Well, as you can therefore infer from the recent post (in)frequency, a lot has happened in the last couple months on multiple fronts.
Where to start? The RV Project would be a good place! The RV Project is (/are) a climbing duo: Spenser and Vikki. They travel the continent looking for the best climbing (mostly bouldering), creating delectable media content along the way, and using their gained wisdom to contribute and leave these areas in a better state than when they found them. I urge you to go read their post on the Conscious Climber Project, in addition to other stories from New Mexico. Also give em a follow on FB or instaG.. they're pretty handy at the old photo/words/video thing, so guaranteed they will entertain you with their adventures, plus you might learn a thing or two. Recently, they've nearly finished making a short movie about Ethan Pringle's historic redpoint of Jumbo Love - an epic piece of climbing for sure.. the film is surprisingly emotive, and gives you insight into what exactly goes into climbing something that difficult. Look out for it in 2016!
Spenser jumping on The Odyssey (V10)
Vikki on Too Good To Be American (V3)
So, back to NM, Spenser and Vikki came here on a quick trip last year, and were particularly enamored with the Ortega quartzite (aren't we all?). They actually reckon it's some of the best stone in the country - a big statement from people who have spent four years just searching for this. I've personally never seen better rock anywhere either, but my experience base is a fair bit narrower (West Coast, Southwest, UK).
What we're saying here, as outsiders to the state, is: New Mexicans - wake up! You have a treasure trove of some of the best stone anywhere, and it's on your doorstep! It's something to be mightily proud about. And I suggest getting out and sampling it* before the area blows up and gets trashed by the masses. Or will it? Interestingly, this has been a conversation that has come up a great deal lately, and nicely summarized by Spenser in his most recent blog post.
When the rock is this good, how can you keep your paws off?
No need for me to go over this ground then - just read the RV Project's posts about our chats with the Access Fund, and the dilemmas we have faced concerning the development of a new area. Its been tough - Leave No Trace doesn't leave much room for discussion. Until you consider real impacts like erosion and personal safety. Bouldering is not a Leave No Trace activity. Hell, hiking isn't either. But we can minimize our impact, and we can encourage others to emulate our recreational use patterns, in order to restrict the extent of the damage on the environment. And what about safety? I am of the opinion that moving a few rocks around to save a few ankles is the right and responsible thing to do.
Night sesh on The Outer Reaches (V11)
OK, this post title is about news, not ethics, so lets move swiftly on! I can't even remember where the last post left off... Orange Is The New Black? OK - we put up a BAD ASS V6 to the right of OITNB, called White Collar Crime. It involves multiple big compressioney throws up a 45 deg overhanging prow that pounds your pectoral muscles.. stellar stuff and its quite amazing it has been left until now to be done.
William on White Collar Crime (V6)
And another mega line at Posos that we've been looking at a while got done, The Golden Path V7. Christ, its good, a crimping masterpiece. Im really not sure it gets much better. Noah Kaufman was lucky enough to swoop that one, on his very first day at the area. Spenser got the 2nd ascent.. I meanwhile made the crux a few times but punted off the final committing big move. Psyched to get back, but now its started snowing, climbing at 9000' is likely to be off the menu til next year.
Noah Kaufman on The Golden Path (V7)
FINALLY got a chance to do some splorin', and search for Jay Foley's mystery "Impeccable Boulder". With a set of instructions much like Indiana Jones had for the Lost Ark, me Spenser and Vikki set off in search of this enigmatic boulder, hidden on the Jarita Mesa. Well, we found it! Pretty easily too. AMAZING rock quality, it lived up to the name. Didn't have chance to climb the crimpy lines on it yet, psyched to do so next season.
The Impeccable Boulder
Amazing multicolor slab
Oh and we also found a world class roof - actually Mr Bissell had mentioned it to me a few years back, so calling it a discovery is a bit disingenuous, but his crappy iPhone pictures made it look 6' tall and totally undermined any true discovery rights he may have had - ok.. I dont like using the trite phrase "world class", because what does it mean?! But I use it here, as it seems appropriate. World class meaning a one in a million line that seems to hover on the delicate line of possible/impossible. Theres a few starts, one exit, perfect big moves with opposed sloped holds and terrible feet. We think it will go - V13? 14? 15? 16..? Im not a world class climber so I have no idea. But it sure is cool to look at.
And... the Los Alamos crew have been busy up at Ortega West, and with the discovery of a new area, Gnosis. More info in a future blog.
What else? Noah Rayburn took a break from climbing wind turbines to nab the FA of a classic hanging arete at Nosos, The Goat Milker Arete V6. The scary bad landing has kept other climbers away until now. And Spenser/Eric Natzke established another bold line, Rolling Thunder V3, a slabby, lazer-cut 20' arete with crux at top.
Anything else happen? Plenty... outta time for this post though! Also... Im like 99% complete on the guidebook. Off to the printers soon! Exciting!
* Email me for beta if you can't find any. I will respond.