On the Warpath | Mike Bockino

We caught up with blurr ambassador Michael Bockino and his new project in Castle Rocks, Idaho. 

Projecting a rock climb can be frustrating.  It can also be rewarding, intimidating, financially draining, emotionally destructive, fun, devastating, and heartbreaking.  But sometimes, this is the only way to send hard boulders.

I’ve had some projects over the years.  I started climbing in 1999, at a small sport climbing area in Washington near Mazama. Six years later, I made my first trip to Bishop, California - psyched would be an understatement.  I ran around in my board shorts and flip flops (times have changed, thank god), for just over a week, climbing on what I saw as the coolest boulders I’d ever seen.  I also decided to try one that was a little over my head. 

Over the next five years, I would try and make it to Bishop for at least two week-long trips: one in the fall and one in the spring.  I ended up falling off the last move of the Buttermilker more than 40 times from the beginning, spread out over 21 days of effort over a five-year period.  I finally sent it in December 2012. 

So I know a thing or two about forging ahead when success seems as likely as a shirts off suntan in a hurricane. 

That attitude, and persistence has lead me to another project: Warpath. 

Warpath sits on the Taco Boulder at Castle Rocks State Park in Idaho.  One of the most impressive granite roof climbs anywhere, it has seen ascents from climbers like Jimmy Webb, Daniel Woods and its first ascensionist, James Litz, as well as Paul Robinson, Nathaniel Coleman, and Matt Fultz. 

Three seasons deep now, I’m having Buttermilker flashbacks, falling at the same move over and over.  But there are glimmers of hope here and there.  I did manage to get on top of a boulder, finally sending the slightly easier exit called ‘Consolation Prize’ which has been a great mental breakthrough. 

I’m rebooted, motivated and ready for more days trying the boulder.