Monday, February 13, 2012

Lost Horse Snow Circuit, New Motivation

Victoria and I headed south to LoHo on Saturday to meet up with Erich, his girlfriend Jessie and her little brother Sam.  We headed out of Missoula around 10:30, driving through at least 4 different snow storms until things cleared up around the junction of Skalkaho and 93.  The road is still pure ice past the resort but we managed to make it all the way to Motherload later in the day.  

We met up at Roadside to find every problem soaked or seeping.  We made the best of it, sampling the classic overhang, twilight*, and bug eyes.  Afterwards we drove to Motherload, climbed on the soaked beautiful people, better eat your corndogs and the slab between those problems.  I tried the low start to corndogs and found it absolutely impossible.  I think it is supposed to start on the terrible flat underclings right below the sloper, but I could be wrong.  Either way, the full line is graded at V8, when in reality, the first move is at least hard V8 in itself.  I think a hard V9 is a more realistic grade, from the underclings.  Does anyone know of anyone doing the low start?  

*  It should be noted that Twilight of my Youth/Benjamin Button ARE the same problem.  To say there are two separate lines would mean they are both contrivances and eliminates(unless that's your thing, lame ass).  I think that we should just view this as a single boulder problem.  It should also be noted that this problem is an utter lowball turd, but makes for an excellent warm up for cold fingies.  

Afterwards we headed to the Tanganyika boulder, sampled gib mir pfeffer, the traverse, red headed step child, the V2 layback, some random eliminates and the tiny v1 on the mini boulder.  All in all a solid day for being snowy and wet.  Not quite the project slaying session I hoped for but circuits/tours are just as fun.  I'm starting to enjoy climbing on moderates more and more.  I think my new goal is climb at least 30 points every time I go outside.  That certainly is subject to change during project mode, but I think it is a good benchmark for a day outside.  

In my nearly 5 years as a student/missoulian I've never owned a Lost Horse guide.  Certainly an advantage to be a "in the know local" as the guide book says.  I borrowed Levi's guide and found a number of problems that I'd wanted to try and some projects.  I found out that this boulder is actually the snowbound boulder and there is a "v-hard" problem in the center of the face.  I'm going to assume that it hasn't been done, unless someone else knows the history of it.  I also found out where Seemingly Impossible is, an elusive boulder that I have heard about for a while.  A proud Justin Pettersen first ascent that goes around V6.  

Snowbound Boulder with the "V-Hard" problem in the center of the face.

For a long time I struggled with the idea of Lost Horse being the "go to" place for bouldering.  After a year or so I had climbed most of the lines that were appealing and with in my means.  With new places being developed like Lolo and Butte it was really hard to want to climb at Lost Horse.  But after new motivation and knowledge, Lost Horse is now entering a renaissance, in my eyes at least.  The easy access to an unlimited amount of immaculate rock is almost unmatched in Montana.  The areas of concentrated rock outside of Lost Horse-proper number in the hundreds.  As soon as the snow begins to melt in the higher elevations I think it's going to be hard to climb anywhere else.  Besides Lolo, of course, because everyone needs a dose of humble pie every once in a while.

President's Day weekend looms ahead of us, hope y'all are getting outside.  I know SAM is, fuckin' bish.


  1. gym rats suck is my favorite label

  2. also, seemingly impossible= awk elevator door opening lowball. BISH-up son!

  3. seriously, it's my favorite. only 5 more months until drunken bitterroot bouldering debacles!