Monday, September 28, 2009

The Hampi Boulders

Ashley on an incredibly good warm-up traverse.

Once again, I was a bit nervous driving into the Hampi Boulders with the mini van. I packed an air pump, jumper cables, extra water, a lighter, and a Swiss army knife. I read up on driving techniques for soft sand. I told people where we were going to be. But this afternoon the road didn't seem that bad.

We drove up to the barbed wire gate near the boulders, and were surprised to see someone parked in front of it. I was doubly surprised to see that the man sitting at the driver's seat was John Gill. Mostly out of surprise, but also out of an annoying tendency to be awkward around famous climbers, I pulled off the road, jumped out of the van, and said "Hi John" just a bit too loud, and startled him. He was very nice about it, and we had a pleasant conversation. He'd been hiking with his wife, showing her the area where he used to spend days soloing the domes. One stop on a longer road trip. He asked what we were up to, and we explained that we had moved to Lander, and were bouldering at the Hampi Boulders around the other side of the formation. We talked a little more about the bouldering. We wished them a good trip, and they left for their next destination. A good bouldering omen.

The Hampi Boulder was still in the sun, but there were a lot of other boulders to play on while we waited for it to go into shade. I'm not aware of what any of the problems are named or graded, but everything we jumped on was a lot of fun.

A really nice sloper problem.

A fantastic steep problem.

The start of the Hampi Boulder traverse.

We worked out all the moves, but slick slopers with poor feet to campus moves left us worked by the end of the session. We'll be heading back to finish this one.


Seth said...

Awesome story David! I love experiences like that! I had a similar experience with Yvon Chinouard back in the day on a road trip in Utah.

Wishing you and the family all the best,


David said...

Thanks Seth. I hope all is going well for you in Colorado. Have you been getting out to Red Feather?

chuffer said...

"Hi John."


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