Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chaos Canyon Climbing Season

2011 was a pretty good season at Chaos Canyon.  I got up there a handful of times and finished some projects I have been working on as well as get on some classic problems I hadn't been on before.  It also consisted of a lot of exploration looking around for problems I had never done before as well as finding doable problems for visitors and new comers to Chaos.  It's an interesting bouldering area because the development revolved around harder problems, mostly V7 and harder.  When Dave Graham and company started developing Lower Chaos Canyon and Upper Chaos the problems just got harder and harder.  It seemed like V10 was the starting point for most problems in RMNP.  The reason for this is because developers of new areas usually have some sort of sponsorship and therefore climb extremely hard and get their pictures on magazine covers, etc.  This doesn't mean people like Dave Graham, Jamie Emerson and others don't warm up on the occasional V3 or V5, but it does mean that hiking in 5 miles and gaining 3,000 feet of elevation makes you want to climb something substantial or impressive in order to get recognition and of course climb to your peak ability.  These aren't your run of the mill boulder problems.

Chaos Canyon is one of my favorite bouldering areas because of the variety of boulder problems.  Even with all the difficult problems there are still problems that haven't been developed yet, because they are a little easier or just a little more obscure.  With that being said I love going up to Chaos Canyon and finding new problems that range from V2-V5.  These are great for most of my friends that want to warm up or run some circuits getting ready for something harder.  The established problems from V2-V6 are all stellar and from the second warmup boulder to the Autobot area, all the problems offer exposure, technical climbing and powerful movement.  Two such problems are Autobot and Revenge.  Autobot is a terrific V5 and I run up it every time I am up there.  My buddy Nate visited with a crew from Arizona and everyone tried Autobot with some good results.  We also all jumped on Revenge.  This is a hanging arete compression V6.  Burly movement leads to some technical heel hooking and a powerful topout.  Below are a bunch of pictures from the season.

Ryan C. on a V5 on the warmup boulder
Ryan C. on Potato Chip
Nate on Autobot
Ryann on Revenge
I got out with my girlfriend Ryann and an old roommate Steve for a day of development on easier problems.  We stumbled upon 3 or 4 problems that deserved to be cleaned and worked.  They probably all went at V4 or easier, but here are a few photos.  Check them out.
A nice, but stout V3 just north of the Warmup Boulder
A nice little V1 north of the Warmup Boulder

Deep Puddle Arete
Steve working the arete
A funky little V3-ish problem just right of Deep Puddle Dynamics
Unfortunately I didn't get to Upper Chaos this season to work on some of the V9's and V10's I wanted to project, but next season that will be a main goal of mine.  There are multiple problems like Skipper D, Riddles in the Dark and Right El Jorge among others, that I need to do.  I need to get back to Lincoln Lake as well to put in some work on Rebellion, Unshackled and others.  Should be another good season next year.

However, for now it is onto ice climbing, snowboarding and skiing.  Blog posts to follow about that soon!


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