Lincoln Lake Review

Lincoln Lake Review

Posted on 11. Oct, 2010 by in News

Warrior Up V15 FA Daniel Woods repeated by Graham
We Can Build You V14 FA David Graham, repeated by Woods
Evil Backwards V14 FA Daniel Woods, repeated by Graham, Cardwell, Emerson, Hukkataival
Death Trout V14 FA Daniel Woods, repeated by Cardwell, Graham
Let the Right One In V14 FA Daniel Woods, repeated by Graham
Vanilla Sky V14 FA Dave Graham unrepeated
Butterfinger V13 FA Nalle Hukkataival unrepeated
Tattooed Teardrops V13 FA Dave Graham unreaped
The Great War for Civilization V13 FA Woods, repeated by Graham, Jon Cardwell, Hukkataival, Webb
Clan of the Cave Bears V13 FA Graham, repeated by Woods, Hukkataival, Schulte
The Mote in God’s Eye V13 FA Graham, repeated by Woods, Cardwell, Hukkataival
Stuntin’ Season V13 FA Woods repeated by Graham, Parady
To Your Scattered Bodies Go V13 FA Graham, repeated by Woods
Exfoliator V12/13 FA Woods repeated by Graham, Luke Parady, James Litz, Hukkataival, Traversi
Little House on the Prairie V12/13 FA Graham, repeated by Cardwell, Woods, Hukkataival, Emerson
Bebe Wolverine V12 FA Graham, many repeats
Overcling Traverse V12 FA Graham, many repeats
Freak Attack V12 FA Graham unrepeated
Honey Badger V12 FA Jamie Emerson, then broke and became easier
Small Arms V11 FA Carlo Traversi, Angela Payne FFA, broken and unclimbed in its present state
Unshackled Sit V11 FA Emerson, many repeats
Grand Tension V11 FA Chad Greedy
Phobos V11 FA Graham
Devil Incarnate V10 FA Graham
Jamie Emerson V10 FA Nick Duttle
Duttle V10 FA Kaelen Williams
Sparrowhawk V10 FA Emerson
Purple is not a Color V10 FA Voges
Unshackled V9/10 FA Jorgeson Flashed by Angela Payne

This is an incomplete list of most of the hard problems and those who climbed them at Lincoln Lake in the summer of 2010.

As things began to warm up in June I had few expectations. I had just finished setting the World Cup in Vail and was looking forward to getting up into the mountains. I thought I would probably try and repeat some hard established problems, like Jade, or Ode to the Modern Man, and I thought I would probably spend some time hiking around looking for new boulders.
In what became a pivotal turn of events, my friend Dave Graham moved in next door to our humble little abode here in Boulder, CO. We started talking about the desire to find some new boulders, and potentially even a new area. I met Dave in Chaos Canyon in 2001 and when he is town we usually end up looking for and finding something good. The last time was in 2005, when we took him out to Eldorado Canyon and he put up Suspension of Disbelief. We talked about driving out by Vail (which I had discussed with some local climbers earlier this year), but agreed it would be too far for daily visits. We talked about Upper Upper Chaos, which Dave and I had both walked around quite a bit. It seemed there was some potential there, but Dave’s drive to push things forwardly is incredible. “I want to find something totally new, totally different”, he said. I was in Dave’s apartment and he was on Google Earth and I was listing off places to go. None seemed quite right and but the optimism was high. After a few dead ends I suggested we should check out Lincoln Lake, near Mt. Evans. I had actually been to Lincoln Lake, at night, in 2002. I remembered a lot of huge boulders and at the time had told Ben Scott. Ben said it wasn’t really what he was looking for and that he was more motivated on developing what would become Area A and then the Aerials, understandably. During these early years, a small group of climbers from Boulder had developed problems up to V7 that year. (Slide 17 appears to be what Jon Glassberg climbed this year and named Powder Keg) In this crew was Will Lemaire, Bart Strege, Chul Lee and Scott Rennak and others. I don’t remember there being a whole lot of excitement about the place and I forgot about it after I heard that it was of poor quality from other climbers. Last year Carlo Traversi visited the area and wrote it off. As Dave and I poured over ideas, I thought, “maybe everyone, including myself, was wrong.” If anyone can see potential in a climbing area it is Dave. It is a testament to his vision over the past years that I even suggested he look at Lincoln Lake. I had been thinking of a revisit myself and after looking at the updated Google image I thought “maybe this could be something…” Even if Dave unearthed a couple hard problems it would be worth it.

Picture 2 Lincoln Lake

The next day I went to work and Dave went for a drive. When he came back he was bursting with excitement. “Look at all these amazing problems!” He had taken thirty movies on his Iphone of potential projects as he ran around trying to see everything he could. “This is IT! This is the next thing, the next amazing new area!” I couldn’t believe it. Dave had some how done it again, basically proving many in the local scene wrong, including myself. I couldn’t have been happier!

The first few days were some of the most best days I think for all of us. Dave was running around chalking and ticking everything. I can’t recall how many times I went exploring on my own, only to find Dave’s distinctive chalk and ticks on the underside of some improbable overhang, again and again. I told my good friend Brian Capps “I think this is as good as Upper Chaos, and possibly all of Chaos Canyon.” Interestingly enough, many who visited initially didn’t have the same opinion. I heard one strong climber say “There are a few V14s and not really anything else.”

I think one of the most challenging things about developing a new area is to see the lines. Sometimes, when things like No More Greener Grasses, at Area A are discovered, the climb is quite obvious and goes on to become a classic. But most of the time, most of the things people end up enjoying are not the NMGGs but the easier, more accessible lines. The difference between a fresh piece of granite and an established boulder problem, complete with chalk, ticks, a name and beta can be astounding. And there is no one that I know of who is better at seeing that difference before it happens than Dave Graham.

IMG_5803The inimitable Dave Graham, June 20, 2010, my first day at Wolverineland.

Dave’s vision all summer was incredible. He continually sought out, cleaned and put up amazing problems. I don’t think anyone in the world puts in as much analytical thought to the whole process as Dave does. Even though Daniel (whose effort is certainly to be commended and is astonishing in its own right) did the FA of many of the hardest lines there, I think that every single one of them was found, cleaned, chalked and attempted first by Dave. Often times, like in the instance of Evil Backwards, The Great War for Civilisation, or Death Trout, Dave found the line, figured out the beta and brought Daniel there. Daniel’s raw power was on display and it is hard to deny the incredible ability he has, but I want it to be clear that, in terms of development, Dave lead the way.

It was very exciting for me to bear witness to the utter devastation unleashed by Dave and Daniel. Not only did they put up 5 amazing V14s, they also added Warrior Up V15, which is probably the second hardest problem in Colorado. They also climbed many classic “easier” problems in the V10-V13 range. It seemed like every day one of them was adding another incredible problem, and this may be the first time so many strong climbers were so close to such an untouched talus field. Once things got going it was basically just an immense amount work, which I think everyone who was a part of absolutely loved. It was a feeding frenzy of new, hard climbing. Highlights included Let the Right One In V14, a gigantic wall with an outrageous offset feature, The Great War for Civilisation V13, an amazing compression problem, easily one of the best in the state, We Can Build You V14, a very hard roof with a unique sloping topout, Evil Backwards V14, with awesome rock and amazing steep climbing, The Mote in God’s Eye V13, which is an incredible Ticino style problem, perhaps the best of the hard ones and To Your Scattered Bodies Go V13, the beautiful Ski Jump project, which sits alone on the ridge…as I type this I think nearly everything that was done was of a high quality. It’s hard to pick the very best. Phobos V11, Confederate V6 an amazing and unrepeated arete by Kevin Jorgeson, Rebellion V9 Jorgeson FA, Small Arms (which broke unfortunately), Bebe Wolverine V12, and of course how could we forget Unshackled Jorgeson FA, the classic roof. Is it V9 or V10? The debate continues.

It would be remiss not to mention all of the amazing moderate problems that were climbed as well. Chalk on Rock V7 FA Luke Parady, Cloak of the Tiger V8 FA Brian Capps, The Anvil V8 FA Chad Greedy, Dream Snatcher V8/9 FA Chad Greedy (named for it’s similarity to Dreamcatcher), Bull Run FA Jon Glassberg, A Bloody Lineage FA Ryan Silven and on and on. Lincoln Lake may be the best bouldering in Colorado and it’s hard to believe, even now, that all these amazing problems were unclimbed for so long.

IMG_8253Brian Camp on Phobos V9/10/11/12

This development was not with out its controversy. There were of course some grade wars, as Phobos got downgraded from V12 to V11, The Exfoliator went from V14 to V12/13, Small Arms from V12 to V11 and The Mote in God’s Eye from V14 to V13. Some climbers who visited declared that the rock was poor and crumbling and that they weren’t interested. I think many of the people I climbed with were vexed by the critique. Isn’t this what we all wanted? New boulders in an amazing setting? A place to go when even the Park and Area D were too hot? More good hard problems than we know what to do with? An opportunity for the strongest boulderers in the world to put on a display? What I saw from day one (and I think those who spent most of the summer there would agree) was an amazing new arena for bouldering. The potential for hard climbing was nearly limitless, and those climbers who have traveled the world saw this. Some of the rock here is on par with some of the areas in Switzerland. The scenery is spectacular and the adventure level is about as high as any bouldering area in the world. I was so thankful hiking out every time under a full moon, or another spectacular sunset, or a driving rain storm that once again there were new boulders, a new setting, new projects, new people and new motivation. I think that all of these attributes far overshadowed any negative feelings portrayed by other climbers or by the media.

The road closed Oct 4th which closed the area for the season. The 5 mile hike in seemed improbable and it’s nice to turn our attention to other venues. It was a great season, one I am very thankful to be a part of. If you see Dave, and Daniel too, you should personally thank them for all of the new problems and hard work they put in. I would personally and publicly like to thank Dave Graham, Daniel Woods, and anyone else I shared a climb, spot, laugh, hike out, or cleaned a problem. Thank you to all the climbers that simply shared Wolverineland together this summer! Feel free to post comments, thoughts, or feelings on the season. W3rd!



37 Responses to “Lincoln Lake Review”

  1. Martin

    11. Oct, 2010

    Nice write up. How long of a hike was it to get to Little House on the Prairie this last week? That was quite ambitious. Can’t wait for spring to head back up there. I didn’t make it out to Lincoln Lake until the last week it was open. We went three times though and it was amazing. Nice work to you all for finding and putting up such great problems!

  2. B3

    11. Oct, 2010

    Thanks, I will write up about my day later this week.

  3. Kaelen W

    11. Oct, 2010

    You forgot Vanilla Sky, just thought I’d mention it since it’s a v14.

  4. B3

    11. Oct, 2010

    Thanks Kaelen, I made the changes!

  5. joeyjoejoe

    11. Oct, 2010

    Best post ever.

  6. butterfinger

    11. Oct, 2010

    How about butteffinger? The Mote in God’s Eye sit start.

  7. m

    11. Oct, 2010

    as for the grading controversy, that’s to be expected I guess. overgrading a problem it’s nothing new, it sure didn’t happen in wolverine land first. and missing the mark of half a grade? not a big deal.
    I guess a lot of people don’t take into account the fact that for climbers as talented and amazingly strong as dave graham and daniel woods 8a boulder problems are really just worm ups. if you are that strong, the line between a 7c+ and an 8a stars to get blurred I guess. or even between 7c and 8a+.
    a couple of dg’s problems comes to mind, and they are here in ticino and from the ages back.
    one is confessions of a crap artist, graded 8a and now considered 7c at most. another one, also in chironico, on the no mistery boulder, is that goes left. it used to be 8a and it’s now 7b+/7c.
    it happens, it has always been. it’s not a matter of intentionally inflating grades for personal gains, whatever those may be. it’s just that if you climb 8c, accurately grading easy or moderate problems can become a bit hit and miss.

  8. Humanoid

    11. Oct, 2010

    Nice work! Can’t wait to check it out next season.

  9. seth

    11. Oct, 2010

    Exactly what i was hoping for. Thanks homeskillet. Udaman.

  10. sg

    11. Oct, 2010

    Regardless of the feelings about the grades, rock quality, etc. I think one of the most impressive things to be noted about this new area is the openness in its development. Even without knowing one of “the” main developers listed above, beta was easy to come by, second or third hand.

    Kudos to all for the development and the willingness to share with us all!

  11. Danny B

    11. Oct, 2010

    Great Job to all those who spent time and effort in Wolvo Land, and excellent post… See you around.


  12. seth

    12. Oct, 2010

    you did not hike in (rhetorical)?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! nice jorb, you musta wanted ‘little house’ real bad!

  13. B3

    12. Oct, 2010

    Thanks, interestingly enough there were no secrets kept whatsoever, and I think it demonstrates how wonderful it is when secrets aren’t kept. Everyone gets in on the fun.

  14. Nik v.

    12. Oct, 2010

    Jamie, Thanks for all your hard work and your diligence in putting up photos and info on everything going on and not leaving everyone “beached as brew” with no beta. This summer would have been half as good without Lincoln Lake.

  15. a

    12. Oct, 2010

    if warrior up is the 2nd hardest in CO what is the hardest?

  16. seth

    12. Oct, 2010

    @ a- the ‘GAME’ son, the ‘GAME!’

  17. […] Emerson, who was on hand throughout much of the season at Lincoln Lake, has an excellent writeup on his blog that covers how the summer progressed and lists most of the hard boulders that were put up and […]

  18. zach

    12. Oct, 2010

    wolverineland wrap-up video?


    12. Oct, 2010

    WORD TO THIS BEAT, HERE: cloak of the tiger; life trout aka sea bass; vaporizer; the hammer; tangerine man; the lonely carpenter; rebellion; kryptonite; sparrowhawk; 8=D; the anvil; behind the 8ball; front range on fire; wench beater; steep grades and sharp curves; fer irie; the idiot; wilkes booth; liquid peanut butter; jamie emerson (the stone); i shot the sheriff; powder keg aka zoolander; a bloody lineage aka old peoples’ sends only exist if jj knows about them; walk the line; ETC.

    so much fun packed into a small joint.

    i’ve already made my list for 2011, checked it twice, and scribbled down beta for the naughty and nice.


    12. Oct, 2010

    water’s edge; emancipation arete left and right; expecting emancipation/locust lawn; northern aggression; shackle me not; fragile tension; no tension; red herring; jackie’s arete; siafu; dark overloard grimm; a fool’s errand; my little friend; irish coffee; open your eyes, death race 2000; frankenstein sexytime; the wages of sin; costanza; if darkness; dark passenger; and….

    for next season…

    project 1
    project 2
    project 3
    project 4
    project 5
    project 6
    project 7
    project 8
    project 9


    12. Oct, 2010

    grand tension; pick up sticks; red 1; blue 2; silven’s warm up 1 and 2; pro ho; shanghai; kimball variations 1 through 19; fer columbine; white whale; etc

  22. Jackie

    13. Oct, 2010

    I know you wrote “incomplete post” but I also know that you know Chris did Mote and Great War, so I consider your leaving them out deliberate. As for the video, after Chris wrote that to Dave he saw Dave at Mote and demonstrated what he’d done and how to the apparent satisfaction of not only Dave but another prominent climber, so we thought the matter was closed.

    So can Chris come talk with you guys about it if he wants to, or does the invitation only extend to me?

  23. sock hands

    13. Oct, 2010

    just for the record, i am ‘people’ and i do not want to see footage of any sends over v11. it makes me sick to my stomach.

    in fact, i cannot watch most internet videos, dosages, core, any of that crap, if i have had pasta sauce, kool aid, or other foods that stain.

  24. sock hands

    13. Oct, 2010

    jackie: fashion a name for your squeeze arete or be subject to potential DAMAGE.

    the sentance for this will be suspended until july 2011, but then, watch out: DAMAGE


    13. Oct, 2010

    ps: i regurgitated my master list, above.

    if i endeavor to repeat the list, i will also attempt to get uncut footage of the effort.

    facebook me when tomahawk is posted… i wanna see if i was looking at the right line/start and for inspiration… unless it is v12, then bile wells up and burns my throat.

    v11? just barely OK by me.

  26. cj

    13. Oct, 2010

    I like point #4. the best. I love me some videos! But personally I think it is worth the time and effort to bring a camera when you are going to climb a problem that is difficult for you. Watching yourself climb can allow you to evaluate your body positioning and beta.

  27. Crimp'n Ain't Easy

    13. Oct, 2010

    JE, I’m not trying to get in the middle of this but, what do you mean when you say “it seemed (once again) like he was being evasive”? When has this happened before?

  28. Josh

    14. Oct, 2010

    Jamie, by posting on your website the claims that Chris’s ascents aren’t legitimate, you create his reputation. The fact that your blog is read nationally and internationally takes the bias supported by your group of friends and sprays it to a larger community. People that don’t know Chris take on your perspective because of the position you are in as a sponsored athlete with a blog. People look up to you. If you say that uncut video footage should be required as proof of an ascent, others will think so too. If you say Chris has a reputation for lying about ascents, others will remember that when they see Chris at the boulders. It is a reputation held by you, spread to the larger community.

    You cannot argue the point that Chris’s reputation should be questioned in order to preserve the virtues of the sport, when you yourself create the negative reputation. It’s a catch 22. Chris can’t come out well in the end. And that’s where the problem lies. That no matter what you say, even if it be “I was looking forward to seeing [Chris’s uncut video footage] and would have happily posted it on my site!” you still assume that Chris has something to prove, you still give him his bad reputation, and then you say, Well the only reason I want to see footage is because he has a bad reputation! That kind of twisted logic is either genius, or incredibly asinine. You are asking Chris to stand up against the bad reputation you, and your friends, gave him. Where’s the virtue in that?

    There is no virtue in denigrating a single person in the climbing community; period. I’m sure your sponsors would agree. Stop kidding yourself, debating how you demand climbers “act on the highest level”, while you are acting on the lowest. Stop feigning that you are defender of trust by arguing for your doubt. Trust by trusting, then you’ll make a point worth considering.

  29. Jackie

    14. Oct, 2010

    Josh – thanks, and thank you for proving that there are other people who see the logic in this situation, but I don’t think Jamie is ever going to get it.

    Jamie – you are not defending a reputation given to him by someone else, because YOU are the one who created this “reputation”, from the very beginning. It has been your opinions and your propensity for talking about them A LOT that has influenced others you climb around. Do Dave and Daniel really want you putting their names up here with your opinions? Do they still feel this same way? It is your suspicions, however unfounded, that have created this situation–not Chris’ actions, not the speculation of others, and not what I, or anyone else, has had to say in his defense.

    Daniel had the tact to come to Chris and I and say what he was thinking, and then he and Chris and Dave climbed together and they apologized to him and said the matter was resolved. Why are you not ok with that? Chris said he’d provide footage to Dave before they climbed together, because he was going to reclimb the problem. It didn’t work out, but they’d climbed together and everything seemed to be okay, so after that day he stopped trying to film it. He didn’t do it twice, and didn’t film the repeat, cause there wasn’t one. He did do it once. There is no reason you should not believe this.

    And as for the “details you are not sharing to spare Chris”. What details? Every bit of you “evidence” that I’ve ever heard is speculation and hearsay. If I hadn’t watch you build a similar (and also unfounded) case against Ben Safdi six years ago, it’d be easier to consider your position legitimate. However, I’ve seen you do this before, to someone else. And I was around when you started doing it to Chris, before I was even friends with him, and I didn’t believe it because it was the same old witch hunt with another witch. And people who knew you before you moved to Boulder said you did a similar thing to someone in Michigan. Why? What is so inadequate about you that you need to spend so much time and energy trying to tear others down?

  30. indianview

    15. Oct, 2010

    just wanna say one thing…

    if you wanna climb with chris, you gotta find him…

    thats how the indians do…if they saw a wild indian, they hunted him down like a pack of wolfs like
    with us…

    so much love…so little competition..

  31. George

    16. Oct, 2010

    Jackie, do you actually think that dude campusman in Michigan hasnt lied about ascents? he has

    skip that though

    Do you actually think Jamie has no reason to give Chris no credit? he does


  32. Fred

    16. Oct, 2010

    “trying to tear others down?”


    this is just one big online mess, because everyone really loves each other in person. skip it all! =)

  33. John

    16. Oct, 2010

    campusman is right

    Chris was trying to psych up the non 14 climbers and it worked

    Great Discussion people…try to keep it a little more like Indianview’s

  34. Gabe Myers

    16. Oct, 2010

    What ever happened to climbing for enjoyement? Seems the only thing you talk about is grades. Get real, stop taxing, and climb for yourself.

  35. campusman

    17. Oct, 2010

    I can tell you what happened to climbing for enjoyment

    Some people like grades because they like everything about climbing

    Some people like to not talk about grades because they are insane

  36. […] Over the last few month, the only thing the world of bouldering has heard about was Wolverineland. If you wonder where this all started then take a look right here ! […]

  37. […] tempo atrás o escalador Jamie Emerson relatou em seu blog, como em apenas 3 meses, Dave Graham conseguiu transformar uma área antes tida como de potencial […]

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