itai.jpg's biopic'
Itai Axelrad

Trailside Boulders

Isaac and Alexandra had plans to show some friends from Flagstaff - Andrew and Jordan - around Black Mountain, and were kind enough to invite me along. However, upon our arrival we discovered that the road was closed due to maintenance and that our initial plan was spoiled.

The gorgeous view from the Black Mountain trailhead.

We settled for the Trailside Boulders instead, and began charging up the approach. It was quite warm already, so I quickly hopped on all the stellar problems the boulder had to offer, including Diamond Zen (V0), Blind Spot (V3), Lip Service Stand (V5) and Trailside Arete (V6) before tackling the sit start, Shoot the Moon (V10). Andrew and I sent it in quick succession but unfortunately the holds went into the sun before Isaac could give it another good send go.

Isaac, on the top out of Lip Service Stand (V5).
Itai, trying to keep the tension on Shoot the Moon (V10). Photo by Isaac Palatt.

After a quick lunch break we ventured further up the trail towards the ridge that housed the stunning Twilight of the Idols (V10), which is thought to be one of the best problems in California for the grade. Although it certainly climbs well and has all the qualities of a 4 star line, the rock quality was a little disappointing. I managed to send in a few goes, after which we began exploring the area for more climbs and potential first ascents.

Itai, latching the big throw on Twilight of the Idols (V10). Photo by Isaac Palatt.

The sun began to sink and we all felt rather exhausted so we started the hike towards the cars and shared a growler before driving down the mountain.

The winding 243.

All in all it was a great (and exclusively open handed) day at Black Mountain. See you out there!

- Itai