Monday, May 24, 2010

The Crystal Concierge!

Yesterday, Sunday, Dean and I headed out to Lolo to take care of some loose ends and potentially get back on the line that we bolted about a month ago. First order of business was cleaning up after the bear mishap. So we stashed a pad up there with a bunch of tools in it. Axe, ropes, brushes, car jack, biners, etc. The pad had been up  there for quite some time and was starting to get trashed by rats n the like. Dean went back solo one day and found the remains of the pad strewn out. Foam everywhere. You can see the claw marks in the foam. We cleaned that shit up and packed up the tools. We meandered down trough the shady hill boulders, looking at potential problems and cleaned a sweet 30 ft rail traverse. Sick. 
Next up we had to retrieve a ladder that we stashed. So we did that. This ladder is kind of sketchy as it is a telescoping ladder. You're never quite sure if its all locked, once and a while one of the rungs will slide down. A little unnerving to say the least. This ladder was up at a boulder that is really sweet. It has an amazing 20 ft tall overhanging face with one nice possible line. We cleaned it but haven't tried it. I set the ladder up to get ontop of the boulder and went up, dean followed and we retrieved the rope and biners. Dean also found two Coors that I forgot that were up there. Over a year old still good. We cracked em right then. Delicious, Cheers!
Then, we headed back down and rallied to the Random Events wall. We warmed up on The Lorax 11c, a super awesome climb with several mono moves. We recently rebolted this climb because is had bullshit chain-link hangers. Now it is equipped with nice 3/8 SS. Then we got on our line and worked it on toprope. It felt really solid so after Dean was done working it out I gave it a lead go. It flowed nicely and I found myself really appreciating those fine moments. Making a climb a reality and thinking back on times of old. Anyway, we called the line the Crystal Concierge 12b? It has everything, pockets, techy corner, overhanging LB and some more steep pocket pulling. LP DT, peace

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bolting etc....!

Several individuals have started doing route development etc around Missoula the last couple years. This post is to help guide those folks or anyone who is interested in route development to make good choices. Remember, its not just about your FA, it's also about all the other people who may happen to come upon and climb your route between now and the next 30-50 years.

Things to Do: 

  •  Do some research prior to bolting!
  • Make sure you're not on private propery, if so ask permission.
  • Make sure you're not bolting in protected areas or on closed cliffs.
  • Place the best hardware possible, if you're too broke to buy the good shit you shouldn't be putting up routes.
  •  Think before you drill, top-rope the route to figure out the best possible placement for bolts. 
  • Make sure it can't go on gear, if the gear is there use it!
  • Make sure you're not bolting  hollow rock. Bang on it to test. If it sounds hollow it's bad
  • Drill perpendicularly to the rock surface and deeper than the length of your bolt by a good half inch incase you have to bury it.
  • Limestone is porous,  use Stainless hardware.
  • Montana is an arid climate but try not to mix your metals, zinc plated bolts=zinc plated hangers, stainless bolts=stainless hangers.
  • Camouflage hardware to reduce visual impact.
  • Make sure anchor chains form less than a 90 degree angle to limit stress on bolts where applicable and make anchors as low profile as possible.
  • Make sure your rap is good.
  • Anchor bolts should be a minimum 4 in. apart! Staggered anchors work well in some instances.
  • Consider wether or not the anchor needs chain.
  • Cheap hardware store quicklinks are shwag.
  • Try to place bolts at least 4 in. from a seam.
  • Consider the best possible bolts for the application.
Things not to Do!
  • If re-bolting, place the new bolt before you bust off the old stud. Likewise place a new anchor before you remove the old one incase something goes wrong while placing the new hardware. You don't want to leave someone way out with no pro.
  • Do not bolt a squeeze job!!!, 10-15 ft is a good distance in most cases.
  • Do not use home-made hangers. That shit is not rated and can put undue stress on the biners. Mulkey and Rattler are NOT examples of what to do.
  • Chain link hangers are NOT acceptable and place undue stress on the bolts. All bolts with chain link hangers should be replaced.
  • Do not bolt blocks! I know, sometimes you just have to. Make sure that shit is bomb.
  • Do not bolt cracks, in most cases. 
  • Do not use excess chain!
  • Cheap hardware store quicklinks are shwag.
  • Regular zinc-plated hardware store bolts are trash!
  • There is no point in putting up x-rated climbs with bolts, In my opinion. 
My preferences for bolts and Hangers:
  • Hilti KB3 stainless steel wedge bolts about $2.40 per unit, 2 3/4 in. minimum. I like the 3.5 in myself. They're made in Liechtenstein. You can feel the difference.

  • Powers 5-piece expansion bolts are arguable the best choice. Zinc-plated is standard and will cost you $2.30 per unit, SS is better and will cost you almost double that or more for the same size. SS is the best though for anchors. I use the same length as the hilti bolts
  • Fixe has the best hangers and bolts. They will sometimes cut you deals on quantity.
  • Petzl also has good hangers haven't used their bolts but the Frenchies know whats up.
  • For Replacement anchors we use Powers 5-piece 3 in x 1/2 in SS. They are burley and cost around $10 a piece. Luckily we have been graciously given these bolts ARI and ASCA

Sites to check out!

I think that about covers most of the Do's and Don'ts. These guidelines are not set in stone by any means but its a good code to bolt by. Dean Towarnicki and I have been doing work for the ARI and ASCA for several years now, in addition, we have donated countless hours, mountains of hardware and lots of $$$$  to make the climbing around Missoula safer for the masses. Remember its not just about you. It's about all the others that come after you! 

Thanks, Peace, Levi

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Great Escape!

Dylan and I headed out Friday night to camp out in Lolo. We meet up with Kyle around 8:30 after a serious drive out of town. I don't think I've ever driven the 4200 road faster in my life, and thats saying something. We arrived, brakes breaking, tires squealing, engine burning. Kyle had been waiting only 10 minutes or so, yet he left town a good half hour before us. His low rider's gottta go slow on the bumps though. Hola out to the Rez rider. Beers were cracked and we set up a few targets and did some shooting for a bit and harvested some dead standing for fire wood. A hike ensued and we went and showed him the latest Super Kron v6?, a nice 18 ft, slightly overhanging face/arete that went down earlier in the week and the recently cleaned Euro stone proj. Dean and I had worked on the opening moves last year to no avail but Dylan and I had returned with renewed motivation to check it out. Dylan was/is working on Flying Lotus v7. Likely the best problem of the grade in MT which is right next door. 
Light was fading so we headed back to camp and made a fire. A typical night around the fire. Beers, cigs, climbing talk, you know the digs, Kyle decided to peace out and drive back to town at half past twelve to get some good rest. I don't know what he was thinking. I sleep better in the woods most the time than I do in town. So quiet! Minus a few random gun shots. Love it. 
Morning came quite nicely. Dylan kept waking me up cutting fire wood in the early hours but I even managed to sleep in a little bit despite smoke in my face. Thanks bud. Egg and cheese burritos were out cause the eggs broke on the wild ride in so we had to settle for quesadillas and Hamms beer. Finally Deano the Machino showed up. Good thing cause the nicotine and beers had been exhausted on our end plus he had my big pad. Then we got crankin. 
Once again we decided not to do a proper warm-up which was dumb as always. So I fell off Flying lotus from the worst possible spot and then send and started working on the pro. We must have each tried the first hard move at least twenty times. Then I started to feel it coming. That energy that develops  when your body and mind start to learn the move and dial that shit in. A few more goes and a little rest and it happened. I stuck the move. Dylan had been utilizing a different sequence that worked better for him and was not quite holding the swing. That mofo has long legs, i'll tell ya what. Fukd up long dude beta. So i stuck the move and moved up into the next few moves and PUNTED, not really knowing what to do in foreign terrain. So. I rested and looked at it and smoked and drank some beer and looked at it and then shoed up again. The hold you have to deadpoint to with the right had is Sharp... and Small. Good bite too it. And the hold started taking back. Skin, Dean's skin, My skin and Dylan's skin. I knew it had to go soon or not today. I chalked up, nested feet and hands just like so and went. I latched the hold in not the most perfect fashion and gripped that bruiser and somehow escaped my way too the top. The climbing eases as you ascend but there are still several insecure moves. I was psyched and thrashed. I chilled on top and enjoyed that few seconds we get when things go just so. Our skin was pretty much done after that so we headed back to the trucks for some beers and hatchet throwing. Dylan  and I lost motivation and headed back to town. The day yielded  a nice varied problem, The Great Escape V?, gotta add the three more assis moves for the full value problem but I'm not sure it'll add much difficulty, just pump factor. Sorry no pics just too much rock in hand.  Peace

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Saturday Mr. Peck got a late start and headed out to Lolo. The forecast was a chance of showers with potential for sending. We arrived pulled the pads out of the truck and it was already drizzling. Damn rain. We eschewed the warm-up and head straight to the corridor boulders where Dylan was working on the second ascent of Fucking cheese ball V8. I had been unable to repeat this problem that I established back in 07. We had worked on it our prior trip and were both psyched to send. I made a flash warmup send and Dylan worked out some better beta while I climbed some other problems in the area. The rain was coming and Dylan's goes were limited. After he worked out his new beta we smoked a cig and he was primed for the send. He executes the first hard move with precision and makes it to the last throw. He sags away a bit and I touch him to prevent an uncontrolled out swing into the adjacent boulder. Bro dab. He eaks over the sloppy top out and it is apparent that he must try again. He takes a few minute break and sends. Sweet. Then it starts raining and we bail into the ride and head over to elk Rock. I was gunning for a new line I had half cleaned last year but it proved to be too wet so we chilled under the massive overhang of the grande boulder and drank our beers and made a fire. Eventually there was a window in the weather and I convinced Dill-hole to make the trek over to the Opium den. It was super humid and the top out was wet, not that mattered cause I climbed poorly anyhow. However, I did work out the moves again. the last hard move is starting to become a formality so it gives me hope that I can send once I stick the second move which happens the be the hardest. I only stick the move once in 15 tries or so. Our window closed and we slogged back to the truck in the rain, checked out some other potential areas and called it a day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Yo kt who are you. There's no need for anonymity  Here. Identify yourself!!!


If you're living in western MT you know that the weather has been shit for several weeks now. We got spoiled with several weeks of near perfect climbing weather in early April only to be nearly shut-Down the last several weeks. Beth has got me going to yoga several times a week now and it has been a nice change. I can really feel the difference in my posture and Mindset. I would recommend it to anyone looking for good cross-training. I think it's the key to the next level of my climbing anyhow. Particularly the Opium den Pjkt. I have a hard time quantifying the difficulty of this thing. I  become jaded when we have learned a style/area  of climbing over several years. We engineer our bodies and minds to climb a certain way. So..I've been struggling with what to rate things in our upcoming guide. As always though, sandbag or stiff is always better than soft.

Deaner and I have been out quite a bit with the bad weather exploring and what not. Since house painting is my job and we don't have any interior work i've been chillin A-Lot. And then I was broke with a bunch of time on my hands and no gas money. Several days back we followed a lead on some super secluded boulders. We were on the right track just didn't walk far enough. A wild goose chase for sure. Turns out the boulders sit just in Idaho...I mean Montana. The fastest way is likely a 5 mile approach with significant elevation gain. Thanks to Clinton our access to many places was shut down  even before I started climbing. What a waste to have all these nice logging roads that never get used.  Anyway, we didn't hike far enough but later talked it out with scotty and scoped google earth n shit. Good summer alpine blocs i guess. 

Yesterday we finished bolting a sweet 9 bolts sport route somewhere in the greater Lolo area. Can't wait to go get on it again when it isn't freezing cold. Its nice to just be in the woods doing your thing drinking beers kickin it in front of the fire chillin with your bro. It doesn't get much better and I feel reluctant at the end of the day to return to society.  Well speaking of society and my role, time to get my ass to work. Peace, pics sometime soon. I apologize for my rudimentary blogging skills. In time they will improve!