Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Skidmore College: Stables Boulder...and a 9 Year Project Completed

  Back in 2008 I graduated from college and began a career as an aspiring landscape architect in Saratoga Springs, New York.  Shortly after starting the office job, I heard about an area that was only a few miles away that Skidmore College owned and that had a decent rock outcrop on the property that people had climbed on in the past.  This outcrop, which I simply referred to as the Skidmore Stables Boulder served as a routine after work climbing/training area from 2008 thru 2014 when I left the office job to pursue a career as a full time fire fighter.

  One particular problem on the outcrop that had shut me down the entire time that I worked in Saratoga Springs was a stellar looking line that climbed up the steepest section of the wall on small crimps, pinches, and slopers.  Back in May 2014 I was able to successfully do the problem from a stand start but was unable to climb it in its entirety from the sit.  Here is a link to that old blog post:

  Now, three years later I am proud to announce that I have finally climbed this elusive boulder problem.  Last Thursday, Ken Murphy and myself took advantage of the crisp conditions to have a bouldering session on the Stables Boulder.  Murphy had spent half a day earlier in the week brushing all of the snow off of the problem and getting it prepped for rock climbing.  About an hour into the session and on my send attempt, I realized as I was topping out that I had not hit record on my video camera,  Despite the pivotal error (since I LOVE capturing climbing footage), I fought through the crux mantle and was soon elated to find myself on top of my 9 year project.  Murphy totally took in the send psych and dispatched the problem on his very next attempt!  After we both caught our breath and realized what had just happened...I insisted that I try again so I could capture myself sending the problem for the camera.  Another grueling hour of attempts passed before I was able to make everything work perfectly for a rare repeat send on this difficult problem.

  We both settled on a name for the boulder problem since we had never heard one mentioned:  Zero Friction (V9).  To my knowledge, prior to Murphy and my sends, this problem had seen ascents by Scot Carpenter (aka Kippy), Jon StrazzaAaron Newell, and Tyler Hogan.  Is there anyone else out there that I am missing???

  I am currently working on the video edit...until then, here are some photos captured with Ken Murphy's IPhone from the top side of the crux mantle.

Media Update:  


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