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