Friday, July 17, 2009

West Bluff - Anchorpoint

Here's one of my favorite areas at the lake. Everything has fairly good landings and is somewhat atypical for the Lake. The approach is pretty easy and there are overhung moderates!! Such a rarity at the lake.

So, starting at Ski Hi. Go right and stop at the "T" intersection. Turn right and follow the windy South Bluff road down into the valley. At the bottom you can either go left onto the dirt road where there is limited parking or you can go a little further down the road and park on the right at the boat launch lot. Either one is fine.

Walk down the dirt road, past the cottages and get onto the Tumbled Rocks trail that looks a lot like this:

From here, walk about 5-10 minutes on the asphalt trail. You'll pass the talus field for Alpine Club but just wait until the first huge talus field appears. It'll be pretty obvious. It looks a lot like this:

If you look closely you can see some yellow spraypaint on one of the rocks that some moron thought would look cool. Look here:

In the first picture of the talus field you can actually see the top of the Hogleg Boulder in the upper left. Thats where you need to go. Just start hiking and it'll be obvious.

We'll start on the right side and go left. First is a pretty cool traverse that needs some cleaning. It'll probably be a nice warm up. There is also potential for some problems going up the boulder but I'd like to say that we shouldn't clean off all the ferns on the top. There are plenty of problems already and we don't need to destroy plantlife to climb these ones. Just be happy with the traverse please.

Here's a picture:

The left arete of that is also a nice little V1 or so with fun moves and a cool topout. Heres a shot of it:

Just to the left of that is another nice overhanging corner. This one is a touch harder and is maybe V3 or so. I personally like this one better. It's really fun and is actually fairly overhanging. Here you go:

Directly left of that is Hogleg Overhang. It climbs up the overhanging face using whatever you want to use, as far as I know!! Classic and comes in with a grade around V5. It's a bit highball so bring pads and spotters! There is also apparently a direct version that goes at about V7 but I'm not sure what the exact line is. Here's a picture:

Directly left of Hogleg are a couple of problems that climb up the smooth face and corner. They range from V1-V3 and have interesting fall potential.

Anchorpoint starts on the obvious prow left of Hogleg. Start left hand on juggy side pull and right hand on the good flat ledge. Use whatever trickery you can to gain a high right crimp and topout squeezing slopers. Classic and super fun!! The big detached block is off. Here's a picture of the left side of it.

Just to the left of Anchorpoint is a short problem that does in fact use the block in question. Would also be doable without it but with MAJOR dab potential. I think this comes in around V1-2.

If you walk towards the back of the boulders you'll see one of the coolest slabs in the entire park! Great warmups on super unique rock make the Trust Fund Slab an absolute must do!

Up and to the right, past Trust Fund is another new V0 highball. This apparent classic is a jug haul the whole way. You can see the backside of it from Trust Fund. I believe it's being called TCC.

So there you go! Check it out and let me know what you think of the area! Like I said, it's one of my favorites and it's very unique for Devil's Lake!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

East Bluff - North Shore - Monolith Area

Last week we went back up to the Monolith Area for the first time in a couple years and I was hit with all sorts of nostalgia and remembered why it's one of my favorite areas at the lake. All of the landings are fairly clean, the climbs have enough height to make them fun but not too much to make them scary and most of the problems are incredibly fun. It's got an easy approach and is a pretty good summer destination if there is a nice solid breeze blowing through.

From Ski Hi take a right and go to the "T" intersection. Go left and follow signs for the North Shore of Devil's Lake. You'll eventually turn right into the park and go down the windy road past the Smooth Operator parking lot. Pass the ranger station and go over the railroad tracks. Take the first right after the tracks and park in the third parking lot on the right. Drive down to the south end of the lot if you can as that's where the trail starts up.

Walk past the bathroom that looks like this:

You'll walk on the left side of the bathroom and into the woods behind it and meet up with a trail that runs through the right side of the North Shore bouldering area. Walk up a hill with quartzite steps built into it and you'll eventually meet up with an asphalt trail at the top. Turn right and start hiking up the slight hill.

After a few minutes you'll see a chossy cave that looks a whole lot like this:

When you see this cave, go right and up around the corner. You'll see a really nice lookout and then you'll turn left. Keep following the asphalt trail onto the top of the bluff. Walk for another 5 minutes or so and on the left side of the trail you'll see this grove of trees and a small trail going down. This will take you to the Dadaism boulders.

On the other side of the the entrance you'll see these stairs:

There is also a second entrance down the trail a bit. On your left there will be a nice little clearing. Look for something like this:

The Dadaism boulders are super fun and have some tall moderate lines, as well as one very hard problem. The main wall has three problems on it. Sloper of Dadaism(V3), Dyno Project(V?) and Crack of Minimal Motion(V3). Sloper starts on the left on a good jug and goes up the left side of the face using the chalked up pocket. Long moves and comfy holds make this problem one of my absolute favorites at the Lake. Definition of classic.

The dyno project may have been done already but it's unconfirmed. It's very simple though. Climb up to good pockets, set your feet and launch for the big hold at the top. Full body length dyno. Crack of Minimal Motion is a bit trickier and a bit less fun than sloper, but still worthwhile. It starts at the right arete and uses the thin crack to the top.

Sloper of Dadaism, Dyno Project and Crack of Minimal Motion from left to right.

Just to the left of Dadaism is the hard climb, Axiom of Arete Aesthetics. It comes in at roughly V7 but is definitely hard and rarely tried. Very proud line though. Starts on the right arete.

Directly left of that is Pillar of Contemporary Movement. It goes up the face using whatever you want and is roughly V4.

Back on the asphalt trail you'll see Thunderbird Bulge on the right side. Thuderbird starts on two sidepulls and dynos up to the break. It clocks in at about V3-4. Apparently there is a hard problem immediately to the left as well. Thunderbird looks like this:

Just around the corner you'll come to what I like to call the Zoo. A nice little alcove with 4 high quality problems in it. On the left side is the Venus Rising block, which holds 3 problems on it. The left arete proper is about V2-4 depending on who you talk to. Physical moves up an arete and it always seems hard when I try it.

Venus Rising(V7) climbs the blunt arete up the center of the face. Starting on underclings climb your way up to a small crimp, match and throw for a dish up top. Many different ways to do this problem and is a classic for DL. VERY fun moves!!

To the right of Venus Rising is Bark Biter(V4). Another classic climb for the grade and a worthy tick. Start in the crack and go up using whatever you want. Cool moves the whole way up and a nice tree behind you to keep you honest! I've got a bit of a soft spot for this problem for many reasons. Do it!!

Arete, Venus Rising and Bark Biter from Left to right:

Directly to the right of this boulder is a V2 slabby face known as "Face right of bark biter". With the hardest moves right off the ground this is a great entrance to some of the headier climbs at the lake.

Around the corner from the Zoo there is a small valley with a boulder on each side. On the right is a nice warm up boulder with 4-5 moderate climbs on it. Shawns slab is on the front face and Broken Pottery is on the right hand face. Both have nice landings and comfy grips. On the left side is a nice balancy arete problem. And this isn't even counting all the variations and traverses. One of the best warm up boulders in the park.

Directly across the mini valley is the Spotted Cow Boulder. There are three variations and all problems are.....interesting. They go, from left to right, V3, V4-5, V2.

From the Spotted Cow Boulder turn you back to the asphalt trail and walk up the small valley. At the top turn right and look on your left for a small gully. Go down here and this will take you to the remainder of the problems.

The first problem you'll see is Sex and Chocolate(V7). It's the obvious wide arete that goes up to the break. Use whatever beta you can decipher and go! Either drop off at the jug or traverse off right if you want. There is also a possible direct project. Looks doable!! (Photo shamelessly stolen from Mountain Project. Credit goes to Brian Runnells)

Continue down the trail a little further and you'll see Perfect Medium(V9) and Manhattan(V1-2). Perfect Medium starts right hand on arete and left hand on the razor edge. Punch to a sloper and head up to a break. Hard and classic. Bring tape. Manhattan goes up the left face near Perfect Medium.

If you keep walking for 5-10 minutes past Perfect Medium you'll see the Thin Man Corridor. There are a number of easier highballs in the area and they tend to be pretty heady. Bring pads and spotters and you'll have fun.

All in all the Monolith Area is easily one of my favorites at the lake. High concentration of classic problems with reasonable landings make it a must visit area. Let me now if there are any questions!