Photo: Greg Mionske

Today is Jon Cardwell’s 22nd birthday and last night a whole crew of us ventured out to Pearl Street to celebrate.  We had a fun night that ended a bit late.  I found myself on The Hill at 2:30am without my car and without a “responsible” driver.  So, I walked about 3 miles back to my car at Jonny Hork’s house and ventured home from there.  Needless to say, I had fairly low expectations for myself today.  But when 2 o’clock PM rolled around, I ventured out to Boulder Canyon anyway.  The sky was overcast and it was a bit warm.  It took about 2 hours to warm back up to The Game, partly because I was warming up solely on The Game.  It seemed everyone was out in the Canyon today, and by the time I started giving tries from the start, there were probably 10-15 people hanging out at the boulder.  All friends, all good times.  Climbing The Game came down to two distinct sections for me.  The first move is “easy”, then you have to move your feet up, and this particular foot move was probably the hardest part of the problem for me.  After you get the feet up, you do a little bump, then reach to the finger lock hold.  Unlike Daniel, I didn’t use a finger lock.  Instead, I crimped the seam.  This was a much more comfortable grip position for me, but it didn’t allow me to reach as far to the next hold.  I adopted some serious foot squeezing maneuvers, and managed to completely cancel out the swing that he had to hold.  All in all, our beta was very, very similar.  Only minor tweaks to fit my style better.  The Game is by far the hardest thing that I’ve ever climbed.  Huge props to Daniel for having the vision for the first ascent.  Trust me, I can’t say enough good things about that kid.  Always positive, always nice, and by far the strongest human on rock.  Thanks for making The Game a reality for the rest of us Daniel!  And without further ado, here’s some iPhone video that Jonny Hork captured of the send today:

As for the grade, who knows? I really have no clue. This boulder fit my style very well. It could be 8C+. It could be 8C. I’ve never climbed either grade, so I can’t compare. I have climbed a few 8B+’s and I know that it felt substantially harder than those, so being rational, 8C seems appropriate to me. Time will tell. This is definitely not meant to reflect badly on Daniel’s decision of giving it 8C+. He has far more experience than me and who knows, down the road, he might be more correct about the grade than me. The important thing is that we have both given our honest opinions based on our prior experiences and that’s all that should be expected. Have fun and go rock climbing!