I recently just got home from an amazing trip to Ibex, Ut. And Bishop, Ca. I returned to Ibex with one goal in mind, to send Wing Chun (v13) on the immaculate Red Monster boulder. Ibex is not your typical bouldering crag, in fact it is the complete opposite. Out in the middle of nowhere, and yes, i mean the middle of nowhere, the closest "town" is 45 miles away on the loneliest road in America. Highway 6/50.
These boulders are home to some of the best, and most unique bouldering in the US. The boulders of Ibex are perfectly placed underneath a huge quartzite cliff, surrounded by nothing but a dried up lake bed in the middle of the desert. A great sense of vulnerability and loneliness, consumes the normal bouldering "trip" lifestyle when you are out in the middle of nowhere. If anything goes wrong, it is up to you to deal with it.
We arrived at Ibex on tuesday night, after a 12 hour treck in my 4wd Honda Crv. We set up camp as it was still light out and ran around the boulders looking at all the amazing boulder problems. We then started a camp fire, hung out in the 30 degree weather, told ghost stories and finally it was time to sleep. The night became increasingly windy and cold, i was sleeping in my car and my friend Gorden was sleeping in a tent. The wind picked up so much that my car began shaking quite regularly. After hearing some epic rockfall from the cliff above, I finally was able to get to sleep.
The next day i made a ton of progress on wing chun. I linked the whole technical start sequence and i was falling on a right hand bump to a small intermediate before the crux. This problem is brilliant! It consists of a ton of perfect quartzite side pulls and technical slopey footwork. The crux move is a right hand cross to an amazing mini pinch perfectly shaped for any hand to latch, with an awesome thumb catch! This pinch is only about a half pad, making it very difficult to hit accurately when fatigued from the techy opening sequence.
I was too tired to keep working the problem, so i called it a day and we decided to go into the nearest town called Delta, Ut: population around 3,000 people. This town is pretty cool i have to say, it has an old, broken down feel to it. However, no one who lives there seems to care and the people are super nice. We stayed the night at the Diamond D Motel. It was only 48 dollars a night so it was a nice break from the cold and windy Ibex conditions.
The next day i tried wing chun some more and to no avail, i repeatedly fell trying to latch the mini pinch. I got pretty worked and my skin was beginning to get pretty raw so i called it a day. I did not send but i was very excited to return and i think the next time i go, it will hopefully go down!
We then started our epic lonely drive from Utah to Bishop. There were barely any other cars on the road except us. It was a pretty awesome experience besides me getting a speeding ticket about 10 minutes outside of Bishop.
The next day i was psyched to climb in my favorite area, The Buttermilks. I climbed a ton the first day getting on a bunch of moderate classics with a goal of reaching 100 v-points by the end of the day. I am happy and surprised to say that i reached 100 v-points! (if i added everything correctly, im pretty sure i did.) Anyway, it was a long day and a ton of problems went down.
The next day i attempted direction (v13), my long term project. After falling on the second to last hard move last trip, i had to at least give it a few good goes. Unfortunately, my skin was more wrecked than it felt and i had a horrible session on it. It was definitely disappointing to not send anything i wanted to, but thats just how it goes sometimes and i've learned having those bad days, or bad trips, makes those good trips that much more special when things work out as planned.
Thats about it for now. I do have a trip to Font/Switzerland planned with my brother Carlo, from March 5 through April 2, super psyched for that! Also i will be attending Rope Climbing Nationals in April as well.
For now, it's more training and getting outside as much as possible! As well as always staying psyched!
Here are some photos from Ibex, Enjoy!