Posted on 12. Mar, 2012 by in News

This weekend I had some free time to climb outside in Colorado and it was great to get out with some familiar faces. Both days I went to check out a new sector of Nicky’s Boulders also known as Elkland, although referring to it as the Nicky’s Boulders is also technically incorrect. Tommy Caldwell, who grew up near the cluster of rocks, and made it out with us both days, shed some light on the history of the area. He informed us that when he had gone there as a youngster it was known as The Billards, and before that it had been referred to as the Monkey Hang. Whatever you’d like to call it, this area is home to a nice collection of boulders and some great new problems have recently gone in.

Most active in the new sector has been Chad Greedy. He has established a number of nice problems, including OG18 sds V11, Dreamclimb SDS V10, and the appropriately named The Real Deal, Peter Beal V9, a difficult face on micro crimpers.

Saturday I was feeling a bit under the weather, but I was determined to get out. It was a glorious day in Estes Park and I am convinced that being outside and running around a bit helped heal me up for Sunday.

David Graham, fresh off of a great trip to Hueco, showed up as well, with Chad and Daniel Woods, to join Brian Capps, Tommy Caldwell and I. Daniel started the day off by putting up a very nice dyno that could be V11, called The Art of Flight.

I put some effort in on OG18sds to no avail, but made quick work of The Real Deal, Peter Beal. We continued down the hill to a very nice boulder. The previous day Daniel had made the FA of The Plague V9, which starts matched on a nice flat edge. Tommy did the second and I climbed the third soon after. Today we tried a project to the right. Daniel came prepared with rope and harness, and cleaned the boulder. It was great to be climbing on a new project with such a strong and motivated crew, and it never ceases to inspire me watching Tommy bear down with three, and sometimes two fingers, on the same miserable holds I crimp with four. We all contributed to the beta, and Daniel made the FA of Carefully by Hand V12. Dave repeated it soon after, and I have a new project to get psyched about!

Daniel then marched up the hill to work on another beautiful project. It’s wonderful to share the spirit of development with like-minded people, and it’s hard not to wonder why A) there aren’t any women at these new boulders, and b) why every one of us, save Daniel, is older than 30. Dave and Tommy have been developing since they were teenagers, and I wonder if there has been a shift away from development from the younger generation. Regardless, it was a great day in Estes Park, a place I have spent hundreds of days of my life, a place I have grown to love, with some great climbers, putting up awesome new problems. Motivating to say the least.

PS Tommy had a tick (not imbedded) on his leg. It’s that time of year again, beware!

14 Responses to “Elkland”

  1. justin

    12. Mar, 2012

    Thanks for sharing Jamie

  2. Jabroni

    12. Mar, 2012

    With so many existing problems available, perhaps there is not so much a shift away from development as a realisation that there are many years of climbing ahead on established lines?

    And during those years as the upcoming climber gets strong (and competent) enough to put up first ascents, the pickings get ever slimmer…

    Agree, thanks for sharing. Your passion for climbing is infectious.

  3. B3

    12. Mar, 2012

    Thanks, as always, I am happy to share! I agree, that definitely could be part of it. When I moved to Colorado, the perception was that things were tapped out. And nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact these new problems are just minutes off the road and only an hour or so from Boulder.

  4. colin

    12. Mar, 2012

    Great post, thanks.

    You’ve inspired me, Sheriff. There’s a recently-opened area in the Adirondacks, Silver Lake…I’m gonna check it out.

  5. peter beal

    12. Mar, 2012

    Now we both have boulder problems named after us. I guess I will have to get up there!

  6. big poppachosscrush

    12. Mar, 2012

    i was psyched until i saw ‘tick’. i’m out. this place obviously sucks.

  7. chad

    12. Mar, 2012

    maybe your right Jamie, i just turned 30 and i have been on a developing rampage here in buena vista CO…i think there are two types of people who boulder; people who like to repeat and talk and spray about names, grades, and places they have been, and others who talk about projects and try to get people motivated to try them….maybe im wrong but thats what it seems like around here haha

  8. Paul

    13. Mar, 2012

    Obviosly one major reason less women are doing FAs is because there are so few of them in the sport.

    On a related topic, why do so few climbers in boulder climb outside?

    For example:
    How many hundreds (or thousands?) of climbers live in boulder?

    How many do you see at a popular area in boulder canyon (such as castle rock) on a perfect conditions day?
    A: probably a few, sometimes none. (in my experince last fall)

    How many of those none-few are women?
    A: usually none.

  9. B3

    13. Mar, 2012

    But aren’t there hundreds if not thousands of female climbers in Colorado?

  10. D-Ron

    13. Mar, 2012

    Hey Chad,

    I guess I am the third type of boulderer. Full-time job, married with two kids, primarily a repeat climber due to time constraints. Also, I never spray or or talk about grades or places I have been (except to my wife) Primarily because no one would be that impressed.

    I do appreciate all of you and the hard work you put in developing new lines for people like me to enjoy. I think that this is just the way things things are and I am happy to be able to get outside with my three year old son and enjoy it.

    I guess my point is that you may be missing an Important group of climbers with whom you are having a great positive impact upon by spending the time to develope these problems.

    Thanks to you and those like you and don’t forget to keep developing those in the V6 to V8 range. That is right in my wheelhouse!

  11. Jabroni

    14. Mar, 2012

    Bouldering is a funny discipline. Climbing V6-V8 is like climbing 5.13. Anyone who could climb 5.13 as a weekend warrior would be proud!

    But to be as comparatively proud of their achievements people seem to think V10+ is a must. Wonder how many boulderers never reach V10 (or for that matter V8, or V6)…

  12. Michael Rathke

    15. Mar, 2012

    I like the fact that 30 trolls were owned by this video

    Hopefully you can invite some sisters to the new area and they say yes…

  13. cardboard_dog

    16. Mar, 2012

    chicks man. So why aren’t more woman in the trenches developing rad boulders? It has nothing to do with physical strength I can assure you. Some broads can climb. like whats her name .. who’s that chick, Angie? Yeah she’s pretty strong. It’s not that. It’s just that woman lack the MENTAL toughness. Chicks are all sensitive and need constant reassurance that they are beautiful and shit. They need a man there to tell them that they have a purpose in this world and that yes, they are pretty. So how are they going to handle it when that same man, who is there to gently cradle their precious ego’s, in turn CRUSHES the very thing they have sworn to protect by stealing the FA they worked so hard for, and coveted so highly? they will crumble like the gentle flowers they are. True story.

  14. SammyDavisSr

    19. Apr, 2012

    Ticks carry lymes out there? I thought that was an east coast blessing. You know, like italians, the gunks, and egg creams

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