January 04, 2010 - Five Ten Webmaster
Chris Schulte considers 2009 a breakthrough year for him
"2009 was a breakthrough year in my book, and though it felt like a good payoff for a ton of hard time, it was a lot of work all the same. I kicked the year off with a trip to Fontainebleau, where I did my first v14s; I’m really pleased that I could make that step in my favorite area in the world. When I got back to the States, I did my third in my home area of Mt. Evans, CO. A great winter lead melted into a great spring with many first ascents in Colorado and Utah: over thirty new lines from v3 to v13. Some of the most memorable climbs of the year were some of the highest, like La Merveille in Fontainebleau and a clenched-at-both-ends solo ascent of Sunseeker at Mt. Evans. A couple of major battles came to a satisfying close, too, as I opened the year by finishing off Kheops Assis in Font. It’s likely I’ve climbed on this line more than any other single boulder problem, and finally, it was finished. The year closed in Hueco Tanks with a heartbreaker of a line: Flamingnon. I’d fallen off the lip of this thing maybe twenty times this year, and maybe ten times the last time I visited Hueco a few years back. Looking at the crimps up and over the top of the mantle was like squinting through an old glass window at the sun, blurred and bright. Through my whole year, I was helped out and held together by three new Five Ten® toys: The Jet 7 was my primary shoe in Font, perfect for the spectrum of delicate climbs there. The Yosemite Jean hit the nail on the head for the durable, functional climbing jean I’ve been waiting for, from high steps to knee scums. Finally, as the fall closed in, the Team 5.10® Shoe showed up at my door as I was headed to Mt. Evans one morning, and became my number one shoe for angled granite, and my only shoe for the steeps in Hueco Tanks this December. All in all, a great year, capping off one hell of a decade, incidentally the one that saw me start bouldering. This next year is staring out in a similar fashion, with a trip to Font and a stop in Switzerland. More hard work, but I’m not complaining about the hours." -Chris Schulte
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