Here are some of the my most memorable climbs from the past year with their location and a short description. Sometimes there's a fun back story to what routes get called so I've also included their name inspirations.
Ben Spannuth - Favorite FAs of 2012
Knuckles Down, 5.12, Gate View Canyon, Gunnison
I'm just happy I didn't drown on this day. To get to this wall in late Spring you cross fast moving water well past your waist and I almost took a ride down stream trying to get back to the car. Make it across and you'll find a perfect rock skipping zone and two cool routes Will Anglin bolted but don't forget to save some energy to lean into the current on the trip back.
Name inspiration: two very proud grandparents of marble players who gave Will and I haircuts
The Graduate, V9, and surrounding boulders, Esty Lane, Gunnison
This small cluster of boulders on their own up on a hill seem completely misplaced but create an amazing setting that's well worth checking out if you visit Gunnison.
Name inspiration: the movie and Will's freedom the following day
Cobra Strike, 14-, Hartman Rocks, Gunnison
Will Anglin bolted this line about 3 years prior to the FA in May 2012. It starts with a unique section of manteling to an undercling followed by sustained climbing to a beatdown move off two slopey pinches to the lip of the wall. Slightly harder than the Bleeding for me.
Name inspiration: snatching the final hold
Timeout Corner, v6? Ice Caves, Independence Pass
Day 1 on this boulder took quite a bit of scrubbing by Jon and I that ended up covering the ice below with dirt and moss. We couldn't figure out how to get our right hand to a key hold that day and Jon had to leave to shoot the Vail WC so I stuck around to figure out the tricky sequence. It ended up having some cool beta where you can stem in a wide dihedral and let go to swap hands (photo). Footage from Chris Schulte soon. William Mondragon 2nd?
Name inspiration: kinda a dumb name, WC, you can let go 5 times
Home Bruin, 13-, Independence Pass
Right before the Rock and Ice photo camp Chris Schulte and I scoped this route bolted by Michael Benge, an Aspen local. As far as I know it hadn't been climbed but climbs up a pretty black streaked face just right of a geometric blank roof.
Name inspiration: Beware! Bears can be unpredicatable!
Doubloons, 14-, Mt Evans
The best setting I've ever climbed in? This tower and area are unforgettable. Jon showed me the line to the right of Doubloons mid summer and after climbing that line I moved on to the long process of hand drilling, lots of cleaning, and eventual climbing of this route.
Name inspiration: abyss, Spanish gold coins, DOUBLOOOOOOOONS!!!
Journeyman, 14-, New River Gorge
I believe Brian McCray bolted most of the Dihedral Project in the late 90s. It splits off Apollo Reed after a few bolts and heads for an huge dihedral at the top of the cave. It didn't have anchors since there were at least three ways to get into the dihedral so after figuring out a way I thought would work I added two chains and punched through the finicky dihedral boulder.
Name inspiration: splits off Apollo (Doug) Reed, which is a play off Apollo Creed, boxing term
Powerbait, 14-, New River Gorge
Video of this is finished and out very soon! The day I figured out the beta for the Dihedral Project I wandered out of the Colosseum to see what else was around. This line caught my eye and I bolted it the next day right after adding chains to the dihedral. Someone had already put in two anchors at the top to toprope the line? It starts with a stout three move boulder before a long sustained section on slopey edges on a very condition dependent wall. It gets sun all day and a final hold gets wet in heavy rain so don't be surprised to go from exploding off the last wet crimp to not being able to do the moves to sending.
Name inspiration: old bottle of Powerbait at the base
Happy New Year!