beacuse of this reason. Though it is not the most inspiring line i found the moves to be quite awesome and sent the line quickly.

AH!!! what a crazy day today! lot's of running around in only a very short amount of time, and now back at home i am sore and my tips kill!

I am hoping to climb tomorrow in the Magic Wood again, maybe i will get back on "the never ending story" again! We shall see! I leave for Romania on Friday to compete in acompetition over the weekend and will be back in Ticino, Switzerland on Tuesday. My good friend Ryan Sewell flies in on Weds and from there we will surely be getting back to the boulders aka the money.

Friday, September 19, 2008

exploration day one

Today I went exploring two valleys to the west of where I am living in Claro. I had heard about the possible potential for amazing unclimbed boulders in this region and was psyched to head out. I woke up, ate some breakfast, and hopped in the Peugot and drove up there. The day started off quite nicely, huge boulder everywhere along the river. I could barely keep my eyes on the road driving up this very steep and windy valley. As the road ended I turned around and started my day from working from the top down.

At the top of the valley I stumbled across this boulder pictured below.

I checked it out and there seems to be two really amazing lines up this slightly overhung boulder. The first of which is on the left and the second is the prow just out of the frame. Both of these lines look phenomenal! Though I know the picture does not give it any justice, you will have to trust me on this one! I am definitely psyched to come back to this problem later on in the trip.

After that we headed down valley and started to scope out some of the biggest river boulder I have ever seen! From a distance they looked amazing but with a closer look, they all were featureless. It was quite a shame to see this, but they were still super cool to look at and be beneath.

With my acquired knowledge of the day I have come to the conclusion that finding this amazing five star line might be a little more difficult than I had imagined. I do know that it is not going be by the river because I looked at pretty much every climbable boulder and nothing was featured enough to climb it. I think that my next visit to this amazing valley will be spent in the forests above the river below. The boulders above the river seem to be a lot more featured and may yield themselves to a higher probability of climbable surfaces. From the road and through the trees I could see boulders up on the hillsides. I think that with Fall coming and the leaves about to fall from the trees it will be easier to scope the boulders enclosed by the forests. I think that this is where the five star line will be sitting. It is not going to be easy to find but I am hoping that with a few more trips up this untapped valley I will stumble across what could be one of the most pure amazing boulder problems in the world. Switzerland definitely has the rock quality, its just finding the boulders that is hard!

Tomorrow it is back to Magic Wood! I have still yet to try New Base Line and I am getting super psyched! Maybe if it is colder tomorrow I will make the trek up the hill and give it an effort! We shall see, but my true heart is still in that valley only 50 kilometers away! I can’t wait to get back there and continue on with the exploration!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

in response to Anonymous Part 2

I just arrived home from a day of bouldering in the Magic Wood and was happy to see a bunch of comments on my blog as well as a very nice write up on about my blog. to clear a few things up really quickly, as i mentioned i have not tried story of two world but my first impressions was that the climb was not the most spectacular climb in the world. It seemed a bit dabby. no i am not taking this as a short cut out of trying it at all. i never have in my entire life made a short cut out of trying a boulder problem and never plan to ever do so. i truly do not think that this climb looks good at all... there are way too many climbs in ticino to climb on the ones that dont inspire you. plus why repeat when you can be finding some of the greatest FA's in the world!? I am heading up to ValleBavonne tommorrow and will take many pics on the hopefully amazing projects i stumble upon!!! Thanks for all the great comments!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

as the game once said, " i aint afraid of no ghosts"

Thanks all for the supportive comments. I have decided why not bring my thoughts to as Jamie pointed out. I don't want to look scared because i want to get the highest score on So i am bringing the down rating from my blog to 8a and onward. I will continue to give my reasons for my downrates on this site because 8a is just not he place for it. Thanks all for your support!!

Today was a fun day, did a few moderates and attempted the full "Never Ending Story." Today was my first real day on it and it felt really good. I fell off the scond part of "NES" and can't wait to hopefully finish it next time in it!

Oh and in regards to Magic Wood, i feel that the grades here have been a bit more on target. NES part 2 to me felt a good bit soft, but most things here to be about right, only a bit on the soft end. Though i do feel that Voigas could easily be 7c...

Photos: Garrett Koeppicus

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

as birdman once said, "get your shine on"

So the sun has finally decided to come out and the past few days have been awesome!!! Climbing in magic wood and Chironico has been such an adventure. The first sunny day I headed to Chironico and it was hot! But I was to put it briefly, extremely extremely psyched!

We warmed up at this nice little boulder with some nice edges. I knew that I was close to “The Great Shark Hunt” and was very psyched to see it. I walked up the hill found it and decided I would love to give it a try. Even though at the beginning of my trip, I really wanted to flash this climb I had been cooped up for so long I just wanted to climb on something cool! So I headed up there and did it in a few goes, probably around 10 minutes or so. I should have flashed it; I fell going to the final jug because of a foot slip and followed in suite doing it two tries later. I have decided for this trip I am not here to contradict any grades on my scorecard but rather will talk about it here on my blog where I feel a lot more comfortable. I hate downplaying others sends, getting criticized, etc for my beliefs on that website and have decided to mainly stay with the grade given the boulder in the guidebook. Here is my opinion on “The Great Shark Hunt,” it felt super casual. If this is V13 then “Nagual” would be V15. If I were to rate this climb I would have given it soft 8a+. Since it is my style to a T I feel that this is reasonable. Now on to “Schule des Lebens,” at first I thought my beta was good but after a little while of trying found new beta that made it a great deal easier. This climb yet again is definitely not V13. I mean it was 22 celcius, V13 is hard!! and it is hard to justify saying this is legit V13 on such a hot day because I don’t want to ever down play the grade of V13. V13 is “Nuthin but Sunshine,” “Spectre,” “Nagual,” and “Algerita.” So my guess on “Schule des Lebens” is hard V11. I am not trying down play anyone’s ascents of any climbs but rather give my honest opinion.

The other day as well as today was spent at the beautiful area of Magic Wood. On my attempt to climb a lot of amazing problems quickly I took full advantage of the day. Climbing from noon until night set in. I warmed up and flashed the famous “Jack’s Broken Heart.” A very nice campusy climb out this nice roof to a scary top out when you are pumped. I loved the climb and am psyched to have done it! Right next to “Jack’s” is “Octopussy.” I should have rested longer after doing the previous climb before my flash go on this one. I got pumped quickly and fell after the crux stupidly. Anyway I finished it off next go after a few minute rest. I was psyched to head up the hill after that to try this nice V12 called “High Spirits” that I had tried in the rain a few days before. To say the least it felt a lot easier! Today my tips hurt and I thought it was going to be a rest day but got roped in to trying the second section of the “never ending story.” Amazing line!!! I did it second go and did the crux of part one very quickly as well. I am psyched to try the full line soon! It should be quite interesting to link the two cruxes!!!

Tomorrow is up in the air, either my first attempts at “New Base Line” or an attempt at the full “Never ending Story.” We shall see! All I know now is that I am psyched and can’t wait to get out to Magic Wood tomorrow morning! Until the next update, keep the comments coming, I love reading them! I will try to post pictures as soon as I remember to bring my camera in from the car at night.

And until next time, download the song, “You Aint know” by Lil Wayne and Birdman. A classic! “I aint got a money printer, so for this paper chase I’m out runnin sprinters!”

Thursday, September 4, 2008

as lil wayne once said, "i make it rain"

Well so far my trip to switzerland can be summed up in one melancholy word, rain. I have yet to pull off the ground on anything because it has rained every day i have been here and looks to continue to until as far as the forecast reports. I am pretty sure i have some sort of bad weather spell just following me from climbing destination to climbing destination. If anyone is having a sever drought in their country, just buy me a plane ticket and im sure to bring some very wet weather. Until who knows when, i will continue to walk through the pouring rain looking at soaking wet boulders.