On Monday I decided to take a break from the daily grind of work and head out bouldering with some friends at the Gunks. My plan was to try and project some problems in the v8 to v10 range for the day so I could have a new area to head to if I got frustrated or bored with my usual spots (Bradley, Great Barrington, etc.). I found out quickly after warming up that it would not be day for projecting due to the heat and humidity (mid upper 80's and 70% humidity). Instead I figured I would get on the classic problems on Carriage Road and just have a fun day.
Carriage Road View
I started off on a problem called Baby Hole (v3), which I quickly discovered was probably the hardest v3 I've every been on, but nevertheless fun. After Baby Hole, we went to a problem called The Lorax (v4) which is an overhanging technical problem between 2 close trees with a fun topout. After this problem we stopped at Andrew's Roof (v4) for some heel and toe scumming intensive action and a nice feet cutting swing that leads to an interesting topout. After taking a lunch break and lazing for a few minutes on my gigantic Asana pad like it was my bed, enjoying the shade, we moved on back toward the entrance to a slopey problem called the Black Boulder (v5). With the heat and humidity at high, it was difficult to stick the slopey top left hand hold with a feet cut, but it went down after a couple tries and some skin shaving. The final climb was a highball problem called New Pair of Sunglasses (v7). This was a problem that definitely engaged the core with in-cut crimps and pinches that led to a very mellow and satisfying topout. After climbing all of these problems we ended the day at an awesome swimming hole that will be frequently visited if I go back this summer.
Gunks Swimming Hole
I realized this time out that it's not always about going out and working on your projects and trying to push yourself past your current limits. Sometimes you have to go out and have fun on the classic problems that have been established in an area so you don't become too frustrated on hot, humid days. I hate to say that I can't wait for summer to be over, but I am craving the cool dryness of the fall and winter. But until then I will break out the rope and quickdraws and head north for some camping and sport climbing.
Video from Gunks: