New England Bouldering's Enigma?

e·nig·ma
noun: enigma; plural noun: enigmas
1. a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.

If any bouldering area in New England qualifies as an enigma, it has to be Lynn Woods. I see photos and videos (like the one below) and think, wow, this place looks great.  There seems to be tons of boulders there (see Mountain Project's page here) with problems of all grades, yet whenever I talk to someone who's been there, I generally get a less than enthusiastic description.  So what is the real story with this place????

Font at Night

There is talk (complaints) all over the interwebs about how bouldering videos are all the same: gangsta rap music, shirtless dudes with beanies, and lots of yelling.  Well, Sandstone Media Productions has taken the traditional bouldering video format and tossed it in the dumpster.   If you can get past the fact that it is a big Adidas ad, you will either love or hate or this video.  Paris La Nuit is an artistic masterpiece that has broken the mold and created a new way to look at bouldering.

Northeast's Best - Final Call for Votes

Just updated the results to date on the voting for the best boulder problems (V1 through V12+) in the Northeast.  Click here to check out the results and cast your vote!   We are going to keep the voting open until November 15.  Here is a summary of the results so far:

V1: Zig Zag Crack at Rumney, 80 votes (64% of the votes), Cream at Pawtuckaway, 20 votes

V2: TIED! The Wave at Lincoln Woods, 34 votes and The Whip at Pawtuckaway, 34 votes

V3: Hobbit Hole at Pawtuckaway, 50 votes (40% of the votes), The Pond Cave Traverse at Lincoln Woods, 24 votes

V4: Overlooked at Pawtuckaway, 52 votes (29% of the votes), Heart of Glass at Lincoln Woods, 46 votes

V5: Sleeping Giant at Happy Valley, 30 votes (29% of the votes), Snooze Button at Great Barrington, 15 votes

V6: Ride the Lightning at Pawtuckaway, 41 votes (46% of the votes), The Wave at Farley, 15 votes

V7: Homefront Arete in Central CT, 24 votes (19%),  The Buddha at the Gunks, 15 votes

V8: Appetite for Destruction at Farley, 43 votes (41% of the votes), Dopeman at Pawtuckaway, 14 votes

V9: Pipe Dreams at Farley, 42 votes (65% of the votes), Barbed Wire at Lincoln Woods, 10 votes

V10: Speed of Life at Farley, 26 votes (47% of the votes), Sterogram at Farley, 14 votes

V11: Suspect Device in Central CT, 28 votes (42% of the votes), Pretty Bloc Swag at Pawtuckaway, 13 votes

V12+: Roses and Bluejays at Great Barrington, 28 votes (75% of the votes), Touching the Sky at Smuggler's Notch, 5 votes

The V2 grade is currently tied between The Whip at Pawtuckaway and The Wave at Lincoln Woods.  Let's get some more votes to decide this one.   Voting will reamin open until November 15, so these results can still change.

The classic Overlooked at Pawtuckaway.

The classic Overlooked at Pawtuckaway.

The Northeast 3 - Part 1

Screenshot of a big fall from Oceans of Air, V8, at Great Barrington.

Screenshot of a big fall from Oceans of Air, V8, at Great Barrington.

Kai Webler is on a mission, a mission to get high quality video of every boulder problem in the Northeast.  Well, maybe not, but definitely all the best ones.  His latest series, The Northeast 3, starts with killer footage of the best of the best at Great Barrington in Massachusetts and McKenzie Pond in New York.  Check it out:

Number one. Great Barrington and McKenzie Pond bouldering.

Adam Ondra - 2014

Check out this amazing video put out by Black Diamond on Adam Ondra's year so far.  Everyone knows who Adam is and what he can do, but what I think amazes me the most is his ability to objectively break down his climbing strengths and weaknesses.  His matter-of-fact discussion of his redpoint of Realization is something that is rare to see, an athlete who can analyze himself as if he were a coach discussing one of his players.  The other thing that makes Adam standout is his ability to excel at all types of climbing, at the same time.  Sharma dominated bouldering when he focused on it, but then switched his focus and was the top sport climber for years.  Adam is doing that all at the same time.  Can't wait to see what the next year brings from him.

Northeast's Best Voting Update

Just updated the results to date on the voting for the best boulder problems (V1 through V12+) in the Northeast.  Click here to check out the results and cast your vote!   Here is a summary of the results so far:

V1: Zig Zag Crack at Rumney, 77 votes (62% of the votes), Cream at Pawtuckaway, 19 votes

V2: The Wave at Lincoln Woods, 33 votes (26% of the votes), The Whip at Pawtuckaway, 31 votes

V3: Hobbit Hole at Pawtuckaway, 47 votes (39% of the votes), The Pond Cave Traverse at Lincoln Woods, 24 votes

V4: Overlooked at Pawtuckaway, 47 votes (28% of the votes), Heart of Glass at Lincoln Woods, 44 votes

V5: Sleeping Giant at Happy Valley, 26 votes (28% of the votes), Snooze Button at Great Barrington, 15 votes

V6: Ride the Lightning at Pawtuckaway, 37 votes (46% of the votes), Coitus, Snow Mountain, 14 votes

V7: Homefront Arete in Central CT, 18 votes (16%),  The Buddha at the Gunks, 15 votes

V8: Appetite for Destruction at Farley, 40 votes (40% of the votes), Dopeman at Pawtuckaway, 13 votes

V9: Pipe Dreams at Farley, 34 votes (62% of the votes), Barbed Wire at Lincoln Woods, 9 votes

V10: Speed of Life at Farley, 24 votes (47% of the votes), Babies with Rabies at Farley, 8 votes

V11: Suspect Device in Central CT, 16 votes (34% of the votes), Pretty Bloc Swag at Pawtuckaway, 10 votes

V12+: Roses and Bluejays at Great Barrington, 15 votes (65% of the votes), Touching the Sky at Smuggler's Notch, 4 votes

The V7 grade is definitely the most competitive grade with Roses and Bluejays having the largest percentage of votes.  Pawtuckaway seems to be the place for the easier grades with top problems at V1, V2, V3, V4, and  V6, while Farley seems to be the place for the harder grades with top problems at V8, V9, and V10.  Overall, Pawtuckaway has garnered the most total votes with 251, with Lincoln Woods second at 165 total votes, and Farley third at 156 total votes.  Voting is still open, so these results can still change.

Anne Skidmore nearing the topout of The Wave, at Lincoln Woods, RI.  Photograph by Joe McLoughlin.

Anne Skidmore nearing the topout of The Wave, at Lincoln Woods, RI.  Photograph by Joe McLoughlin.

Blog of the Week - The Rock Climber's Training Manual

Bouldering season is fast approaching, so to prepare you for sending your projects our blog of the week is one of the best training websites out there: The Rock Climber’s Training Manual.  The Anderson brothers, Mike and Mark, have taken their years of rock climbing training experience and research and produced one of the best training books available.  This book builds upon the work of Goddard, Neumann, and Horst, to name a few, to provide clear and concise information on why and how to train for climbing your best.  Best of all, the Anderson’s maintain their website and post regularly at mountainproject.com providing opportunity for questions and feedback on your own personal training program.

One of my complaints over the years about many training books was that bouldering was always part of the training programs but it was rare that there would be a specific program FOR bouldering.  The Anderson’s have included programs and training exercises specifically for improving at bouldering (in addition to great programs for sport climbing).  Although the differences in training should be obvious, it is nice to see the training needs for bouldering specifically addressed in a sensible manner.  At a minimum, the Anderson’s hang board workouts are worth the price of admission.  Check them out here.

Previous favorites:

Bass for your Face

Climbing Narc

Rock Climbing Life

Crux Crush

Joe Kinder

The Power Company

Paul Robinson

 

Northeast's Best Update

Just updated the results to date on the voting for the best boulder problems (V1 through V8) in the Northeast.  Click here to check out the results and cast your vote!  We will be adding V9 through V11 next week.  Here is a summary of the results so far:

V1: Zig Zag Crack at Rumney, 71 votes (63% of the votes), Cream at Pawtuckaway, 17 votes

V2: The Whip at Pawtuckaway, 31 votes (26% of the votes), The Wave at Lincoln Woods, 28 votes

V3: Hobbit Hole at Pawtuckaway, 45 votes (39% of the votes), The Pond Cave Traverse at Lincoln Woods, 25 votes

V4: Overlooked at Pawtuckaway, 42 votes (27% of the votes), Heart of Glass at Lincoln Woods, 41 votes

V5: Sleeping Giant at Happy Valley, 22 votes (24% of the votes), Snooze Button at Great Barrington, 15 votes

V6: Ride the Lightning at Pawtuckaway, 34 votes (46% of the votes), Coitus, Snow Mountain, 10 votes

V7: Up in Smoke, Pawtuckaway, 13 votes (14% of the votes), The Buddha at the Gunks, 7 votes

V8: Appetite for Destruction at Farley, 34 votes (37% of the votes), Dopeman at Pawtuckaway, each with 11 votes

The V7 grade is the most competitive with a tie for first and the next problem (Homefront Arete) only one vote from the top.  Voting is still open, so these results can still change.  Pawtuckaway is definitely the most popular bouldering area in New England with 5 of the 8 top problems in the Northeast!

Zig Zag Crack at Rumney, the top vote getter across all grades!

Zig Zag Crack at Rumney, the top vote getter across all grades!

Back Mattress Media - Podcast #7

Back Mattress Media, one of our Media Spotlight team, has released their seventh podcast, an interview with Big Pete Ward, prolific New England FA'er and promoter of some of the biggest comps in the country.  Click below to hear the interview and the previous Climb Time Podcasts.

Podcast #7 - Pete Ward

Podcast #6 - Crux Crush

Podcast #5 - Josh Levin

Podcast #4 - Meaghan Martin

Podcast #3 - Vasya Vorotnikov

Podcast #2 - Angie Payne

Podcast #1 - Delaney Miller

Pete Ward getting close on the first ascent of Big, V8, at Farley Ledge.  Photograph by Joe McLoughlin.

Pete Ward getting close on the first ascent of Big, V8, at Farley Ledge.  Photograph by Joe McLoughlin.

Western Mass Rendezvous

On September 19-21, 2014, the Western Massachusetts Climbers Coalition will hold their 5th annual Western Mass Rendezvous, part fundraiser, part festival, part climbing comp, at Farley Ledge in Erving, Massachusetts.  According to the WMCC, "The WMCC Rendezvous, presented by Millet is our annual fundraiser to help build cohesive relationships with advocacy groups, state and local governments, landowners, and conservation groups and to keep climbing areas open and conserve the climbing environment in Western Massachusetts."

This year's event includes a bouldering and roped climbing "friendly" competition, a screening of Reel Rock's latest film "Valley Uprising," and an Adopt-a-Crag event.  Check out WMCC's website, climbgneiss.org for more info and to register.

Back Mattress Media - Podcast #6

Back Mattress Media, one of our Media Spotlight team, has released their sixth podcast, an interview with the ladies from Crux Crush.  Crux Crush is one of our favorite blogs on the internets as we previously profiled them in our Blog of the Week feature.  Click below to hear the interview and the previous Climb Time Podcasts.

Podcast #6 - Crux Crush

Podcast #5 - Josh Levin

Podcast #4 - Meaghan Martin

Podcast #3 - Vasya Vorotnikov

Podcast #2 - Angie Payne

Podcast #1 - Delaney Miller

The Northeast Videos

Kai Webler, one of our Media Spotlight producers, has been putting together a series of videos on bouldering in the northeast.  He has finished up "The Northeast 2" which features bouldering at Farley, Rumney, Great Barrington, Pawtuckaway, Central CT and other areas.  What these videos lack in production or extraneous footage, they more than make up for with excellent beta footage.  Many classic problems are shown at areas all around the Northeast.  Here is the last installment of the 5 part series (see below for links to the first 4 videos).

Back Mattress Media - Podcast #5

Back Mattress Media, one of our Media Spotlight team, has released their fifth podcast, an interview with Boston-based pro Josh Levin.  Click below to hear the interview and the previous Climb Time Podcasts.  Page down to check out a cool video of Josh sending Livin' Astro at Rumney.

Podcast #5 - Josh Levin

Podcast #4 - Meaghan Martin

Podcast #3 - Vasya Vorotnikov

Podcast #2 - Angie Payne

Podcast #1 - Delaney Miller

The Northeast's Best Boulder Problems

Just posted up the results to date on the voting for the best boulder problems (V1 through V8) in the Northeast.  Click here to check out the results and cast your vote!  Here is a summary of the results:

V1: Zig Zag Crack at Rumney, 58 votes!, Cream at Pawtuckaway, 14 votes

V2: The Whip at Pawtuckaway, 26 votes, The Wave at Lincoln Woods, 20 votes

V3: Hobbit Hole at Pawtuckaway, 33 votes, The Pond Cave Traverse at Lincoln Woods, 20 votes

V4: Overlooked at Pawtuckaway, 34 votes, Heart of Glass at Lincoln Woods, 31 votes

V5: Sleeping Giant at Happy Valley, 12 votes, Snooze Button at Great Barrington, 9 votes

V6: Ride the Lightning at Pawtuckaway, 21 votes, Fuck the Method at Pawtuckaway, 5 votes

V7: Homefront Arete in Central CT, 7 votes, The Buddha at the Gunks, 7 votes

V8: Appetite for Destruction at Farley, 22 votes, Dopeman and Leave it to Beaver at Pawtuckaway, each with 8 votes

Seems obvious from the voting that Pawtuckaway seems to have the best bouldering in New England (or maybe the most popular)...

best.jpg

Throwback Thursday - January 2000

Previous Throwbacks:

First Ascent of Barbed Wire at Lincoln Woods

First Ascent of Big at Farley

The Machine

A Short Trip to Pennsylvania

Intensely Dedicated

NewEnglandBouldering was very lucky in it's early days to have some great photographers contributing to the Site including Tim Kemple, Harrison Shull, and Anne Skidmore.  Their photographs provided inspiration and documentation of an amazing time in New England bouldering's history.  We did many slideshows of their images and below are images from Anne's "Intensely Dedicated" slideshow we ran in January 2000.  All photos were taken by Ann Skidmore.  Click here to check out Anne's website.  Enjoy!

About "Intensely Dedicated" the photographer, Anne Skidmore ,writes, "I love photography, but I love climbing even more. Fortunately, I can put them together, and take on the challenge of trying to show the beauty of bouldering and the climbers with just a single picture. With these pictures I  have attempted to reveal the drive, the life, the passion, the addiction of climbers who are truely, instensely dedicated." Here, an unknown climber nears the topout of Tree Bola-Direct-Direct, V1, at Peter's Kill, New York.

About "Intensely Dedicated" the photographer, Anne Skidmore ,writes, "I love photography, but I love climbing even more. Fortunately, I can put them together, and take on the challenge of trying to show the beauty of bouldering and the climbers with just a single picture. With these pictures I  have attempted to reveal the drive, the life, the passion, the addiction of climbers who are truely, instensely dedicated." Here, an unknown climber nears the topout of Tree Bola-Direct-Direct, V1, at Peter's Kill, New York.

Janet Bergman climbing at Lincoln Woods, Rhode Island, while Rio Rose provides the supportive spot.

Janet Bergman climbing at Lincoln Woods, Rhode Island, while Rio Rose provides the supportive spot.

Anne did a series of hand shots because as she says, "the hands are so beautiful and crucial to climbing." Here, Janet Bergman grabs a sidepull at Pawtuckaway, New Hampshire.

Anne did a series of hand shots because as she says, "the hands are so beautiful and crucial to climbing." Here, Janet Bergman grabs a sidepull at Pawtuckaway, New Hampshire.

Janet Bergman's hands in the Hobbit Hole crack at Pawtuckaway, New Hampshire.

Janet Bergman's hands in the Hobbit Hole crack at Pawtuckaway, New Hampshire.

Tino Fiumara at Lincoln Woods, Rhode Island.

Tino Fiumara at Lincoln Woods, Rhode Island.

The photographer writes, "These are the hands of all random climbers. To me this picture sums up the end of the day. Where your tips are blown, flappers torn, and chalk seems to be permantly stuck on your hand. All of these things are what makes a climber know that he/she has had a sweet day of climbing."

The photographer writes, "These are the hands of all random climbers. To me this picture sums up the end of the day. Where your tips are blown, flappers torn, and chalk seems to be permantly stuck on your hand. All of these things are what makes a climber know that he/she has had a sweet day of climbing."

Jon Dickey starting Rump to Jump, V7, at Lincoln Woods, Rhode Island.

Jon Dickey starting Rump to Jump, V7, at Lincoln Woods, Rhode Island.

Jon Dickey straining to make the crossover on Rump to Jump, V7, at Lincoln Woods, Rhode Island.

Jon Dickey straining to make the crossover on Rump to Jump, V7, at Lincoln Woods, Rhode Island.

Janet Bergman hanging on to the Mushroom Traverse, V3, at Pawtuckaway, New Hampshire.

Janet Bergman hanging on to the Mushroom Traverse, V3, at Pawtuckaway, New Hampshire.

California native, Rio Rose focusing in the finishing hold of a dyno problem at Pawtuckaway, New Hampshire.

California native, Rio Rose focusing in the finishing hold of a dyno problem at Pawtuckaway, New Hampshire.

Rio Rose sticking another dyno at Pawtuckaway, New Hampshire.

Rio Rose sticking another dyno at Pawtuckaway, New Hampshire.

About the photographer, Anne Skidmore: New York City was her hometown until she was nine years old, when her family moved to Connecticut. However, it was not until she was 15 years old that she discovered climbing in Connecticut. Anne has been climbing for almost five years, and loves every type of climbing, from bouldering to ice. She is currently a student at the University of New Hampshire, and will be declaring a major in Studio Art (having a double concentration in both photography and painting). Click here to contact Anne. The above photo is Anne enjoying a beautiful sunset after a great day of bouldering at Hueco Tanks, Texas. Photograph by Janet Bergman.

About the photographer, Anne Skidmore: New York City was her hometown until she was nine years old, when her family moved to Connecticut. However, it was not until she was 15 years old that she discovered climbing in Connecticut. Anne has been climbing for almost five years, and loves every type of climbing, from bouldering to ice. She is currently a student at the University of New Hampshire, and will be declaring a major in Studio Art (having a double concentration in both photography and painting). Click here to contact Anne. The above photo is Anne enjoying a beautiful sunset after a great day of bouldering at Hueco Tanks, Texas. Photograph by Janet Bergman.