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The Altruist

Posted on 14. Feb, 2012 by in Front Range, News

I know this news is a bit old in our now seemingly daily news cycle but I did want to highlight a recent ascent here in Colorado. A few weeks ago Carlo Traversi made the first ascent of a long-standing project in the Flatirons which he is calling The Altruist V13. The problem is located at the PB Boulders in the southern Flatirons. It is a gorgeous, tall, red, flat wall with a flat landing. It had been tried by a number of strong climbers, but its distance from the car kept people away from giving it serious attempts. Will Lemaire had almost climbed the line years ago, but fell off the top when he broke a key hold from the lip. It’s an admirable effort on Carlo’s part to hike up there and put it up. Here is a quick map I made for those interested in looking for a repeat. The best season for the climb is late fall, and early spring, although it seems Carlo snuck this one in during a week of dry weather, which is always possible here in Boulder. The approach begins at the South Mesa trailhead, just outside of Eldorado Canyon State Park.

Here is Matt Wilder attempting The Altruist when it was a project.

Also of note,Carlo recently sat down with Peter Beal to give his thoughts on the state of hard climbing in Colorado. It was an interesting interview and there were a couple of points that I didn’t understand or simply didn’t agree with and I wanted to address some of them here.

From the interveiw:
PB: Where do you think Colorado bouldering is headed? There has been a lot of development in the past ten years or so. Has the wave crested? Is there still more out there?

CT: I still think there is plenty to go. I know of several five-star projects in the Front Range and the Park that are amazing and could very well be in the V15 range. There aren’t as many strong people here just developing them as there have been. When you have as many strong people as there used to be here with Daniel, Paul, Ty and everyone living here, they were all pushing each other to do it and it was really helpful for everyone. That doesn’t exist right now so it’s slowed down the development of the really high-end stuff but you still have people out at Lincoln Lake opening V7s and V8s, developing tons of easier stuff. People saw Lincoln Lake as, “Yeah the rock’s not that good but we can create what we want here,” in many ways (laughing), some of which I don’t agree with, but an area was created and people enjoy it and that’s what important. There are plenty of those areas to be developed in Colorado.

First of all, I found this unfortunate to read and it is a misrepresentation of what went on at Lincoln Lake in the summer of 2010. No one was “creating” new boulder problems at Lincoln Lake. Myself, Dave, Daniel Woods, Chad Greedy, Ryan Silven, Luke Parady, Jon Glassberg, Justin Jaeger, Jimmy Webb, John Gass and others all worked very hard to establish many new problems there. The rock is granite and it needs to be cleaned (sometimes with wire brushes), but I would never suggest in the least bit that any of these people “created what they want” on a newly established climb. I was present for the FA of many of the classics, and with Dave when he found many of them. Perhaps I am wrong in assuming that Carlo is insinuating that these problems were chipped or unethically cleaned?

Additionally, in the past few years Dave has added Memory is Parallax V14, which is an outstanding problem at the rediscovered Nicky’s Boulders (rediscovered by Dave), The Ice Knife V15 (and a number of other hard projects at Guanella Pass which Dave, Diego Montull, Jimmy Webb, Daniel Woods and I found after a few days of hiking in the area), Warrior Up V15 at Lincoln Lake, Hypnotized Minds, The Game and Glow in the Dark Estrellas V14, which to my knowledge has not been repeated in the way in which Dave started, which was not toe-hooking the lip. He was instrumental in the finding and establishing Mirror Reality V14 in RMNP, which he shared with Daniel Woods and Flux for Life v13, at Endovalley (which Dave singlehandedly revitalized), spent several days on a rope cleaning (including a huge and dangerous flake which he broke off). If anything, development at the high end has only picked up since 2008, and a big part of it, as always, is from Dave, whose name is oddly not mentioned. Perhaps it was unintentional, but perhaps not.

Finally, I appreciate Carlo’s interest in climbing new hard lines. He is certainly capable, and I am glad to hear he wants to put his talent to use on new projects. It’s great to see him make the effort to climb The Altruist and I am excited and motivated that he went up there and climbed it. It’s an amazing problem. Hopefully, his motivation will continue for more hard lines. One of the new projects Carlo talks about climbing is a huge roof that I stumbled upon after 6 days (finding nothing) of hiking around the Veritas area. And I gladly posted beta here on B3 so that others, like Carlo, could share. I’m not out there hiking around for any reason but the fact that I care and am interested, and that I like hiking and looking for and finding things. And it’s great to see other climbers climb them. Perhaps someday someone will climb the Sprague Lake Roof and I will be psyched to try and repeat it and write about the FA. For now it is too hard. Perhaps “The Altruist” himself will be so kind as to share his next project with me.

35 Responses to “The Altruist”

  1. Zac Wasielewski

    14. Feb, 2012

    My read on Carlo’s statement was simply “there’s so much rock available at Lincoln Lake, we had the freedom to develop anything that appealed to us, despite the poor rock quality”. Didn’t seem awfully accusatory to me. But I don’t know Carlo personally, so perhaps I’m giving him too much credit.

  2. big poppa chosscrush

    14. Feb, 2012


    my wife calls him “billy ocean” when i mention his name.

    that is all.

  3. joeyjoejoe

    14. Feb, 2012

    If we’re going to read between the lines…

    “It had been tried by a number of strong climbers, but its distance from the car kept people away from giving it serious attempts.”

    In other words…

    “The only reason Carlo got this first ascent is because nobody else could be bothered by the long hike. Otherwise it would have been sent ages ago.”

    I’ve gotten the feeling, over the years, that you simply don’t realize when you make these sorts of veiled, patronizing attacks on your blog. You used to do it a lot when writing about Paul Robison, insinuating things one way or another, sort of like:

    “Congrats to Paul on this send. Many have flashed the stand start to this problem and question whether Paul’s sit start grade will stand the test of time. Also, his top-out was a little sketchy. But big ups for this proud send anyhow! And, oh yeah, Daniel Woods is the best climber in the world.”

    And then when people call you out on it, you get all super-defensive, like, “I think it is outrageous that anyone would accuse me of dissing Paul. He’s one of the strongest climbers out there (though not as strong as Daniel Woods).”

    So, anyhow, long story short, I think you should give other climbers the benefit of the doubt when you get the urge to dissect their sentences too carefully. Odds are Carlo didn’t mean anything by what he said, same as you never mean any offense in the things you say on this blog. Right?

  4. B3

    14. Feb, 2012

    Joe Joe Joe your analysis is inaccurate, and my writing in that sentence is exactly what it says.
    What is your assessment of what I wrote here?
    “Finally, I appreciate Carlo’s interest in climbing new hard lines. He is certainly capable, and I am glad to hear he wants to put his talent to use on new projects. It’s great to see him make the effort to climb The Altruist and I am excited and motivated that he went up there and climbed it.

  5. joeyjoejoe

    14. Feb, 2012

    It doesn’t matter what my analysis of that statement is, just as it doesn’t seem to matter what your analysis of the rest of Carlo’s statement is:

    “… an area was created and people enjoy it and that’s what important. There are plenty of those areas to be developed in Colorado.”

    I knew before I commented that you’d say you meant no offense when you said, ““It had been tried by a number of strong climbers, but its distance from the car kept people away from giving it serious attempts.” I was only pointing out how it could rub some people the wrong way, the same way Carlo’s seemingly innocuous statement has apparently rubbed you the wrong way.

    We should get Carlo in here to clarify his comments. I’d love to hear whether he was, in fact, implying that Lincoln Lake was chipped to death, or whether it’s some other aspect of its development he “doesn’t agree with.”

  6. Andrew

    15. Feb, 2012

    Yes stay away from Lincoln lake. No fun rock climbs there…

  7. Anon

    15. Feb, 2012

    Good for Carlo to finally grab this one. Just a note, it is faster to get there if you take the Big Bluestem. Also, I think this is in an HCA so you need a permit to go there (hope Carlo had one!).

    PS: Dave didn’t rediscover Nicky’s Boulders; only for you and your crew. Just like Endo and other “new” areas, people know about them and have been/continue to climb on them.

  8. William

    15. Feb, 2012

    A few questions:

    Interesting to know if Carlo had a permit. Wouldn’t this be the professional and best way to promote climbing? Not damaging access!

    Has Carlo climbed any of the harder lines at LL? Common for people to dislike areas they don’t perform well! From his recent interview he would train his strengths and maybe the climbing at LL isn’t one of those.

    Also, find it funny Dave wasn’t mentioned, one of Carlos best FA’s Flux for Life was found and cleaned by Dave. I remember hearing Dave worked out all the moves but left the project open. He talks about working what was soon to become Memory is Parallax, a DG discovery. If I was Carlo I would buy Dave a burger.

  9. it is what you make it

    15. Feb, 2012

    When you have statements on the internet they are open to interpretation. reading Carlo’s words I did not see them as insulting anyone. I doubt he was thinking too hard about a random talk with peter. Again not hearing someone words and seeing their body language makes things very difficult. If you want to see an issue then one can be seen.

    While i enjoy some of the posts on the blog I do not feel that this does anyone any good. If you have a problem with Carlo, call him up, go talk to him but posting stuff like this on the internet only encourages the kids coming up behind us to do the same in the future.

    Just my opinion that time is better spent building people up.

    I say congrats for the send, and that hike is not that long to some so I’d say the most important thing is that CO boys need to do some more hiking cause ya’ll got some rock out there beyond 3 miles from your car

  10. t tellis

    16. Feb, 2012

    Speeking of chipping, I was wondering if you heard about Ivan Green getting caught chipping all over new York.

  11. Crafty

    16. Feb, 2012

    Forgive me for asking, but what is an HCA, exactly?

  12. Rob

    16. Feb, 2012

    Admirable effort!? Oh my god!! It must have been exhausting, both emotionally and physically, to hike a whole 2.5 miles to do something you love. Please. Let’s not act like he saved the world because he hiked a little distance to climb a boulder.

  13. B3

    16. Feb, 2012

    @Ellis, I hadn’t heard that. That’s not good if it’s true.

  14. Jill

    16. Feb, 2012

    @t tellis
    Why the hell are you spraying all over the internet that I.G. is chipping holds?

    This is the third forum post I’ve seen with your accusations.. so far I have not seen any evidence.

    And Yes, I’m addicted to reading climbing related blogs and No I have nothing better to do with my time.

  15. cardboard dog

    16. Feb, 2012

    Uh .. i would have to say the Ivan Greene comment is some BS.

  16. steve

    17. Feb, 2012

    It looks like Matt Wilder is “seriously attempting it” in that photo. Real subtle bashing on Carlo’s send, you don’t seem ultra-defensive at all…

  17. B3

    17. Feb, 2012

    @Stever Huh?

  18. Praxeolgy

    17. Feb, 2012

    This is a funny little discussion…..

    It is really very easy to read between the lines here and Jamie you know that this is true whether you are psychologically aware of it or not.

    It is obvious to me (and should be to anyone who reads your blog) that you hold a certain amount of animosity toward Carlo based on his feelings that the development an Lincoln Lake may have been a little “aggressive” for lack of a better word. Fair argument on your part, I have developed a few problems on granite over the years and certainly understand the need to “clean” a line. Anyone who develops problems understands this and for the most part the community understands this as a whole. It is not fun when others stand from the sideline and be critical.

    If you do not truly feel that your words seems defensive toward Carlo…you are kidding yourself. Go back and read the words again. The “tone” of your writing is apparent and I think you are completley aware of this.

    With that being said, I do not neccesarily disagree with you. I have read statements from Carlo many times not approving of the way in which problems at Lincoln Lake were developed, all the while enjoying the climbing that he dissaproves of. Believe me, I have been the one on the other end of this.

    I guess what I am trying to say is this; Just call him out and ask him what his true opinions are about LL….and put it to rest. Then give him the respecet he deserves for FA’ing this stunning line that no one else (regardless of it’s distance from the road, or an apparent hold breaking) could complete.

    C’mon Man!

  19. BigA

    17. Feb, 2012

    I wish Ellis was a lying troll. I also wish I won the lottery…..

  20. Derek

    18. Feb, 2012

    This is all kinda crazy. It’s a blog. If he wants to be biased he has that right. It’s Jamie’s website. In that article Carlos talked about Dave a bit. Not in the development area but in the rest on movement saying he was one of the best climbers to understand his movement around the holds, which was the point of the whole interview, not boulder climbing development. I assume Carlos, like every other climber in the world, highly respects Dave and what he has done, but if he did have issues with LL then he probably left dave’s name out as a sign of respect. Maybe Carlos meant it like Jamie took it, and so what… He does kind of run his mouth a bit. And maybe Jamie is biased, so what. It’s his website and blog. Not to mention that if he is now trying to make money off this site; controversy leads to hits and hits lead to ad money.

  21. Michael Rathke

    18. Feb, 2012

    Just to put more info out

    It is proper to confront the person first if they are doing something wrong..if the action continues then bring others into the mix…

    I heard Carlo was saying publically (not during just this interview) his take on what occured at Lincoln Lake…Its possible he actually saw some people chipping, I personally heard that Chad Greedy was chipping, then he spoke up and said I pulled a loose pebble out.

    Ide like to hear Carlo’s take on what he actually witnessed.


  22. Jabroni

    19. Feb, 2012

    I don’t think anyone is saying Jamie shouldn’t be biased.

    I think the same a few posters. Jamie gets more responses when he bitches about people, but he doesn’t *really* bitch about people because it always comes with some disclaimer about how it’s not personal. But really, it is – you took it personally that Carlo slandered your area. Know what? That’s fine. Just come out and say it:

    ‘Oi, Carlo – why you raggin’ on my area? Wtf you on about with this ‘created’ shizzle?’

    There’s really nothing wrong with taking offense at someone slamming your hard work, or calling someone out for it.

    Let’s face it, none of these guys weigh enough to throw much of a punch even if it did come to that!

  23. Brian Kimball

    19. Feb, 2012

    I couldn’t agree more Michael if anyone has any issues or questions why not just address the individual personally. There is so much hate and slander going on in this sport that is supposed to be all about the love and community. Developers are going to make mistakes that they regret I know I have. Some of the biggest names in rock climbing still carry around flat head screw drivers in their pockets while developing areas like LL to carefully pry off loose flakes. In sport climbing areas like Rifle they still use crow bars and hammers to aggressively clean new routes though with Chris Sharma and Tommy Caldwell taking stands to clean their routes with only a plastic tooth brushes the standards are being raised on the more difficult test pieces but it is still not uncommon to see a guy hanging from rope on a new 5.12 in Rifle prying and wacking away with 3lbs sledge hammers and crowbars to clean off loose blocks as are most Rifle developers I am guilty of the same but that was over 10yrs ago and I have raised my standards yet still some dangerous loose blocks need pried off with a hammer to keep the route clean and safe.
    @Chad Greedy-There is a big difference between chipping and pulling out a loose pebble…I remember climbing on Phobos last summer and the mini jug at the bottom was full of loose pebbles so naturally I blew on the hold and brushed it with my Lapis and in less than 2seconds the mini jug was a half pad deeper. The rock up there is CHOSS I was doing nothing different than when the scrubbed and scraped away to properly clean Unshackled. Some people would prefer to see boulders and routes cleaned with just a plastic tooth brush obviously that is a higher standard and ethic climbing is evolving 10yrs ago people were drilling pockets all over the place and it was pretty much acceptable if you “knew what you were doing” I mean I have never heard anyone slander Randy Levit for the holds he modified on Horse Latitudes. Personally I trust the guys that developed LL including B3, CG, DG etc…if they think a few rocks piled at the base of a landing zone was needed to prevent some broken ankles than I trust that. If one of them busted out a painters knife, car key or a screwdriver to carefully asses the structural integrity of a loose flake or loose pebble commonly stuck inside in-cut crimps, flakes and mini jugs well I trust them and their judgement. These guys have literally developed more difficult boulders than anyone else on the planet. Maybe some of that stuff like the Phobos mini jug was obviously not cleaned as well as it could be I mean when all you have to do is blow on the hold and pebbles go flying out making the hold significantly larger than I would say this could have been cleaned a little better because it is only a matter of time before someone blows out the pebbles.
    Whatever the point is we all need to come together and learn to get along and to agree to disagree trying or best to see each others points of views and taking them into careful consideration. Coming to each other outside of public forums to professionally and politely say “hey man what is up with…” OR keep talking behind each others backs or slander each other on websites like this which obviously is not going to solve anything.

  24. B3

    20. Feb, 2012

    Does anyone know if it is required to have an HCA permit to access The Altruist? It is off-trail in the Flatirons. It is your responsibility to know the rules of Open Space in Boulder County and pleading ignorance is a weak argument. Here is more info. Let’s be sure to act responsibly as climbers !

  25. cardboard dog

    20. Feb, 2012

    Man. WTH is going on in here? first of all, it seems to be the same people on this site getting all carried away, over and over again. The same people that flew off the handle at my V10 comments, coming to Jamie’s aid to protect, as JJ said, his “virgin” honor, are the same idiots now claiming they have the new insight to be able to “read between the lines” of his post, and decipher the true meaning of it. Which is, apparantly, to slander Carlo.
    Half of you bunch of numb nuts are probably reading these posts stoned, and the other half of you are just barely reading them. So try this .. just read the posts. Don’t try reading between the lines, because on the internet, there are no lines. You have no clue what is really trying to be said, so stick to what was actually said. ?? Fair enough?

  26. Chris

    20. Feb, 2012

    As you can see on the OSMP maps, the PB boulders are not in an HCA. My (limited) understanding is that permits are only required for off trail travel in an HCA.

  27. B3

    20. Feb, 2012

    That’s what I thought, but I don’t spend much time in the Flatirons and thus I am not up the rules like a should be.

  28. Michael Rathke

    21. Feb, 2012

    Its okay Jamie, you quite possibly know more about bouldering than anyone in the world (from whos who, to whats what) so don’t let anything slow you down to your highest potential with anything.

  29. Michael

    22. Feb, 2012

    My mistake on not confronting Jamie at first about the issue… apologies

  30. Mark E

    24. Feb, 2012

    All in all, a nice summary of the upside to being a mediocre climber and sticking to the classic, established lines. Let the bleeding edgers fight it out and go boulder some five-star lines — works for me!

  31. AB

    25. Feb, 2012

    If anyone here thinks Lincoln Lake is choss, they need to come climb at the Fortress of Solitude …

  32. peter beal

    28. Feb, 2012

    Hi Jamie,
    Usually when blogs quote interviews, they link to the actual web page in their own post. It is a courtesy I have extended to your blog many times in the past. It is a lot of work to record and transcribe an interview

    Also, it might have been useful to contact me for some background on the interview which I would have been happy to provide and might have spared you some of the comments you have received on this post.

  33. B3

    28. Feb, 2012

    Peter, sorry about the omission of your site. That was an error on my part and I will correct it when I can. I like when people comment even if they are totally off base. So the more opinions the better, in general.

  34. peter beal

    28. Feb, 2012

    Thanks Jamie!

  35. enwhyseeplaya

    05. Jun, 2012

    More info on mr greenes chipping plz

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