Monday, February 2, 2015

Owltoberfest 2014

Redpoints, redpoint failures, perfect temps, friends old and new, a good cause, and, of course, the Lord of the Forest: we had all the necessary ingredients for a great event. We also raised $750 towards Scott Cosgrove's recovery — get well soon my friend! Many local (and pseudo-local) regulars were in attendance, as were crankenfranks Steve & Dee Lapen from LA, and the legendary Randy Leavitt. Hopefully his presence will convince more climbers to pay Santa Maria a visit.

Warming Up
Leading up to Owltoberfest there were several inspiring events. Two weeks before Owltoberfest, Antonio Labaro completed another project, Chips Ahoy (5.12d.) Antonio has been ticking off projects like clockwork for over a year now and seems to have his sights set on New Shatterhand and Hard Boiled next. Nice work!

I dubbed the weekend before Owltoberfest "Paultoberfest" because Paul Dusatko, old friend and former Santa Barbara local was visiting with his girlfriend Emily Dudley. Showing Paul the new routes and catching up about old times was great and Emily said it was the most fun she's ever had sport climbing.
   Elijah Ball did the first ascent of Buddhist Palm (5.14a, video.) It is Santa Maria's third 5.14. I bolted Buddhist maybe 18 years ago and am psyched to finally see it get done. Below is Elijah starting to work on Bodyguard from Beijing, Hans Florine's unrepeated 5.14a.

Day 1 - October 25th - Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong
For this year's Owltoberfest, we made Owl Tor "Tick List" t-shirts and sold them for $20 with all proceeds being donated to Scott Cosgrove, who suffered a recent injury. The shirts have all the routes at the Owl Tor listed left-to-right on the back much like the old Smith Rock tick list shirt. Many thanks to Bryce Beatty and Aaron Stireman for making them. Thanks also to Kevin Daniels and Fixe Hardware for supporting the event and overall development of the area. And last, but not least, thanks to Bob Banks for spending the day photographing the event. Here are all his photos and below are my favorites.

Micah Elconin mid-crux on Hard Boiled

Tom Ruddy on Hard Boiled

Just like old times

Randy Leavitt on Crocodile Hunter

The new Hondo boulder

Berndt Zeugswetter on Drunken Master

Randy higher on Crocodile Hunter

Antonio Labaro on Hard Boiled

Day 2 - October 26th - Owl Tor
A second day of great weather helped rejuvenate the spirit for another hard day of climbing. The Owl Tor never disappoints for creating great drama and this day was no exception. With Andree attempting No Skill (12c), Darice working on When the Sea Doesn't Want You (12a), and Steve Lapin attempting to onsight Rubble, Supercrack, and The Hell of Being Crushed Alive, there was more action than I could keep up with. Here, again, are some of my favorite photos...

Steve Lapen's onsight attempt of Rubble

Arthur Guittet on New Shatterhand

Andree fighting the pump on No Skill

Natalie Mims on Auto-Magic

Steve laughing mid-crux on Hell

Darice Lee composed on the Sea

Elijah mono training on Strictly Ballroom

Gregory Su flexing on New Shatterhand

We also got a few videos...

Gregory Su's redpoint of Rubble (13b):

Andrew Benson's redpoint of Auto-Magic (12a):

Steve Lapen's onsight attempt of The Hell of Being Crushed Alive (13a):

Darice Lee going all-out on When the Sea Doesn't Want You (12a):

The Lord of the Forest
Saturday saw no redpoints on the main wall. Sunday had many valiant attempts and a few successes. But there is unanimous agreement as to who earned The Lord of the Forest this year. Sea of Love is an often over-looked 12b at Mr Lee's. It is short, bouldery, and has never been onsighted (or even flashed.) Brian Spiering pushed his personal limits and earned the title of this year's Lord of the Forest. He took a focused, methodical approach and redpointed Sea of Love. I've seen solid 5.13 climbers spend more time working this route than Brian. Excellent work! Here is the video of his redpoint:

The Lord of the Rungs
Time to start training! This year's campusing competition will be held on Tuesday, March 31st. We have changed the format to be only on the 1" rungs (the Metolius medium rungs.) Details coming soon.