Joe McLoughlin

Bouldering World Cup - Toronto

The first of two Bouldering World Cup events in North America was held over the weekend in Toronto.  Although U.S. participation increased with the proximity of this event, the results remained similar to the events in Asia and Europe.  On the Women's side, Akiyo Noguchi of Japan won the event, with Shauna Coxsey of Great Britain further extending her overall lead with a strong second place.  Six Americans competed in Toronto with Alex Puccio, the only American to make the finals,  taking the third spot on the podium.  Alex sits in the fifth overall on the season rankings.  On the Men's side, Guillaume Mondet of France took first, overall point leader Jan Hojer of Germany second, and Canadian Sean McColl taking third.  Vasya Vorotnikov placed highest for the U.S. men finishing 11th.  Massachusetts boulderer Josh Larson finished in 27th.  Click here to check out the video and photos from Gripped Magazine.

Cleaning Up Lincoln Woods

It has been a long standing joke among climbers at Lincoln Woods to watch out for the sketchy old men at the park.  Although many jokes have been made, the reality is that Lincoln Woods has been known as a trolling ground for men engaging in deviant activities.  After many complaints, the Rhode Island State Police recently arrested five men in a sting operation at the park.  Hopefully, this will discourage these activities in the future.  Click here for the Providence Journal article on the arrests.

Hard FA in New Hampshire

If you are a regular on MountainProject.com, you may have noticed a lot of new boulder problems going up in the Waterville Valley area of New Hampshire.  There has been climbing in this area for decades, but recently a dedicated group has been ferreting out new areas and new boulder problems with great regularity.  You can check these locations out on Mountain Project.  Back in September, Dave Wetmore made the first ascent of the crown jewel hard project in the area, naming it White House.  The problem comes in at V11 and here is a video of the FA from one of our media spotlight crew, Back Mattress Media.

Bouldering World Cup - China

Although it is a far cry from what most of us do on a daily basis, the IFSC Bouldering World Cup events are our equivalent of the major leagues of bouldering.  In the first event of the year in Chongqing, China, two Germans took home the gold medals, with Jan Hojer winning on the men's side and Juliane Wurm (recent winner of the ABS Nationals) winning for the women.  What interests me most about these events is that, especially on the men’s side, U.S. boulderers (Graham, Woods, Webb, Robinson, and even Sharma when he chooses to focus on bouldering) are among the top in the world on real rock but the top U.S. men’s finisher in China came in 30th!  On the women’s side, Alex Puccio finished a strong 4th but the next U.S. woman came in 26th.  Is it lack of interest in this form of bouldering competition or do U.S. boulderers just suck at climbing on plastic?  For a great video recap of the first event, check out EpicTV.com and for the full results check out IFSC’s website.

2014 Access Fund Grants

The Access Fund recently announced the first round in their Climbing Preservation Grants Program and two New England projects have received funding.

The Clifton Climbers Alliance received a grant to support their efforts to save climbing at Eagle Bluff, popular sport climbing and bouldering area in Clifton, Maine.  The area was closed to climbing in 2013 and put up for sale.  The grant is going towards the purchase of the land.

The Western Mass Climber's Coalition received a grant to improve the parking lot at Farley.  The Access Fund was instrumental in the purchase of the land in 2007.

Click here read the Access Fund's press release for all the grants.  While you are there be sure to join the Access Fund!

Kevin Jorgeson visits the Woods

Pro climber Kevin Jorgeson (check out his website), in the area for a clinic and slideshow at Carabiners in New Bedford, spent a few hours at Lincoln Woods yesterday checking the place out.  Since he didn't have much time, Kevin wasn't really in full attack mode, but nearly had a 2nd go send of Hueco Nightmares, falling after the hard moves.  He likely would have had it next go, but had to leave to catch a train.

Kevin Joregeson attempting Under the Grid, V10, in the Pond Cave at Lincoln Woods, RI.  Photograph by Joe McLoughlin

Kevin Joregeson attempting Under the Grid, V10, in the Pond Cave at Lincoln Woods, RI.  Photograph by Joe McLoughlin

Kevin Joregeson nearly sending Hueco Nightmares, V11, in the Pond Cave at Lincoln Woods, RI.  Photograph by Joe McLoughlin

Kevin Joregeson nearly sending Hueco Nightmares, V11, in the Pond Cave at Lincoln Woods, RI.  Photograph by Joe McLoughlin

New Lincoln Woods Parking Lot

Last summer, the State of Rhode Island built a new parking lot, called the Sunset Hiking Trails lot near the Try Again boulder.  This new lot provides great access to Try Again, Peace Dove, and Ship's Prow, plus Best Kept Secret, Ball Buster, and the Lost Crag across the road from the lot.  The lot is located just west of picnic area 24 (on this map) on the loop road.

Hueco Nightmare Video

Sent to us from the amazing Height Films

Lucy Humphreys might not be a name you're familiar with, but after an impressive spring tour de force you should probably take notice. This 20 year old from Palo Alto, California is proving she's here on the East Coast to do more than just attend Rhode Island School of Design. Capitalizing on a dry afternoon, Heights Films accompanied Lucy Humphreys out to the Pond Cave in Lincoln Woods, Rhode Island. Back in January a key hold broke on Hueco Nightmare V10, making the problem a bit more difficult. Lucy battled her way through the new sequence of tiny crimps and technical footwork to prove she did not have to be scared of the Nightmare. Humphreys believes that this first re-ascent of the problem after the break has definitly bumped up the grade. Since Lucy has decided to stick around on the East Coast for the rest of the spring and summer, we're sure we will be seeing many more hard ascents and FA's from this quiet crusher!!!

WMCC Silent Auction

This past weekend the Western Massachusetts Climbers Coalition held their annual silent auction to raise money for upgrades to the Farley parking lot and to preserve access to the great climbing in Western Mass.  The auction raised over $9,000 smashing their previous record by over $1,000.  Head over to climbgneiss.org to support this great organization!

More First Ascents in Rhode Island

As is often the case, one new hard line can spur on more development at an area.  Matt Giossi's new V12 at Beach Pond in southern RI has appeared to have done just that with three new problems going down this weekend including a new V11, Super Normal, by Lucy Humphreys, a highball V3 by Marc Troob, and a V8 by Rockspot's head routesetter Mike Dominguez.  Check out photographer Chris Motta's tumblr for some great pics of the new problems.

New V12 in Rhode Island

Matt Giossi has sent a hard new line at the Beach Pond bouldering area in southern Rhode Island.  The steep line follows a line of slopey crimps and pinches to a big dyno and finishes up the classic Manhandled.  Matt has named the problem Work of Man and has proposed a V12 rating.  Matt had this to say after the send:

"I looked at this thing maybe two years ago said it was impossible. . . looked at it in the fall... said it was impossible . two weeks ago with the... help of a good friend found out that secret beta and worked my ass off to get the FA of one of the most amazing lines in new england . this was hardest thing to date i have ever climbed, physically and mentally!"

 Height Films was on hand to capture the send and will be putting out a video soon...

Matt Giossi on his new problem, Work of Man, V12 in Southern, Rhode Island.  Photograph by Chris Motta.

Matt Giossi on his new problem, Work of Man, V12 in Southern, Rhode Island.  Photograph by Chris Motta.

Sourland Smackdown

On April 12, 2014 in Hillsborough, New Jersey, the Sourland Smackdown Bouldering competition will be held at the Sourland Mountain Preserve.  Last year, more than 50 climbers took part in this free event.  Sign up here to enter this event.  You can also visit their Facebook page for more info by clicking here.

Local Heads North

Massachusett’s Josh Larson had a strong showing this past weekend at the MEC Canadian Bouldering Championship at Coyote Rock in Ottawa.  Facing a strong field including World Champion Sean McColl, Josh came out of semi-finals in 2nd place and only dropped one spot in finals to finish on the podium in third place.  Check out the full report and photos here.

Iron Maiden Comp

In what is believed to be a first for the area, MetroRock hosted the first all-female bouldering comp on Saturday.  Dubbed the Iron Maiden, nearly 100 women turned out to compete.  In the pro division, Angie Payne took home first, Lizzy Asher came in second, and Annalisa Flynn took home third.  Click here to check out CruxCrush for more coverage and plenty of photos!

Dark Horse Final

On February 1, 2014, MetroRock wrapped up the fifth season of their Dark Horse bouldering competition series with the finals at their Everett, Massachusetts facility.  The series featured four events (one at each of their facilities and then the final at Everett).  In the finals, Alex Puccio won a stacked women's division with Angie Payne coming in second and the young crusher Ashima Shiraishi coming in third.  For the men, Rob D'Anastasio took the title with Peter Dixon coming in second and Vasya Vorotnikov taking third.  Check out Louder Than Eleven's highlight reel here.  The Dark Horse series returns in November 2014.