I’ve been climbing for about 6 years now and am predominately a sport climber. However, I’ve been slowly developing a love of bouldering over the past couple of years. This Saturday, I made a run to Taylors Falls with my kids to do a little hiking and to hopefully squeeze in a climb or two. It was a beautiful spring day, and the boys were happy to run about while I threw down on a couple of warm-ups before finding a new problem with which to challenge myself.
With the new MN Bouldering guidebook that I picked up last fall from Escape Climbing, I was armed with far more information than ever before while visiting Taylors Falls. I haven’t bouldered there much, but when I have in the past, it was with an old PDF that can be found online or after a quick glance at Mountain Project. This new guidebook, however, provides a superior amount of insight into the problems available in the park.
So, while my boys played around in pot holes and wandered the hiking trail, I took my Organic pad and new Mad Rock M5’s and had myself a session.
I warmed up around Sizzlefoot Wall, then meandered over to The Boneyards, where I was uninspired to tackle the 15 ft problems with a single pad and no spotter. Looking through the guidebook for a bit, I walked back toward Sizzlefoot to gander at a 3 star V5 called Slopey Arete that I had never heard of before.
After a couple dozen tries of trying to bump up the arete and keep my right foot on… success! Slopey Arete is only my second outdoor V5 and I was stoked when I stuck the move. I had rehearsed the upper section a couple of times and was able to keep my composure for the send.
I’ve pretty much read the MN Bouldering Guide front to back now and am super psyched to get back out to Taylors Falls, especially to the Wisconsin side where I have never bouldered before. I do believe that I’ll be heading back to Swede’s Forest again this year, which is also detailed in the guidebook. I’ve only been once before during a guided visit with the Gear Junkie and some hard climbers from the Twin Cities.
After wrapping up on Slopey Arete and a couple cool downs back around Sizzlefoot Wall, I tossed my gear back in the car, met up with the boys, hiked down to the river and reveled in the day. And, what a good day it was.