Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gneiss Bouldering in Wyoming

Torrey Valley

We spent our climbing time during the last ten days, bouldering on some nice gneiss. A couple Wednesdays back it was raining in Lander, but we saw a wedge of blue sky to the north. We decided to drive up to Torrey Valley to see if it was dry. It was, the clouds stayed over the high peaks to the west, and we had a great session on the Mead boulder.

We warmed up on a couple slab problems.

I repeated a classic line.

And I showed Ashley the problems Davin showed me last year.

She did a few of them, and couldn't quite complete the full traverse of the south face that she worked on.

On the way out, I hiked the sandstone looking for petroglyphs. Here is the best panel I found. I upped the saturation on this shot to help the carvings stand out. The one on the right looks a lot like a mammoth. I wonder if it could actually be one?

Grand Teton National Park

Hiking into Bouldertown.

The Tetons are incredible! The most beautiful mountains I've seen, and so much bouldering potential. The place could probably have as much bouldering as Rocky Mountain National Park if people started exploring the canyons between each peak. We planned to visit four areas during our week stay, but only made it to two of them. Bouldertown kept us busy for three and a half sessions. It's a collection of six boulders developed back in the eighties. Two of the boulders are very high quality and have difficult problems on rock similar to that of RMNP.

Ashley warming up at Bouldertown, and avoiding a sketchy loose jug at the top of boulder #2.

Climbing a classic SDS to a high top out on the right arete of boulder #2.

Ashley spent three sessions on the difficult traverse starting with a sit start on the right arete and traversing left to a topout on the center of the steep face on Boulder #2. During session two she stuffed tissues in the holds to dry them after a rainy night. We started calling it the "Tissue Traverse" though we would love to know its real name.

During the third session Ashley did it.

The tissue traverse didn't suit me, but I spent two sessions on a SDS in the middle of the steep face and eventually sent the powerful, core intensive problem.

Ashley climbing a good moderate at the end of day one.

During days three and four at Bouldertown we spent most of our time at Chouinard's Boulder. I'd rank it as one of the top five boulders in the state. Steep faces, incredible features, at least 8 problems, six of which would be classic anywhere.

We spent two days working a traverse that began at obvious holds right of Ashley and topped out above Sierra in the picture above.

Ashley on the topout.

Climbing the steep roof to the top out from an easier start.

We did the parts, but didn't manage to put the pieces together on the difficult line. We will try again someday if we get stronger.

On our last day in the Tetons we checked out the boulders developed by John Gill at Jenny Lake. Three large blocks of slippery white granite.

I climbed "The Gill Problem" on Red Cross Rock. Gill climbed this section of stone by jumping off the ground which was once higher. It's eroded since, much like the Right Eliminator problem at Horsetooth Reservoir.

Gill didn't use the right hand crimp, but jumped his right hand all the way to the hold I'm grabbing with my left hand in the photo below. The right crimp was rumored to have been chipped, but it looked and felt just like a natural crystal crimp when I examined it. I think Gill just skipped it because he could.

The modern non-eliminate version is a good problem that I'd estimate to be V6.

If you decide to develop the untapped potential of Grand Teton National Park be aware of the moose. This one snorted at me and approached when I was checking out some rock in Death Canyon. I stayed close to a large tree so I could run around it if the moose decided to charge.

I saw this sign in Cascade Canyon. I think it means "Guns beat bans."

The western pine beetle is attacking trees in GTNP, just like the rest of the west. The tracks in this fallen tree were made by the beetles and their larvae.

Epidemic Insect Artwork

Which concludes our trip to the Tetons. Today we got into Wild Iris for our first day of the season. Loved it. I'm planning to split my climbing time this summer, bouldering half the days and sport climbing at Wild Iris the other half. A perfect plan.


Anonymous said...

Awesome Post! Those problems look rad. The Moose would have scared me to death...Have a great summer!

-Aaron Hager

Lloyd Family said...

Thanks Aaron, I'll try to keep them coming. Let us know if you'll be in Lander. We have the International Climbers Festival coming up soon.

And enjoy the Colorado alpine bouldering! I'll be on the search for alpine stuff here. The roads just opened that will let me get to the high country.