From DW’s Instagram “Last night was a surreal moment for me. It was pitch black out with a couple lights shining to light up the golden pathway of Paul Robinson’s Lucid Dreaming (v15). The humidity and cold combination was just right to be able and stick to the glassy non existent holds. I had a nervous feeling in my stomach about what was going to happen if I got through the crux section and had to commit to the final 30 foot slab section in the dark (I did have a headlamp for the slab). Luckily, I had an amazing support crew to help me stay in the zone. I blasted my beats on my @goalzero #rockout2 speaker, chalked up and set off. Every move felt perfect and before I knew it, I was on top of the Grandpa Peabody boulder for Lucid’s 2nd ascent. This line is stunning, aggressive, and committing. Props to Paul for linking these moves”-DW
I thought I’d mention that I became a contributor to the climbing media blog Island.io. I’m very excited to have my photos among those of some of the best climbers in the world! Here’s an album of photo’s from Sawmill Creek Dome, in Northern Minnesota, hope you like them!
From a post by Organic Climbing “In 2004, Japanese climber Dai Koyamada climbed the king line out of the Hollow Mountain cave; “The Wheel of Life.” The 60+ move monster links X-Treme Cool (7C), Sleepy Hallow (8A), Cave Man (7C), and Dead Can’t Dance (8A). Rests separate each boulder problem, but you are climbing out a horizontal ceiling, so it is impossible to stay “fully recovered” (unless your Alex Megos, he did not get pumped). This aspect of the climb was challenging for me. I have never completed a line of this style before. Usually after 30 moves I become fully loaded. Learning how to accomplish such a line was the main attraction along with the sheer beauty The Wheel of Life offered. Everything about the problem is perfect from holds to moves. I battled with poor conditions for the first few days but used this time to learn each section and build endurance. Instead of robotically moving between each hold, I learned how to flow and gain rhythm to conserve energy. The Wheel of life boils down to one low percentage move at the end. You have to place a right heel hook on a flat wall panel, keep tension and reach backward with your right hand to a sloping gaston pocket, pull into your shoulder and hope it doesn’t break, then get your left foot up next to your right and finish off on jugs. I would climb to the end several times, but did not have the mental capacity to keep going. This became a mind game, in which prevented me from sending. 3 days before my departure back to America, blue skies and a dry wind came through the cave. My friend Beau Kahler and 3 local Aussies were the only ones up there. I spent 20 minutes brushing each hold and going through the sections in my head. This was the first time I could visualize myself climbing the moves in a relaxed manor. I felt psyched and pulled on for my first attempt. I climbed all the way to the end but crumbled on the gaston move. After an hour off, I found myself back at the beginning staring back at the line. My stomach started to feel nauseas as I envisioned the process of getting through each section. I pulled on and set off. I had fun with the moves and developed a good flow. I arrived to the last boulder and just had 2 more moves remaining. I was able to turn my head off and climb through the gaston to the top. It felt incredible to be on top of the cave and overcome the mental challenge that this line presented. The Wheel of Life has always been a lifelong goal and now it is completed.” Daniel Woods.
Last night I spent some time at Willow River State Park, doing something that I don’t do that often, climbing with a rope.
I spent my time there working on the route “Water Music” a short(still long for me) 5.12a route, with some cool moves over a roof. With a few tries and much Beta from Zach B. I nearly got the send. Unfortunately my bouldering ways have not granted me the necessary endurance and during my send go, I found myself feeling pumped before the harder moves over the roof. I’ll definitely have to get back to Willow again soon to tackle this route.
This Saturday I went up to Sawmill Creek Dome on the North Shore of Lake Superior for a fun day of bouldering. It was only my second time climbing in the area. My first trip to Sawmill was a somewhat miserable affair. The weather happened to be colder than expected, with snow falling sporadically throughout the day, and I, unfortunately, had neglected to pack sufficient clothing. So I froze my ass off. For this trip the weather was much warmer, but that also meant the friction was not as good. That made some of the harder climbs even more difficult, as success on these problems can greatly depend on how well your skin can adhere to the course textures of the Anorthosite rocks. It was a lot of fun though. I got on a couple of problems I hadn’t tried before such as Absolution, a tenuous V5 high ball, and The Warmup slab. This photo is me trying out a project, which Kris Johnson nabbed the supposed FA of minutes after this photo was taken.
This is my dog Henry.
The trip thus far has not been as productive as I’d hoped. This morning I sent Solarium (V4) in the Happys, and Monday I sent The Dripper (V4) or the Drifter boulder. I spent some time working the Knobs (V5) and High Plains Drifter (V7) but did not have any luck. I just watched some videos of the Knobs being climbed and with the new beta I will go for a send on my final day tomorrow. I also hope to spend more time working on High Planes Drifter, and the bowling pin.
We made it to Bishop late last night. After a few hours of sleep we headed to Wilson’s Eastside Sports to pick up an additional pad. I wasn’t very focused today, did some warm up problems then gave the Iron Man traverse a few tries. I got to the move to the lip a few times, but didn’t have the endurance to hold it. Here’s a nice shot from one of my attempts(photo credit: Candice Todryk).
Just one week now until I’m headed out to BIshop for a week of bouldering action, getting really psyched for this trip. It’s been three years since my first trip there, and I have grown tremendously as a climber. I’ll be posting updates about the trip here, and I’m hoping to make a video of the experience.