Friday, July 8, 2016

Tanner Creek: Beautiful hiking for the family.

Hiking in the Columbia river gorge is a great getaway from the city. In just minuets from the trail head you can feel like you are miles from anywhere. I have been taking trips into this wonderland for 40 years now. All this time I have thought about taking my kids there as soon as I can. On our recent trip Tanner creek was our destination.
Tanner Creek
The hike starts with a casual walk down a gravel road along Tanner creek. An old concrete weir signals the end of the road and the start of the trail. At this point is were you see and can touch your first falls right from the trail.
My daughter on the bridge over the side creek.
A beautiful waterfall right on the trail.
After this falls the trail starts up the east side of the canyon past flowers with the walls steepening on both sides.

The tall canyon walls.
When the first fork in the trail is reached going down hill will take you to a bridge over tanner creek.
My family heading over the bridge.
Views from the bridge are great as you can see up and down the canyon.
Tanner creek with moss and Cedar trees.
Tanner creek from the bridge.
At this point the trail heads a little up hill to the base of a very old slide. From this point you can get a sense of how tall the walls are in the canyon.
Family at the other end of the bridge.
A small falls in tanner creek.
The tall walls above the creek and the old slide the trail goes through.
Solomon seal on tanner creek.
Tanner creek
My brother and whats that in the lower right corner?
Just a couple more minutes down the trail you get your first views of tanner creek falls. Its a double drop and turn 90 degrees half way down.
Tanner Creek Falls.
The walls are covered in moss and when it is running with water the colors rely jump off the page.
Tanner canyon moss very wet.
The creek is very close and my youngest just had to take a closer look.
Maybe she is fishing.
More views of the beautiful falls keep on coming as you get closer and closer.
Tanner Creek Falls
Tanner Falls through the tree window.
The trail turns to head out and we saw lots of flowers as we headed for the trail head.
Trillium on tanner creek trail.
Heading for the car.
A beautiful show by nature.
Right before the end we had to stop and wait for a nice couple to finish taking some pictures.
Supper cool idea for sure. I wish them the best!
Only a short walk leads to the car but the views are still good. Get out and enjoy the outdoors and thanks for reading.
Mom and daughter on the trail.
Tanner Creek

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Deep Forest Bouldering; The little ones

When it comes down to it some times I enjoy the shorter ones more than the tall ones because I find that for me it is easier to pull hard and go for the big moves when your not high on a boulder. Over the years as I have wondered through the woods I have found some great short boulders that are three to five moves long and supper steep our hard the whole way. On this particular day that was my focus and thus some short cool problems were born.
Just into the FA of Hwacha V4
This boulder problem starts with a hard pull to get the left hand up and then a strong lock off to reach a small crimp with the right hand.
Getting my foot up on FA of Hwacha V4
Setting up for a very long pull on small crimps to a not so good hold is the way that this problem finishes up.
The lock off on Hwacha V4
Almost there
Short problems are all about power and some times come with a great natural sit start. In the case of this next one a big throw right off the ground was the ticket.
The sit start on the FA of Genghis Khan V4
Full on right out of the gate is how this one works. Explode up for a good hold with the left hand and the match.
Sticking the dyno on Genghis Khan V4
 Lock off the right and pull up to a small shallow pocket. Maybe more of a dish than anything.
Sticking the lock off on Genghis Khan V4
 A big heal hook with a long mantal gets you over the lip.
The heal hook on Genghis Khan V4
Rocking over and on to the top on Genghis Khan V4
On this day I was feeling strong and the conditions were very good so I thought about a project that I had tried before. This line has a very long sideways reach off bad holds to a supper pore crimp. The boulder is about twelve feet tall and overhangs about ten degrees. Every move is pure power in the core of your body.
Starting the FA of Natasha V6
 Just getting on the boulder is a big gaston with the left on a not so great hold. I dig in with my right foot and lock the core to setup the next move.
Pressing up into the setup position on Natasha V6
 Stand up tall and lock everything off this is one of the most precise throws I have ever done. I found that if I settled at all I would not hold the dyno.
Stuck it! Natasha V6
 Once I stuck the move thats when I found I had to move both feet up and hang my full weight off the bad hold to be able to throw for the next hold witch was a lot better but still a slopper.
Setting up and committing to the bad hold in full on Natasha V6
Stuck the next throw and getting the feet up.
 Once I stuck the next hold I was not going to fall but its a powerful move to bring your feet up and stand to the first big hold on the boulder.
The send is in hand. Natasha V6
This day was a great trip into the boulders with some big sends. Small our large I love bouldering and finding new boulders to clean and develop. Hears hopping you get out and climb soon.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Deep Forest Bouldering: The Big Boys

High ball bouldering...... for most of my climbing life this is something that I have steered clear of. To put it simply I have been scared of it and there for just not ever done it. This all changed when I was presented with some tall amazing lines to climb and clean that were on well past the normal height and well into the highball height.
Pulmonary Edema V1 FA 30ft
The day I was shown this boulder I was told to bring a rope because of its size and so the first thing that I got on was a mostly clean arete that was mostly clean but had not sean a send yet. This arete turned out to be V5 our 12b and I did the send on a very loos rope because as I mentioned before I was not into highball bouldering. At the same time I was not going to bolt a boulder either so a loose top-rope seamed the best option. Inspired by this line I decided to clean off the next line to the right as seen in the photo above. After about an hour of cleaning hanging on a rope because it was to tall to reach even with my extension poll and because it had a complete blanket of moss on it top to bottom I found my self at the base staring up at the line and thinking about weather I needed that rope our not.
In mid crux.
My thought process was as follows; I will just try and climb it up to the nice horizontal hold and then jump back down. Yes that will work. Lets do this! Off coarse the next thing I know I am at the rail and it occurs to me that the hold I had made a point to scope out in what looked like a thin section of climbing up high was right above my head.
The horizontal hold is in my left hand.
Time to get standing up on it.
This is one of those moments when you can make a choice that can change things in your life. Thinking to my self I have two options; continue on to the top our jump down and tie into a rope for the send. The hold is just up there I think to myself and after that its just a few moves to the top. This spurs me on and up I go.
Two moves from the flash FA send
Dropping into a controlled mental state I cruse through the final moves and find my self on top with the flash send and the FA of a 30ft highball. I learned a lot from the climb and have since climbed the problem many times because the quality of the line is incredible.
On the backside of this stone is a different line that was great fun to climb. It is also in the highball range but at 20ft not near as high. The line consists of thin moves on sloper holds to a long reach. Then it continues on nice pockets to the top of the wall.
Making the opening moves into the sloper.
Eyeing the long reach to the pocket.
Stretch is the key hear.
Pocket in hand and feet going up.
After climbing some highballs in the deep forest it is amazing what regular problems feel like. Things that I thought were tall just don't feel that way now. I still love pulling hard on the short ones but I have found an appreciation for the tall lines that I never had before.
The bottom of the V2 with slopers. So good.
This is the line to the right of the sloper problem. It goes at V1 and is in the 25ft range with crux moves most of the way.
Spring is hear and the climbing season is full on so get out there and climb! I know that I have been.