Monday, December 20, 2010

Southern Nevada Bouldering Review

It is not often that I am amazed by a climbing guidebook.  I have long felt that Matt Wilder's Hueco Tanks guide is the best guidebook ever assembled for lovers of our craft.  My wife Siemay and i recently traveled to the sandstone boulders around Red Rocks for some friendly bouldering with our long time friends Brian Capps and Christian Tartaglia.  On the sojourn, we met and climbed with Pete Lowe, Brandon from LA, Alex Savage, and Tom Moulin.  We also had a chance to see and use Tom's new guide to this vast area.  I bought a personal copy immediately.

So, It is with great pleasure that I review Southern Nevada Bouldering, a guidebook.

Southern Nevada Bouldering by Tom Moulin is a work of art.  This guide, also recently reviewed on Climbing Narc, is everything a guidebook should be.  I recommend seeing that review as well, since Brian is an adroit reviewer.

FULL DISCLOSURE:  I bought this book and was not asked to review it; I have no incentive for doing so.

Here's a bullet summary of my findings:

Amazing color photos, tons of images
Accurate descriptions and photos of boulders with people climbing often for scale
Ample history and narrative
Topographical maps of boulder locations
Bouldering area is spread out, but on par with Joe's for quantity and quality
Extremely well organized
It's right outside Vegas
updated route section online (
Numerous projects listed for visiting crushers
Few people at the newer areas

$40. - worth every penny though
Heavy, more of a coffee table book - tough to carry to the crag
So beautiful/expensive, you won't want to bring it to the crag! I am already planning to xerox pages before I go out again, or buy 2 copies (if you have money to burn.)
Many of the areas described do not have proper trails and are super dog unfriendly (cholla-mania).  The hikes can be long for mega quality problems but low concentration.
Some of the rock is silty and not as grippy as other sandstone Meccas (dirty south, joes.)  The rock is oftern similar to Moe's valley in St. George.
It's right outside Vegas
Crowded at the well established areas

All in all, Vegas bouldering areas are amazing with some really standout lines.  The guidebook is totally worth the money: go to Vegas bouldering to get a copy.  I have already spent hours reading through it, starring at the photos and planning my next outing.  Holding this book is holding a piece of art.  The amount of time it must have taken to create this is staggering!  My hands are sweating just thinking about the problems I left undone.

On my short trip, we never returned to the same boulder twice.  I managed to complete a few problems though, the best of which was "Wet Dream" from the obvious stand (I worked out the moves on the V11 sit and need to go back!)  I also did "Fountainhead" V9 (I started the stand as high as I could, one move higher than most people start, although the first move was very easy for me) and worked on the sit, and amazing V12 called "Atlas Shrugged" (of course.)  I was unable to climb the "Lion Share" an sweet V9, but watched PeteLowe come super close to sending the low start at V12.  I tried "Ambacamba" which was a difficult V9 that I could not do, so I did a first ascent just to its right that I called "Bad Cocoa" V8 which shares the same finish.  Siemay did the classic "Mr. Moran" V7 in a few goes. Capps basically sent everything.  Tartaglia and I went to "Stand and Deliver" V11 which was an epic hike, but so worth it, the problem is 3 stars and dreamy.  I did the crux several times, but stopped trying since my elbow began to complain.  Too many days on in a row!  Christian pulled it out of the bag with a last minute send that was epic.

Alex Savage was also on fire sending most everything he tried in a few goes, making difficult lines look quite easy.  Younger, newer model was the joke du jour.  Super nice guy with amazing psych and video skillz...

Speaking of videos, here's a tasty video of Ethan Pringle's "Wet Dream," candidate for top 10% of V12s in the world:

Ethan Pringle climbs Wet Dream, Black Velvet Canyon from SNB on Vimeo.

The Amazing "Stand & Deliver" V11

First Ascent of Stand and Deliver, Red Rocks Bouldering from SNB on Vimeo.

See many more Vegas bouldering videos to get you psyched:

Okay people, Get out there and destroy!

Seek perfection of character, respect others & Try Hard. Noah as usual

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