Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Final Days

  I remember my first time up at Lolo. It was horrifying. Levi driving his Toyota, Dylan in the passenger seat, I was sitting in the tiny, fold-down seat behind Dylan. As we pulled onto forest service road 4200 Dylan turned to me and said something like, "It may seem like we are about to die, but we won't. Levi has done this a million times." We all cracked Coors and Levi proceeded to mob up 4200. I was scared shitless as he drove like a jerk off and kicked up rocks while sliding around every turn. We parked at Granite Ridge and went to the Beautiful boulder. I got the tour and knew I had to prove my meddle. I don't remember if I climbed a single thing but I fucking tried. By the end of the day my hands were shredded, ego bruised, and Levi climbed everything first try. I had found my crew. The few, the dedicated.

   Levi was brought out to the boulders at Lolo by a friend who left before his time. Wish I had met him. He had started a guide to Lolo so that everyone could enjoy. Maybe that guide will one day come to fruition, maybe it won't. Can't count on it happening. In the meantime, Levi will continue to go out developing and expanding areas. Ask for a tour and you might find yourself spending all your time out there, forever wishing the season was longer as you stumble upon entire new areas and more problems you can do in a season. I did. Or he will tell you to go fuck yourself. Either way, it's better than staring at the blog or climbing on plastic.

 What was I hoping for in helping further develop Lolo and starting this blog? A single person showing a spark of interest and asking to see what we do. Expanding the community through taking people on tours and have them run the gauntlet of classics. Adventure in the form of wire brush on granite and exploration. To better myself as a climber by repeating everything I could, even the choss. Laughing at my friends as they punt off the top of a problem and myself as I struggle to pull my ass off the ground. Not taking myself so seriously. Having fun in the woods. Yep, any and all of it.

  When we went out last weekend, I felt I had come full circle since first climbing here. The problems I had once struggled on two years ago now felt easy. Everything went down without a fight and I could see my abilities as a climber have grown tremendously. I attribute my gains in climbing to all that I have done outside over the past couple years. While climbing inside is fun and will make you stronger it doesn't make you a better, smarter climber. It is through struggle and failure that we become better and climbing outside is exactly that. We put in time and effort at Lolo so that other people can go out and see the same results. In the end, I will take a day of failure outside over a day of crushing in the gym any day. My hope for the people at Freestone who are there day after day is to make it outside and begin to hone their skills and improve their weaknesses on the unforgiving rock of Lolo.

  I got out quite a bit this last week to tie up some last few projects. Everything got sent so I am leaving Missoula without much to come back to but I hope others will pour time and energy into Lolo and develop the hell out of this place. That being said, The Opium Den and Project Mayhem Project are two incredible lines I would love to return to and do.

A few new problems at the River Block area.

Word is Bond V5/6 at the River Block. Great rock and great movement. Scrubbed it two weeks ago with Rob and Dylan. Sent it with Brandon following suit right after me a few days ago. Awesome mantle.

I pulled on to a project a few days ago that Jon Yang was trying last year. Had been eyeballing the line but never tried it. Brandon got me psyched and we went to war. Two days of effort and figuring out beta led to the first ascent of Jack's Broken Heart V8. It starts one move in from where Jon was trying. Right hand in a small crescent and left hand on the bottom small crimp with a left heel on the sloping rail. Rad.

  Yesterday, I went climbing by myself with one climb in mind. My Lolo nemesis. Hiked out to the Hideout and went straight to my project without warming up. Just like that, the multi-year project goes down with a second-try send of the Rabbit V8 at the Hideout. I was in disbelief as I topped it out.
  Opinionated, crass, offensive, and passionate. Take it or leave it, that's who we are. Climbing is what we love and we call it as we see it. Our opinions are ours alone and this blog was our outlet. Love us or hate us because it is all the same, but get involved and be passionate about what you do. This is were you live and this is your community. If you don't like it, say something. If you think it's perfect, you're wrong. Regardless of egos, opinions, and personalities, there is a wealth of climbing in the dense and mysterious forest of Lolo waiting to be shared. We kind of tried to share and failed. Hope we offended people and made them jealous through this social experiment of a blog. 
  Dylan and I are gone so this blog will continue under Levi's direction. Dylan's old blog, somewhatbouldering.blogspot.com, will see a revival as both Dylan and I breathe life back into it from Portland, OR (Dylan) and Lander, WY (myself). Good luck, Missoula. Goodbye, Lolo.


  1. lander looks so good. Jealousy has started already

  2. Come out. Develop shit. You have a place to stay... in the Lander park. Seriously, come out if you can.