Author’s Warning: Much like my daily life, many of my posts will contain some sort of Kurt Russell quote, reference, simile, analogy or shout out.  Maybe it will be a fun game to figure out what movie/character is the inspiration . . . some will be obvious and others only the hardcore K-Rus fans will know.


Back to Joe’s Valley I go.  It’s June now so I’m busy battling the heat like Stephen “Bull” McCaffrey.  With new guidebook in hand I wanted to try some problems that I had never touched.  Jigsaw V11 caught my eye(see video below).  Located on the Hillside Area between Team Effort and The Hulk.   It’s a traditional boulder problem.  No filler.  4 hard moves to a jug (followed by large slab to summit).  The crux revolves around an amazing slopey pinch. . . with a perfect thumb catch, like someone pressed a bottle cap into a flat wall.  The first day’s efforts were rewarding; spent alone chalking and brushing the line then rehearsing foreseen moves.  The moves were pretty straightforward with much body tension required to stick moves.  It was hot and holding on to those slopey edges for even a second had me feeling like I was hanging from a broken rail by one arm, above a fire, holding a full grown man in my other hand all while exploding barrels of radness fly through the air . . . with the only possible outcome being to fall.   But don’t worry Billy Baldwin, I’ll live to try another day.


Later that day I met up with Joe Meiners and we cruised up to Dairy Canyon to get out of the heat.  Dairy Canyon is a beautiful side canyon up right fork.  Surrounded by Aspens it has a much more mountainous feel than the desert below.  This was actually the first time I had climbed up there and was left with duel impressions.  One of the first boulders you come to; the Cow Patty boulder, had only one worthwhile problem, Stir the Pie V8ish(see video), while the rest had ridiculously sandy top outs.   Maybe with more people and more cleaning things will improve.  However most the other rock was quite good and really unique for Joe’s Valley.  Lactation Station V10 is on the top of my list.


The next few days we ran around and Joe seemingly sent everything he touched with a youthful angst that was inspiring (Man from the Past V11, Jigsaw V11, Ghost of War V11, We Call him Michael V10, Trent’s Mom V10, Eden V10, Death Scream V10, Hova Stove V9 Flash, Lumberjack V9, Stinky V9). I took Joe up to Jigsaw on one of those days and with a second pair of eyes, cooler weather, and a twist of Beta I was able to send second go and Joe followed with a send of his own that day.

“Who’s your brother Brian? ”

“You are Stephen”

I finally laid to rest a few demons on this trip.  Finishing a 2 year battle with Beyond Life as well as finally returning to Eden after a couple years to get the send.  I still couldn’t climb Eden with the standard Beta and instead had to switch to the undercling pod method.  I recommend that technique for those 5’8” and under.  Both those climbs are incredible.  Other recommend new climbs I tried this trip were Electric Fence V7(see Vid) and Proppa Dyno V5 in the Cabin Fever area of the guide book.

This may be the end of the Joe’s season for me but with the hot weather comes the search for new boulders around Joe’s Valley and travels to cooler climates.  Tomorrow I’m on my way to Washington for a couple days in Leavenworth bouldering and then on to the funeral of one of the funniest friend’s I ever knew.  It was a pleasure growing up with you Jeremy “Tommy Boy” Thompson.