Friday, July 24, 2009

2009 SLC OR Mammut Bouldering Championships

The Mammut Bouldering Championships at the 2009 Summer Outdoor Retail (OR) show started off slow, with both the initial women and men competitors not topping out a single route. At first you questioned the route setters, thinking it may be too tough for anyone. Or, maybe it was the 90+ degree heat and sun beaming down on slopers and crimps that was making it impossible for anyone to top out.

Then, Alex Johnson, Alex Puccio, Lisa Rands, Daniel Woods, Paul Robinson and Julian Bautista took their turns -- some of them flashing several of the routes. Both Alex' flashed the first three routes and timed out before topping out the final route. Johnson won by completing two more moves than Puccio, who had previously won over Johnson at the World Cup finals. The last route for both genders seemed to be the hardest and required the most juice.

For the men, the last route typically included a rose move or some sort of 360 cross-through over three separate holds. In the men's division Daniel Woods took first place by flashing all but one route. Julian Bautista made a surprising triumph over Paul Robinson by topping out all routes and placing second. He definitely appears to be one to look out for.

Photos by Leland Marshall

You can see video of the comp by going to
or through

Final comp results:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

AF Hole

This past weekend, Brady Robinson, Access Fund's executive director, was in town to test out the local limestone, discuss access issues with Central Texas Mountaineers (CTM), and on other business. Myself and Gary Ellis, CTM president, took him out climbing on Lake Travis on my boat to appease his appetite for water soloing. On the way out we discussed some access issues in San Antonio and our interest in aggressively assisting in educating locals and building relationships to open new and old areas to climbing. Hopefully we'll have some progress there to discuss in the coming months.

We arrived at Pace Bend Park around 8:30 a.m. and headed straight to Cow Creek Cove to do some soloing. The crags are a little chossy, but what do you expect from rock that has been submerged for over a decade? Austin is experiencing quite the drought this year and water levels are dropping about a half a foot a day at the lake. This is good and bad. Bad for obvious reasons, but good for the fact that it's opening up new climbing areas, new first ascents and onsights. It's also making what were once mere boulder problems into 30+ foot routes, which doesn’t seem so short when you’re topping out a crux on an unknown route that has never been cleaned.

We were spent after a short three or four hours, but were all satisfied. Brady even ticked what was most likely an FA on a great route that spat me off several times when I relied too heavily on some loose footholds. If it was an FA, he's calling it AF Hole. Check out the pics from the day after when we had a crew of six boats representing. If you haven’t been water soling in Austin you are missing out. Come on!