Sunday, December 22, 2013

Amy & Evan & the move

Our good friends Amy & Evan under their namesake problem which I put up on the day of their wedding. Evan just sent and Amy has "vowed" to do so soon!

These guys are wonderful friends and an intergal part of the Tahoe scene. Def tough to say goodbye to these cats, but we will see them again!


"Amy & Evan" V8*** at Cold Stream in Tahoe. One of many great lines at that sweet zone.

------------------------------------------

So... We have moved. We are setting up our digs right now in Fort Collins and so far we are loving it.




Goodbye Minden!


We will miss this view!

We stopped over in Vegas for a week and spent a fair amount of time with our friend and fellow climberdoc, Ed Kwon. Ed is a trauma surgeon now, but he'll always be like a little brother since we met in med school in New Orleans when I was a senior and he was a neophyte.


That said, he's the man now! If I caught a bullet, I'd want Ed workin' on me. Anyway, we got to climb and chill and also spend time at our friend Mike Doyle's pad. Mike is also a rad dude. The scene was crazy in Vegas the whole week. We ran into many friends and climbed on new stuff with my old/young friend Daniel Woods and his buddy Jimmy Webb. Both these guys are super super nice and low key/down to earth. Oh yeah, and they destroy of course.

Check this out:


Left to right: 8b, 8a+, 8c. W.T.F... Amazing bloc! 4 star lines!!!


Jimmy gettin' buck on "The Nest" V15.

Anyhow, we also got to see Nalle H. Again who we had briefly met in Rocklands. It was a fun reunion and Kenny B. and Jules rounded out the team. Oh yeah, we even saw Chuck!!!

Zun also had a blast. We went to Mandalay Bay and saw the amazing aquarium there. All in all, it has been a crazy whirlwind. We miss the Tahoe crew fa sho, but bigger adventures await us!







Happy holidays to everyone. Don't get too out of shape!

Seek perfection of character, respect others & Try Hard. Noah as usual.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

New Sugar 1 lines

Three new lines at sugar 1 have gone up while I wage my epic battle with my uber proj.



Lars Ensign deliberates "Second Edition" V7*** just right from "West Side Slasher" V4****. This new line looked heinous, but turned out to be not heinous and really cool with sweet moves on good stone.

There is also a short V5 that I did very close to and in fact facing the epic "Crossfire Hurricane." Fonty and cool. I don't remember what I called it.

The last line is the best. "Full Suspension" V7**** which starts on the obvious arête holds just left of "BMX" and climbs directly up and at about 2/3 of the way to the top, joins that problem to finish on the same excellent finish. Balancy moves and it always looked too hard to try. Not even listed as a project in our guide although the line yielded and turned out to be MEGA.

There you have it...

Seek perfection of character, respect others & Try Hard. Noah as usual.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

For Mitch

Here is a cool mod line that we did this summer in a sweet new south lake area:



"For Mitch" V4**** Benwood Meadows. Epic climbing up a steep bulge in an epic location. The view of the lake from this boulder is insane. Right off the PCT on the way to Benwood Meadows. It starts at the big undercling and moves up and right through mega moves on great rock. You should do this one for sure!


Mitch Underhill. Still thinking about you all the time out at the crags, bro!

Seek perfection of character, respect others & Try Hard. Noah as usual.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

All Time

Peoples,

Tahoe delivers. It always does. Every time I think about how much we have developed and how hard it is to find new stuff, something magically appears. It's been beat into me so many times now that I finally realize that Tahoe is untapped.

So it was with one of my final sessions with the crew... Dave Hatchett, The legend, sends me a pic of a new bloc out at silver lake. I don't even need the pic tho; Dave's word is gold:

Lamberto projecting "All Time" V10****



That said, this photo was BOSS. (Above). Wow. Now that's a proj! It was on. Two days later, with Zun in day care, Siemay, Dave, Lamberto, Chilly and I all rode down the closed road on the West end of Silver Lake. I had no idea what to expect, but the pic looked promising for sure.




Siemay under the "Woodpecker" V4**** mega highball. Classic. You can see the waterline low on this seasonal mega bloc. November.


Siemay working "Silver Wolf" V10****

Suffice it to say, this is one of the very best boulders in all of Tahoe. It's up there with the "Only" boulder and better than "The Beast" or the "Saddle." We spent all day on this boulder. The rock is the highest quality Sierra granite, like Yosemite. Soft on the skin. The climbing is subtle, powerful, dynamic and thought provoking.

...I think this actually may be my favorite bloc in Tahoe!

The catch: see the water line? This boulder is seasonal and only open in late fall.

All in all, we added 7 three to four star lines to the boulder, and there are at least 4-5 plums left. V5, V3, V1, V5, V7, V10 & V10... Amazing. Most areas don't even have one four star line, and this boulder has at least 5 already!

I completed the project Lamberto was trying above and called it "All Time." I did it first as a stand at V8/9 morpho, and then added the crouch which adds brilliant thuggy moves and bumps it up to 10 bangs. This line is like a better version of the four star Mountain Beaver classic, "Integrity." Better rock and more interesting moves, but perhaps slightly less aesthetic; that line is mega, too.

Siemay could not make the span on this fat-kid compression line, so she started working out a direct line that goes right up the face. This mega line has amazing movement! Wow! I rap cleaned it and did all the moves, but could not get it done at the end of that day... (I sent it the next sesh out.) Scope:




"Silver Wolf" V10**** Trends straight up and right. "All Time" V10**** starts with compression, crouched on the left arête and tops out up the arête... Despite the descriptions, these are individual lines and highly aesthetic and worthwhile. Vars can be done from one into the other and actually may be worthy as well since the movement is so sublime and the rock so good.

SPOILERS:

[ALL TIME beta: (Because it's so sick!!!) Begin crouched, left foot in mini dihedral, right on big feet, pump right to jug, then left to jug, then go big right to jug, heel right, subtle pop/reach to side pull pocket, switch feet heel left, left to jug, campus match, left foot around corner on edge, BIG reach to MEGA pinch loaf (!) mantle right and stand up to a get out of the pool mantle on jugs kinda high. MORPHO. Prob V8-12 depending on size/ape. So good. Sooooo good...]

[SILVER WOLF beta: Layback starting hold, cross left to gaston pocket, jack right foot to seam, extendo or hop to amazing sloper (pictured,) sink down, right bump to pocket, left foot to perfect hold, right hand to sick sloper match, cut, CAMPUS (!) to gaston sloper, left foot up or bump to jug seam, left hand undercling, fun 5.10 t.o. Rad. Mega. Also an all time BP.]


Hatchett puts up another four star V5. The seam on the very far left side of this pic is a really cool V12-14 mega proj that goes up a sweet line, traverses right a little and then tops out via a big move to jugs on the blunt arête. It may not look it here in this pic, but it's pretty amazing too. I cleaned it a bit, but it looked like a LONG TERM proj, and I knew my time was limited, so someone else will have to get that rig done! (Charlie? Kyle? Randy? Jesse?)



The All Time Bloc.


Dave scoping a relatively easy but slightly scary slab arête project at the end of the day.


A really nice developed moderate dyno wall with perfect stone.


"Silver Star" V7. A nice little addition to the left of the dyno corridor.


"Silver Fox" V7. A classy tall number on the All Time bloc. The left dihedral is a four star V5. Must do.


Some detail and angles on All Time & Silver Wolf.


Siemay scopes a fun warm up.


I didn't get to try this, but it looked four star!

There are several classy blocs such as this in close proximity to the All Time bloc. This is all a sub-sector of the whole Platinum boulders zone. All these blocs are detailed in the forthcoming edition(s) volume 2 & 3 of the Lake Tahoe Bouldering Guide series by Dave Hatchett.


Just doesn't do it justice... More four star lines on perfect stone on the All Time bloc.


Siemay sending.

BETA:



Silver Lake is off hwy 88. Basically, park othe west end down by the west end of the lake, or, in fall park at the closed road. We bring bikes to zip down the long hill (sweet aerobic on the way out.). Cross lake outlet at bottom just past "park when gate open" tag above, drop bikes and thwack to the boulders. There are many many boulders. Dave will have GPS for All Time in the new guide, but I believe my tag above is correct or will at least get you to sick blocs super close to the MEGA. Good Luck. With the gate closed, you're looking at a 30 min approach and 45 min exodus. Gate open is 15-20 min approach.

There is much much here to be developed. Please report all routes to Dave Hatchett with GPS and description and photo.

It's a GREAT plan to bring a harness and rope. Although an experienced climber can down climb this epic bloc, it's a bit scary and not necessary if you just bring a rope/harness. You can also work the projects this way and clean.

You have the Noah T. Kaufman, MD promise that if you visit this bloc (when it's not underwater!) you will have one of the most enjoyable climbing days of your life.

This was an amazing final gift for Siemay, Dave, others & I to be able to add some plum lines to the registry. I am super thankful to Dave for rallying the troops, and to mother nature for once again providing mystical and abstruse movement.

It's fair to say that I'm obsessed with climbing and moving over stone. Days like this day are freedom days... I might as well be able to fly!

Get psyched to push yourself to new levels! I will be writing a post soon about a major life and health change that has resulted in much higher performance and more enjoy ability and fun in my daily excursions.

Take care, y'all!

Seek perfection of character, respect others & Try Hard. Noah as usual.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Prosser Boulder new lines

I've been feeling quite strong this season, perhaps the strongest I've ever felt partly due to the fact that I've lost a lot of weight since switching to a mostly plant based diet.

video


With this in mind, I've been looking to visit old projects and do new hard First Ascents in Tahoe before leaving this magical place.

The other day we went to the Prosser boulder, which is described in the recently released and highly acclaimed bouldering guide by Dave Hatchett.

I did 3 new problems on the boulder; two of which are described as projects and the third is not even mentioned or drawn into the guide... It exists now!

Scope this right hee-ya:



"Goodbye Tahoe" V8****. This climb is absolutely mega; V5 or 6 to a hard radical finishing sideways dyno to a sloper off of horrible feet. Climbs really nice and the throw is committing. Took her down in a few tries, so I think this was a project due to heat and the fact that it looks waaaaayyyy harder than it actually is. Chill T.O.


"Gloomy" V9*** ...Describes the day, my initial spirits, and it is a play on words. Really great movement and changed my mood immediately. Got me psyoiched! Sit on detached flake; right on good hold on top of nose, left on good side pull, pull left to slopers, and right to a bad intermediate and a big move to the "gloomy" hold. Sick line for the big kids! Once I figured the bates, it wasn't too bad.

The third line is also listed as a project, but is not a great line; perhaps one star. Basically V9 thin-ness through a weird pistol move left leg. Between the classic V5 and the V6. Listed in the book as a proj that was V4 before it broke. Meh.

Carry on. Go scope the new lines! The 2 mentioned above are especially super worthy.

Seek perfection of character, respect others & Try Hard. Noah as usual.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Human Math V8

"Human Math" is an awesome new V8 that got done this summer by Jon T. And Kyle O. This sweet rig is trail side at Camo Forest. It is a LOT of moves and I don't know how we didn't do this one for so many years. Def saw it... Anyway, it's mega, and with temps, not that bad.

Photo credit: Jon Thompson, Twilight & Rust Photography


Siemay Lee on the steep opening moves of "Human Math." Above.

Caroline Kim sends the rig!  Below.

Steep roof to sweet compression? Awesome! Caroline halfway out of trouble but getting closer to the sweaty 5.11 puppy T.O. of "Human Math."

So here is a funny story about this line: Siemay had spent a session figuring her beta and couldn't quite link. The next day she was hyper-motivated to go and get it done. I had to work a night shift at 10p. She got off work at 6p. It was hot as balls and Mosquitos were raging. It was not what you want.

We rallied hard from Minden, driving an hour and then hiked 20 mins up hill and got to the climb at 7:20p, sweating. Siemay literally had a 30-40 min window to send. She didn't need it. She sent first go. We packed up and rallied home in about an hour, sweaty and mosquito bitten. Zun's face looked like he had chocked pox!

Funny. Epic motivation. In the end, it just goes to show that a rock climber would rather brave the elements to be intimate with honest to goodness stone then to be comfy and social in a plastic gym.

Ya can't beat nature, y'all!

Seek perfection of character, respect others & Try Hard. Noah as usual.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Legoland

Yeah, it's a 1.5 hour burly hike... 2 if you go to Lego 2!! But holy holy it is worth it! Sick high Sierra granite with steep, tall, majestic lines! King Lines! Not many areas in Tahoe have so many 3 and even 4 star climbs. Check out this photo/caption blog:



"Ninja Gaiden" V6 **** LINUS MAXIMUS. An epic line that Kyle and I opened. Too cool. Makes "See Spot Run" look like a warmup.


"The Ancient One" V6 *** Would be four star if not for the landing. Even so, a must do if you're crazy enough to slog all the way out to Lego 2. Plenty of FAs to do at Lego 2 still!!! ...and some fill-in lines at Lego 1 as well.


GPS coords. Motherload = Lego 2 (not quite as epic as Lego 1,) Guardian Angel = see below, Legoland proper is at the small "Google Map data" under the zoom...






Lego 2


"Guradian Angel" V8 **** WHOAH... This is an absolute King Line. Top Notch. I rapped this and "Ninja Gaiden" and then Kyle and I did them both back-to-back for the FA. The left arête also went at about V5, and the crack is an amazing 5.8 HB. Dave Hatchett also put up the sweet right arête which is about V6 and super sick as well! Amazing Sierra bloc!!!


SO PSYCHED!!! #bloodypaws #tahoelove #tahoealwaysdelivers #climbtillidie #lovethisshit #tryhard

I lost a lot of skin on a line Charlie put up called "Ninja Tap" V9 (V10 sit still undone.)

Charlie and Kyle and I put up an AMAZING **** line called "Amigos" also which ends in a dramatic way!


One of the coolest First Ascents I have ever done: "Crazy Feather" V10****. Wow. Just wow. Check it: http://youtu.be/wz_FtiENgig. Figured this rig with Jon Thompson who was crushing the moves and could have just as easily bagged the line. Chuck B pulled a rabbit out of the hat with a rebate-flash. sick.




"Pure" V9*** As the name suggests: Good starting holds, big move to a small little tiny almost-nothing-there fingernail duel crimper and body-climb around this miserable hold to a sick pistol shouldery pull-through to a rad sloper! Hard! Check it: http://youtu.be/maJgmnp9d3Q


One last look at the "Crazy Feather." So many sick lines up there. Harrison's crack, "Indiana Jones" V6, dave Hatchett's four star "Lost in Transition" V7, "Amigos" V9****... Many others.

You should go up there. It's far far away, and you'll likely want a posse. saddle up, gents, Legoland is rad!

Special thanks to Harrison who found, developed and SHARED this amazing find. We need more like ya, Harrison! You are a good man!

Seek perfection of character, respect others & Try Hard. Noah as usual.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Midget Tricks


"Midget Tricks" is a stout little V8 sloper line on a boulder of the same name in the parking lot for the Mountain Beavers way out at the end of S. Upper Truckee River Rd. This boulder has several stout, short lines that are fun if you are solo and only require one pad mostly. the climbing is athletic on very good stone and you can touch the boulder from the parking lot.

Here is a photo:





The line out the left overhang is "Midget Tricks" V8 and the stand mantle finish is V5.

The line on the right overhang, behind the tree, is "QuickTime" V7.

Both lines are quality. Good rock, short and sweet. I put these up three summers ago, mostly because someone had to!

Seek perfection of character, respect others & Try Hard. Noah as usual.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Burst Rock Revisited

I have been working a great little ED down in Sonora, CA and have had the opportunity to take in some of the local climbing including Columbia, Jailhouse, Columns of the Giants and Burst Rock.

I actually went to burst rock with my friends Jesse Bonin and David Outcalt many years ago when Anthony Allopena was developing the area.

Before getting into too much detail, here is a neat line I recently did there:

Skype (aka Supernova) V10



This line is bouldering distilled: One hard move to escape a steep wall from a seemingly impossible position to a tensiony slopey lip encounter with a cool exiting sequence.

Basically, it's fun as hell.

Burst Rock is... Rad!

Seek perfection of character, respect others & Try Hard. Noah as usual.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Legoland

Blue Lakes has alway been filled with meh little boulders and meh little zones that aren't quite worth the visit unless you are a local...

I put up a sweet line out there called "Blue Life" which is arguably the best climb out there at V7. It's maybe 2 stars.

So I was dubious when local developer Harrison Eberlin posted a pic on the local Tahoe Bouldering FB page. Sure the one bloc looked big and rad, but much of the quality of stone out at Blue Lakes is meh, as I mentioned.


Harrison's Lego bloc.

Always down for adventure, I rallied a crew to join the very sharing and psyched Harrison on a tour of Legoland. Dave Hatchett, Jon Thompson, Dave Schwisow, Wes Christensen and I hiked for 2 hours along side Harrison to this utopian bouldering spot way up above Meadow Lake, past Blue Lakes proper.



What did we find, you ask? Heaven. Amazing high quality blocs with numerous 3 and 4 star projects. Wow. WORTH THE HIKE!!! (Also, now that the lake level is so low, we have the hike down to about 1.5 hours mostly uphill going in and 1.2 hours out.)


"Pure" V9 - This is just one of many amazing problems opened by the crew. Everywhere we looked was something amazing. Harrison had already picked some plums, but so many remained! This pure line is crazy. Totally vert, perfect starting crimps, decent feet, long move to a dime sized crimp, mantle-press through a massive move to a crazy sloper at the lip. No other way. Pure. Here's a vid:




"Crazy Feather" V10. WTF! 4 stars. Hands down one of the best lines I've ever opened. Jon Thompson and I worked the beta out a few weeks ago, but we couldn't quite link. This climb is beautiful. Gymnastic pulls on good holds. Big throws and steep. It's a rare and amazing gem of a climb. A must do. This rig starts a full 7 feet lower down and left and offers a lot of steep climbing with incredible grips. Fun personified.







I wish I had pics of all the amazing lines. If I get pics, ill def update this post.

Dave Hatchett also opened an amazing 4 star line at V8 up a steep wall of diorite holds followed by a techy mantle that shut me down! ...I need to go back for this prize. Amazing Dave! Name TBD.

Last but not least, Harrison added a 4 star line to cap the day! At V7, the dead vertical techy crack with dramatic finish (name also TBD,) is mega. I need to do this one too.

We will all be going out on Tuesday and hopefully add some harder lines; I spied a few worthy candidates on this last mission.

Sure it's far, but that's part of the game and the beauty of the Sierras is an incredible reward!

Here is the funny part (you knew this was coming:) By the parking for Meadow lake lies a small group of meh boulders and meh problems. We ran into some older locals who told us about the bouldering they had been doing there for years and the 40+ problems that they had established. The rock is mostly junk, and the climbing is dull and uninspiring to the point that I had checked out the boulders years ago and written them off as "not worth it." Suffice it to say, we were asked to keep their boulders a local secret. I WILL HAPPILY OBLIGE. Legoland is the real deal. The goods. Epic. Like area A at Evans in Colorado.

Harrison Eberlin showed remarkable character sharing his find with the world. Without a massive ego to protect, Harrison chose fun and new friendships over prideful greed and secrecy.

I now extend his gift and example by sharing Legoland with you (with Harrison's blessing.) Please let Hatchett know the FA's you do: name, grade, description and GPS, as Legoland is on the map and will be included in Volume 3 of the Tahoe Bouldering Guides.

To get there simply follow carins around the North side of Meadow lake (you need 4WD to get to Meadow lake and high clearance,) to the dam almost, then up a saddle past two meadows then up a hill and south 1/4 way thru the big second meadow. Best to google earth it and prob get a tour. It's out there.

By the way, it's worth mentioning that there is another area out past the damn on the far side of Meadow Lake called "Far Away Land," but it's crap.

UPDATE: WE ARE GOING BACK TO LEGOLAND WITH A HUGE CREW TOMORROW (Tues. Oct. 8th) TO DO MEGA LINES AND GET THE PADS OUT!

Now go and crush!

Most photo and video credit: Dave Schwisow

Seek perfection of character, respect others & Try Hard. Noah as usual.

UPCOMING POSTS:

Burst Rock Revisit
Crossfire Hurricane
Midget Tricks
Benwood Meadows
Leaving Tahoe

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mitch Underhill




Mitch Underhill was a pure soul. (above, right (legend Tahoe Todd left.))

I knew Mitch from work initially. He was an EMS provider, and I an ER doc, so he would bring me patients at Barton frequently. We would talk about medicine and the cases we shared frequently, but we would always digress into "so, man, what have you been climbing?"


It wasn't long before we combined energies and discovered that we were on the same wavelength in climbing as well as medicine. The years went by and we would infrequently hook up to climb; Mitch had many many friends and floated easily through the Sierra climbing circles: Bigwall, trad, sport, bouldering, Mitch was adept at them all.


Mitch taking an active spot of Travis Junkin on "Fat Man in a Little Coat" V9 at Burnside Lake.

What really brought Mitch and I closer together was having our sons. Over the last two years as Mason and Zun grew from wee little grubs into talking, fighting toddlers, Mitch and I would climb and talk fatherhood and the wonders of life. We put up hard boulders together including the very cool roadside Woodford's climb: "Deadbeat Dads," which we named, half-jokingly after the fact that our boys were being watched while we went out and selfishly climbed.

But we had to. We talked about that too. Medicine and work are stressful and climbing is the perfect way to sublimate; to blow off steam.

Recently, while out bouldering at Burnside lake he told me of the crazy call he took to rescue a half frozen women who got stuck with her beau during a freak fall snowstorm that trapped the couple in their car 6 miles up Burnside lake rd. The man had tried to walk out, post-holing and slogging through miles until he took off his clothes and succumbed to hypothermia... Mitch rode a snowmobile up sloshy melting snow until he got to the woman and saved her life. He was an unsung hero.

Mitch was the nicest guy I ever met. His son, Mason, was several months ahead of my son, Zun, in age, and Mitch was always giving me (asked for) perfect beta on fathering. Perfect advice on raising my little man.

Watching Mitch play with Mason always made me wonder if I was that good of a father and always made me strive to be better.

My memories of Mitch will not fade. He was a main character in my life. He is one of the men I truly respect and admire. His sons will grow up without him, but they will hear stories and know that their father was no ordinary man.

Mitch Underhill was my friend. His wife Sarah and his boys were lucky to have him, and his loss is devastating to their family in a way no one should ever truly be able to comprehend.

I was personally shaken to my core when I heard of his death. I want the world to know that Mitch was the best kind of teacher; the kind that taught by example. He was a good man and will forever be a part of Lake Tahoe lore.

Tears are in my eyes as I write this. It was too early to go, Mitch. You had so much left to teach your boys. I will tell them about you from my perspective someday. I will tell them how much you loved them and Sarah and life!

Goodbye, Mitch! We love you, buddy!