Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sweetwater Season is Heating Up Again!

A lot of bouldering has been getting done at Sweetwater.  Things got started with a warm spell last month and a very pleasant day out at the God Eye sector.

Towards the end of the session Jesse began working on a beautiful overhanging tall project, with big moves, on the north side of the hill. 
  Last weekend he finished the line and called it "Unicorn Tears" V6/7.

Earlier on that day in February, we got started on the In Spite boulder.  We warmed up on the established lines.

Kian climbing "In Spite of Injury" V1.


And Cameron climbing "In Spite of Love" V4/5.

Then we got to work on some undone lines.  After many failed attempts, I just barely managed to climb a line of solid small crimps from a SDS at the left side of the face into the end of "In Spite of Love."  I named it "In Spite of Myself."

Cameron working the start of "In Spite of Myself" V6/7.

Jesse did a new traverse across the face from the right to a top out on the left side of the face.

Ashley deciding not to top out Jesse's new line "Mother's Milk" V4.
Before we left, Sierra took advantage of her top out skills to add "In Spite of the Wind."  It's a V3 that follows the arete a few feet to the right of "In Spite of Injury" to a very committing straight up top out right over a boulder in the middle of the landing zone.  Only Sierra was willing to get her feet high and fully commit to it.

Then the snow returned to Sweetwater for a while.  So we didn't.


Now everything has melted out again, so last Sunday we got back for a session at the Norwegian Wood sector with Charlie and Kian.
 We warmed up on the established lines on the Easy Breezy wall.

Kian climbing "Beautiful" V2.

 And Ashley climbed "Cover Girl" V3 with an added traverse start from the left.
 From there we moved on to Norwegian Wood and a new project.  I'll post photos when someone sends it.

We finished our session with a couple new lines on a vertical wall with perfect patina.

The proudest lines on the wall are still unfinished, but I hope to have ascents to report and photos of them in the near future.


While we were working on the new things near Norwegian Wood,  Jesse, Kyle V., Matt, Steph, Sophia, and others were adding new lines near "Unicorn Tears."  Psyche is high, the forecast looks good, and I should have more to report very soon. But until then,

This is a Lloyd Climbing Blog Special Sport Climbing Report:

We haven't just been climbing at Sweetwater.  A couple weekends back, the local boulders were all covered in fresh snow so we visited The Joint.  It was my first visit to this high quality granite crag at the top of Sinks Canyon.
 It's definitely worth a trip!  A highlight of our session was watching Sierra get a top rope flash of "Mr. Bigshot" 5.11a.
If you haven't been there, I highly recommend checking it out.

And that's all I've got to share tonight, but I'll be posting often during the next few weeks.

Science Fair is over, the taxes are done, and Spring Break is almost here...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What Climbing's About

It was nice to have some coverage of the Dawn Wall in the news.  Some widespread recognition of climbing as the amazing sport and lifestyle that it is.  But it got a lot of people, even climbers, asking "What's the meaning of climbing?"

Meanwhile my recent climbing days made it quite clear to me, that climbing is mainly about going climbing.  It will never truly be a spectator sport (no matter how many people start watching it) and the best climbing writing, film, or photography won't ever mean that much to people that haven't tried it.  

On the other hand, everyone that goes out climbing can experience the exact same exposure, pump, fear, exhilaration, sense of accomplishment, and connection to nature that the pros do.  And everyone who gets out there can find out what it's really all about.  

So here's what climbing's been about for me during the last few weeks.

Making it work.  Even in the cold. 

 By wearing as many layers as it takes.
 Exploring new places,
 new moves,
 and not giving up until every option has been explored.
 Getting back on a rope.
 And sharing boulders with friends.
 Tromping through snow,
 to climb warm in the sun.
 And thinking about where else might be fun.
So I hope that you've also been getting out.  Reminding yourself, what climbing's about.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Everybody Loves Red Rocks

This year for the holidays we met my family at Las Vegas, and spent four days of the family trip bouldering at Red Rocks.  Kraft Rocks was busier than I've ever seen it, but other than one aggressive dog that should have been kept on a leash, all of the people were well behaved.  On the busiest day that we were out there I'd estimate that there were one hundred other boulderers also out there enjoying the weather.  But no music was playing, no one was littering, and one boulderer walked off (and returned with) a wag bag toilet kit.  I didn't see any chalk on the off limits boulder, and litter wise Kraft was the cleanest I've ever seen it.  Parts of Las Vegas and I-15 northeast of the city was a different story.  How can people let things get so trashed?  The air pollution in Vegas, Salt Lake City, and on the west side of South Pass here in Wyoming were also disturbing.  So my take home from the experience was that society has some issues to solve, but that bouldering areas can handle people alright if people do the right things.

And sometimes it's nice to have some people around.  Sierra had plenty of pads and encouragement for her "Monkey Bars" V2 send.

And I climbed "Vino Rojo" V6.  It's such a fun climb, but I doubt I would have even gone for it without the pads, spots, and beta offered by the other boulderers there that day.

Joe climbing "Vino Rojo" right after I did.
And it was fun for everyone to meet the friendly dogs like this one.
Our dogs weren't so friendly, so we had to keep them leashed the whole time.

We spent the last couple climbing days out at Windy Canyon.  On the first day we saw four other boulderers.  We were really impressed by the stone at Windy Canyon.  Even the no star warm ups are really nice.

Ashley on a very fun V3 with perfect stone.
Later that day we were lucky to meet Mike and Liz at "The Sting."  It's one of the best V4s anywhere, and by combining our pads we were able to make it safe enough for Mike, Ashley, and myself to top it out.

"The Sting"
On our final day at Windy Canyon we didn't see any other boulderers.  We warmed up on a crimpy line called "Handsome Boy" V3/4.  It's good, but it looks better than it climbs.
We were especially impressed with "Fritz Problem" V6.  It only gets one star in the guide, but it's an amazing sloper problem.  Ashley managed to do it, and then I tried so hard to do it too.  Unfortunately trying harder doesn't always help with slopers, and by the time I figured out my top out beta, I was too tired to execute it.
Those were the highlights of the climbing portion of our trip.  And I considered encouraging boulderers to spread out, and see the great areas outside of Kraft that Red Rocks has to offer, but then I reconsidered.  Kraft is where you want to go, and there isn't any good reason to go anywhere else until you've climbed out Kraft.  Kraft might seem crowded, but forty people can visit the Monkey Bars boulder, and if they don't spread out too much, and pick up after themselves their impact will be unnoticeable.  Forty more climbers at the more pristine areas like Windy Canyon could have an impact. I think concentrated numbers at a few boulders might actually be the best scenario for the Red Rocks environment in the long run.
But I don't want to end this post with a bunch of hand wringing about bouldering's impacts on the land.  It's there, but it's minimal in comparison to most other pursuits, and also in comparison to the joy that bouldering brings.  I was surprised to see so many other boulderers at Kraft, but we had a great time at Red Rocks this year, and the other boulderers were having a great time too.  It was a fun way to spend our holiday,  I'd do it all over again,  and I drove home feeling hopeful.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The List for 2014 (with a few previously unpublished photos)

Late afternoon photo taken last summer near Deer Park.

It's been a big year!  Below is an attempt to compile the Lander area bouldering first ascents from last year.  We've got at least 167 new problems, put up by 20 first ascentionists, including two named Justin and three named Matt!  A few of the problems listed below went up earlier, but the vast majority of the listed lines were done in 2014.  The order of the list for each bouldering area is pretty much random.  I just listed the lines as they came to mind, or I found them online, and then cut and pasted them into the right geographic area.  This list will help me make sure that I don't forget lines when it's time to write the next guide, and give all of you some idea of the amount of development that happened in the Lander area over the last year.  But this list isn't comprehensive yet.  Many problems done during the last year are missing from this list.  I'd love to include them, but I don't have the necessary information yet. Names in quotes are descriptions rather than names.  If you have any ascents to share, or can fill in any of my question marks, or see a mistake, please send info to davlloyd3@yahoo.com or message me on Facebook. I'll update this list as soon as I get new info.  Thanks!

Sinks Canyon: The Beach
Soft Like Me V5 Justin Iskra
Bad Girls at the Beach V5/6 Ashley Lloyd
Starting Over V2 David Lloyd
Dune V3 David Lloyd
Black Slabbath HB V0+ Shane Williams
Truth Hurts V5 David Lloyd
Get Shorty V4 David Lloyd
Scalpel V1 Shane Williams
Surfer's Paradise V0 Ashley Lloyd
Mirage V4 David Lloyd
Step Right Up V3 David Lloyd
Chobra V6 Matt Harrison/ lower start Justin Iskra
"Straight up from Chobra start" V3/4 ?
Turdy Harry V8? Justin Iskra
Lioness V7 Ashley Lloyd
Dusty Springfield V2/3 David Lloyd
Big Jugs at the Beach V0 David Lloyd
"Ashley's V2 Traverse" V2 Ashley Lloyd
Sure Thing V3 David Lloyd
Sand Cat V3 David Lloyd


Sinks Canyon: Sandstone
Into the Mind V? Jason Burleson


Sinks Canyon: The Upper Cabins
Calen climbing "Zoloft."

Zoloft V4 Justin Iskra

Trailer Tears V4 Jesse Brown
Money for Nothing V7 Justin Iskra with a jump, Chris Marley from the ground.
Maximum Overdrive V7 Justin Iskra
Ocean Man V5 Justin Iskra
Scrub a Dub Dub V3 David Lloyd
Three Men in a Tub  V1 Calen Campbell
The Mollusk V5 Justin Iskra
Bananas and Blow V5 Justin Iskra
Dark Horse V6 Justin Iskra
High on Fire V6 Justin Iskra


Sinks Canyon: The Summit



Warm Up Wall (5 lines V0-1) David and Ashley Lloyd
Riversong V3/4 David Lloyd
Walk the Line V4/5 David Lloyd
Buttercup V2 Ashley Lloyd

The Source
Diamonds, Guns, and Money V7 Justin Iskra


Worthen Reservoir
Worthen Prow V5 Davin Bagdonas or Dave Nash many years ago
Shadow Boxing V7 Jesse Brown
Lapis V6 Jesse Brown
"Chris Marley V10" V10 Chris Marley
"Big Boulder" V2 Jake Novotny


Roaring Fork
"Junker Boulder maybe 4? V4s" multiple V4s Ana and Devlin Junker
Slippery Nipple V4 Jesse Brown
Sweetwater Rock Traverse V3 David Lloyd

Behind Closed Doors V7 Jesse Brown (done earlier than 2014)
Slip and Slide V8 Jesse Brown (done earlier than 2014)
Too Close for Comfort V5 Ashley Lloyd
Short Stuff V3/4 David Lloyd

Roaring Fork: White Stripes Sector
Old Mountain Chrome V8 Davin Bagdonas
Guardian Angel Arm V5 Davin Bagdonas
Legend V6 David Lloyd
Mini Mini V6 David Lloyd
Mountain Dharma V4 David Lloyd
The Mummy V2 Justin Loyka
"The sharp one that I forgot the name of" V3 Justin Loyka
Tic Tac Crack V3 Justin Loyka
That's Pretty V6 Ashley Lloyd
Kewpie V1 Ashley Lloyd
Chia Pet V3/4 David Lloyd
V2 Records V2 David Lloyd
V0 Corner V0 David Lloyd
Sticky Slab V0 Davin Bagdonas
Sticky Roof V4 David Lloyd
Justin's Arete V1 HB Justin Loyka
Justin's Warmup V1 Justin Loyka

Deer Park
Dracula V5/6 Jesse Brown
Horror Show V1 HB Jesse Brown
Spooky V6 David Lloyd
Ghost Story V7 David Lloyd
Thomassons SDS V1 David Lloyd

Oz
Mark It 8 V9  Mark Avery
Ivy League V5 Mark Avery
Minor League V3 Jesse Brown
Camp Boulder V6 Chris Marley?
The Wonderful Warmups of Oz V1-3 David and Ashley Lloyd
"Jon's High Warmup" V? Jon Glassberg
"Unknown V4 SDS in the gulley" V4    ?

Sweetwater
Silhouette V11 Chris Marley
The Grey V6 Ashley Lloyd
Tick Tock SDS V5 Ashley Lloyd
Tick Tock Arete V4 David Lloyd
"Shane's V3s" Two V3s Shane Williams
Very Blustery Day V4 Ashley Lloyd
The Ivory Traverse V2 David Lloyd
Ivory Warm Up V1 David Lloyd
Thunderbird V3 David Lloyd
Hunny Pot Roof V3 David Lloyd
The Hunny Pot Traverse V4 Ashley Lloyd
Sunshine V3 David Lloyd
Rock and Ice V4 David Lloyd

Devlin on "Rock and Ice."

The Rock Shop
True Blood V6 Matt Saunders
Grave Wave V5 Justin Iskra
Electric Storm V9 Chris Marley
Lander Before Time V7 Connor Griffith
Philanderer V10 Jon Glassberg
Lander Calrissian V7/8 Connor Griffith
Lander Calphilanderer V9 Jon Glassberg
Philander Calrissian V9 Jon Glassberg
Trick Ass Mark V10/11 Jon Glassberg
Name of the Wind V8 Connor Griffith
Name of the Wind SDS V9 Jon Glassberg
Big Fudge V2 Calen Campbell
Skid Marks V2 Calen Campbell
"Two V2s near Lord of the Flies" V2 Chris Marley and Tony Stark?
Foul Mouth V4 Tony Stark
"Swan Boulder Three Problems" V3- ~6 Chris Marley
"Unnamed Traverse and Up Problem" V5 and V6 Chris Marley
Millenium Falcon V5 David Lloyd
Stone Country SDS V7 David Lloyd
Gaston Gaston V5 David Lloyd
La Boulangerie V3 Alan Pirie
Sh#! Storm V5 Tony Stark
Perfect Storm V6 David Lloyd
The Unforgiving Tree V8/9 Zach Rudy
Smoking the Tree V12/13 Chris Marley

City Walls
Wind Tunnel V3 Ashley Lloyd
Crimp to It V2 Ashley Lloyd
Warm Up Wall Four V1s David Lloyd
Ashley's Low Traverse V5 Ashley Lloyd
Uncontrived Roof V2 David Lloyd
Contrived Roof V4 David Lloyd
Placer Gold V3/4 David Lloyd
The Lander Cutoff V2 David Lloyd
The Onion V3 Ashley Lloyd
The Other Warm Up Wall Five problems V0-2 David and Ashley Lloyd
Flaming Lips Traverse V3 Ashley Lloyd
The Oregon Trail Southern Traverse V5 Ashley Lloyd
The Oregon Trail Traverse V3 Ashley Lloyd
The Oregon Trail Northern Traverse V2 David Lloyd
Oregon Trail SDS V3HB David Lloyd
"Ben's Roof" V4 Ben Sears
"Justin's Wall" V2 Justin Loyka
Ashley's Favorite V4 David Lloyd

Justin Loyka on "Ashley's Favorite."
 Sloping Jug Traverse V3 Ashley Lloyd
"Justin's Best Line of the Day" V3 Justin Loyka
"Justin's Solo" V? Justin Loyka
Journey to "Justin's Wall" V3 David Lloyd
Short and Cool V4 David Lloyd

Rapid Lake
Jesse scoping boulders at Rapid Lake.
"Jesse's Compression Line" V5 Jesse Brown
Safety First V4 David Lloyd
Warm Up V1 David Lloyd
Shenanigans V2 David Lloyd
The Gathering Hordes SDS V4 David Lloyd

Falcon's Lair
Wheel of the Falcon V13 Chris Marley
Falcon Punch V5 Matt Pincus
Masonic V9 or 10? Chris Marley

Devil's Kitchen
Mission Accomplished V6 Jesse Brown
Lion Tamer V7  Justin Iskra
Watch Your Six V6/7 Justin Iskra
Triple Double V7 Justin Iskra
Pinches of Power V7 Kyle Vassilopoulos
Kitchen Corner V7 (consensus grade) Collin Horvat (2012)
Pinches of Power Direct V8/9 Kyle Vassilopoulos
Instant Karma V7 Collin Horvat (2011)

Last year I credited "War Tactics" V12 by Kyle Vassilopoulos as the problem of the year for it's combination of quality and difficulty.  This year it's Chris Marley who's been putting up the most difficult lines, and I've decided to award my pick for the line of the year to "Masonic" at the Falcon's Lair.  It isn't the most difficult line that Chris finished this year, but the amazing rock quality, prime location, and the fact that it's been a long standing project, make it the new problem that I was most excited to hear about.  

And some great looking walls have been found recently at Sweetwater.  So 2015 is looking good already! 

See you in the new year,
David

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sinks Canyon Sessions

Quite a few areas in Wyoming were boulderable during the past couple weekends.  But school's been keeping us very busy, and the weather forecast actually looked best for Sinks, so we spent our climbing days here.  It's really nice to have 275 boulder problems within a ten minute drive of the house.

Sierra's gotten serious about her climbing, so in addition to thinking about what Ashley and I would like to try, I'm now planning our sessions with Sierra in mind.  We went to the Slug boulder because it has fun warmups that Ashley and I could repeat, and lines that Sierra could work on.

Sierra's best send of the day was "Leeches" V3.
Later, we made the short hike over to "Buttwink" V7.  Ashley had never tried it in good conditions before.  She started to piece it together, but couldn't figure out a sequence through the long crux move.

Then we hiked to the Kingsford boulder.  My goal for the day was to climb at least one problem that I hadn't done before.  So I gave "The Seam" project a few tries.  I think it's possible, but quickly realized that it would take more than a day's work.  So I moved on to my last hope for the day, a line called "Flame" V6.

Since writing the new guide, I've had a couple people ask me about "Flame."  One person asked me for details on the sequence, and another said "There is no way that's a V6!"  I couldn't really give any advice or argue about it.  I'd tried the line on three separate days, and hadn't been able to do it either.  One of the rules I gave myself when I wrote the guidebook is that I wouldn't change historical grades unless I had climbed the problem, and even then only if I felt sure that the grade was at least two grades off.  Since I hadn't figured out the problem, I left the historical grade of V6 in my guide, and privately wondered if a hold had broken.

I won't take the time to go into detail about every sequence that I tried.  I tried so many variations.

But before the sun set that day, I climbed "Flame" V6!
And once I did it, the grade felt in line with the other dolomite V6s in Sinks.  I can usually send a given V6 in one session if it isn't a full out dyno.  But this one took me four days because it's just such an intricate puzzle!  After the nice starting edge there are quite a few sidepulls and tiny holds to choose from.  None of them had chalk, and none of them feel good, but in the right positions some are slightly better than others.  I was able to find one set of hand and foot holds that could give me the distance I needed to latch, and keep, the only good hold below the lip.

It's snowed again now, the chalk's probably gone, and if you aren't my size you might need to find your own way.  Good luck!  Sinks dolomite is sharp.  And most of the harder lines on it require perfectly done, powerful moves, on painful holds.  But it feels really good to finish some of these lines.  "Flame" isn't the hardest thing I've climbed, but it just might be the most impossible looking thing that I've done.  Standing under the line, after topping out, I still couldn't believe that it was possible to use such small holds to make such a big move.  I was quite satisfied with the day, and happy that the line does match what's written about it in the guide.

Sinks on Saturday morning.
On Saturday we were just hoping to get a quick session done before this snowstorm arrived, but we ended up getting a beautiful full day at the Beach.  We warmed up on a traverse that I put up last spring.

"Dusty Springfield" V3.
Then we hiked up to the highest climbable sandstone wall in the mini canyon.  I had brushed off some lines that I wanted to try.

On the right side Ashley added a left to right V2 traverse that she hasn't named yet.
I did a sit start from the flat hold to her right called "Sure Thing" V3.

Then I added a really nice SDS line at the left end of the wall called "Sand Cat" V3.
It could be harder than V3 if you're tall.  We brought our feet up while still using tiny crimps.

We moved on to another project, but I'll post about that once it's finished.  There's really quite a bit of potential left on the shady side of the Beach, and with some brushing on rappel, a few proud new lines could be added to most sandstone areas in Sinks.  When I get the time, I'll be excited to get to them.

That's all I've got to share this week.   But if you've gotten any bouldering first ascents near Lander during the last year, it is time to send them in.  I've already gotten started on The List 2014. All I'm asking for right now is the name, area, grade, and first ascentionist of each problem you'd like included.  I think we might have already surpassed last year's total.  Thanks for your help!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Boulderer's Book List


I received my Climbing Magazine "Readers' Choice" Issue in the mail today.  And it's such a disappointment.  It surprised me that I could be so disappointed by it, because I've already lowered my expectations of Climbing magazine substantially.  But not a single thing in the entire issue passes as a real article.  Just page after page that look like what having A.D.D. must feel like.  Busy pages of lists, survey results, a few short columns, and a bunch of things taken straight from the internet.  If I want something from the internet, I'll just go get it from the internet!   Why would they ever think readers want to pay for a magazine to tell them what's already on Mountain Project, or repeat what people said on their blogs?  I realize that times are tough for the magazine business right now.  I'm not trying to kick Climbing magazine when it's already down.  But I would like to take it to the corner of the ring, slap it in the cover and tell it "You need to fight for your life or it's going to be over, and you're just not doing it right!  You can't out internet the internet!  It's time to calm down, just calm down, you have your own niche.  If you print some good full length articles in every issue, then everything will be okay. Just one knock out article is really all you need to stay in this game."

I'm absolutely sure that there are still things going on in the climbing world, and topics to be explored, that can keep readers' interest for more than a couple pages.  Rock and Ice still prints some really good full length articles, Alpinist is amazing (if you're into mountain climbing), and I enjoyed reading the most recent Climbing Zine from cover to cover.

But despite the previous rant, I'm just writing a list this week.  Like one of the lists you could find in Climbing Magazine.  What else can I do? The weather's been bad.  I don't have a story, or any new information, or truly original opinions to share this week.  But I have been reading a lot.  And it's fine for me to just write a list, because #1 that's the type of thing the internet is for, and #2 I'm not asking you to pay for it.

 So my true goal with this post is to help you spend some quality time away from the internet.  To read something meaningful, something someone spent quite a bit of time to produce, a work that's actually worth your precious time.  So here's a list of books that I'd recommend for anyone who's interested in bouldering.  Buy them, borrow them from a library, or add them to your Christmas list.  Then find a quiet spot, sit down with a warm drink during bad weather and enjoy one of them for a while.

For Bouldering History

John Gill Master of Rock by Pat Ament  -This book helped John Gill get this whole thing started.

Stone Crusade by John Sherman -An entertaining account of American bouldering history up until 1992.

For Bouldering Development

Rock 'n' Road by Tim Toula - Documenting over 2000 in North America, this atlas to climbing areas still beats the Internet when it comes to finding fresh boulders.  Buy some brushes, drive to any area in the guide, and see what you can find.

For Entertainment

Sherman Exposed by John Sherman - Still the funniest bouldering stories I've read.

Stone Play: The Art of Bouldering edited by J S Watson- Good photos, and even better articles.

A Night on the Ground A Day in the Open by Doug Robinson- Deeper articles that are still fun to read.

For Geology

Flakes, Jugs, & Splitters by Sarah Garlick- Learn how the boulders happened.  Appreciate the stone, the world, and time in a more complete, more accurate way.

For the Climbing Life

High Infatuation: A Climber's Guide to Love and Gravity by Steph Davis- It's all in there somewhere.

For Getting Even Deeper into the Topic

The Boulder: A Philosophy for Bouldering by Francis Sanzaro - Think about bouldering in whole new ways.

For your Coffee Table

Southern Nevada Bouldering by Tom Moulin - Almost too heavy and too nice to actually take out to the boulders with you, it's an amazing work!  If a guidebook can be art, this is the first that feels like a masterpiece.

I hope that you enjoy these books as much as I did.  Who would have thought that recent Climbing Magazines, and the proliferation of internet click bait, would give me a such a renewed appreciation for books?

It's time for Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What a Way to Wrap Up the Season!

Winter is definitely here!  The snow outside squeaks underfoot, and the air makes my face hurt.  But before winter hit, so much was accomplished!  Jimmy Webb made a visit to Neverland.  Davin and Bryan gave him a tour of some of the hardest projects, and he sent two new V14s "The Multiverse" and "Komodo." One of them is now Wyoming's hardest boulder problem, and the other one is the second hardest.  Kasia Pietras made the first ascent of "Triple X" which was also a long standing Neverland project.
Then news came out that Jamie Emerson finished off the Mega Mega project at El Dakota.  He named it "The Hunter," rated it V12, and I recommend reading his well written account of it at B3bouldering.

Bryan, Davin, Mike, Brian and Jamie working at what was still the "Mega Mega Project" last July.

As the famous unfinished lines kept appearing on my Instagram feed with names and grades on an almost daily basis, for a moment it started to seem like all the hard projects in Wyoming were suddenly complete.   But with just a little thought, a bunch more came to mind.  And with so much good rock, I'm absolutely sure that new, never before seen, world class Wyoming lines will show up on Instagram by next year.  Even in my guidebook, there are still quite a few impressive undone projects listed in the V12-15 range.  And it isn't out of the realm of possibility that the Rock Shop could have the most difficult problem in the state if a strong enough climber visits the area.  Hopefully a few of the projects in the Lander area will get attention, now that the quality of Wyoming bouldering is becoming more well known.

With my teaching and family schedule, I wasn't able to make it out to Neverland to see all the strong climbers who visited over the last couple weekends.  But that's alright.  I got to climb in empty beautiful places, in amazing weather.  Here are some photos of Sierra and Matt from a recent trip to Torrey Valley.

Sierra climbing The Good Earth East Face V2.
 Matt on the Mead boulder.
 The fine grain Torrey texture on "Gold's Gym."
 Davin showed me "Gold's Gym" on my first trip to Torrey Valley and called it V5.  Matt and I might have been starting somewhat lower than the original line, but it felt really hard to me.

Matt sent it.

 I didn't.  But now I know what to do, and I'm excited to get back to it!

It's been one of the most exciting couple weeks ever for Wyoming bouldering as a spectator sport.  But as a participant, my last two weekends were exactly the same as they've been for many years.  Just wonderful days in vast lonely spaces, playing at getting up rocks, trying as hard as I can, with family and friends.  The types of days that I've become very accustomed to, yet seem to appreciate even more as time goes by.   So it's wonderful that some of the world's strongest boulders are making visits and putting up amazing lines.  I'm excited that it's finally happening.  As a Wyoming bouldering developer it's good to get some validation and recognition that these areas we have really are as amazing as we think they are.

But it's also good to occasionally ask the question "Is any validation actually necessary?"  I've finally come to realize that it isn't.  When you've got boulders you're excited to climb, that's really all you need.


Who knows when temps will be warm again?  Not by this weekend.

Luckily, there will be a bouldering comp at Elemental on Saturday.