Day 1. Last weekend, Mark, Kyle and I headed to Frank although the weather forecast wasn't grand. When we arrived, we weren't thrilled to see Frank Slide had received three or four inches of snow. Regardless, we headed off into the City of Giants. The talus is especially coarse there, and the rough boulder-hopping was a lot more treacherous than it ordinarily would have been. We scoped out several projects on our way through the boulderfield, and finally arrived at the Mushroom Boulder. We wanted to try some of the harder projects there, but it was windy and cold, and we had a hard time warming up. We tried Rythymic Gymnastics (V6), but the top was wet, so we gave up. We decided to jump right on Dragon Fire (V10), because it had really sloping holds, and we figured we couldn't get injured on it easily. To our surprise, working it was a good way to warm up. We made reasonably good progress, and Kyle made good linkage very quickly. I thought he might actually do it right then! David came up to join us, and we stayed there for a while longer looking at projects, and trying a few problems.
It turned out to be a strange day. We never actually did any problems, although we had a great time trying some really hard things without success.
Day 2. The next weekend, the weather forecast was a lot better (daytime highs of 6C), so Mark and I headed off to Frank again. This time, we decided to go to the Healing Sector south of the Highway. It was a little cold and windy (not surprisingly), and we warmed up on the Healing boulder, doing I Pissed On The Start Holds (V5) and the high V0 to the right, which we can call Easy Healing. Then we headed over to Relentless, the classic V6. Mark sent it in just a few tries, and I did it several tries later. It's a great problem, lots of great compression moves and a very committing heel hook. Mark also did Relentless Sit (V7) and Krimptonite (V8), although they did give him a few problems. Dave and Michelle joined us, and we moved on to the next boulder over.
We added several new problems, including Sardine (V4) a fun little cave problem with an unfortunately stupidly cramped start, four really fun V0 slabs, Halfshell Slab, Gab Slab, Ribbed Pleasure, and Gold Leaf Slab, also Dave's Arete (V2ish), Dave's Arete Low (V3ish), and Mark's hard line on the boulder, The Hand Sponge (V7ish). The name of the latter problem refers to the hard hand smearing needed on the mantle. I was very sad that Mark did a hard mantle, where I failed... Lots of new problems added to the sector, though! A great day!
After getting back from Frank last night, it occurred to me that I have a rapidly growing list of projects at Frank. I had better get to work to get some of these finished before my list gets of hand! I usually give each project a 'working name', so I can call it something instead of using vaguely descriptive terms like 'that project just a couple of boulders north of the House Boulder'. A short list of the projects I'm "working on" is...
- the 'Submarine Project', a tall V5ish arete by the river
- The 'Snow Cave Project', a stiff V8ish crimpy line
- The 'Rum Runner Project', a very fun-looking V6ish compression problem
- The 'Pocket Project', a hardlooking (V10ish?) crimpy line up by the Mushroom Boulder
- The 'Mark of the Beast Project', a hard (V9ish) and high crimps-to-sloper problem
- The 'Raccoon Project', by Zombotron, might not be hard, I hope.
- The 'Flat Crimps Project', up by Mushroom boulder, maybe V5ish?
Almost forgot one...
- The 'Sinking Ships' Project, across the river.
What's amazing about this list is that I have only seen maybe 10% of the bouldering at Frank! In a few months this list will really grow. Also, I have already made 12 first ascents at Frank (albeit mostly easy lines, from V0 to V6). I was going to aim for 100 first ascents at Frank this year, but I also need to start doing some of my harder projects there as well
Anyways, LOTS to do! It is going to be a fun spring season in Frank!