Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Perseverance Pays Off

about three fourths of the time.

We've been climbing a lot since the last post, and the wildflowers on the way into Wild Iris are especially impressive right now.

Ashley and Sierra take a break while Autumn and I catch up on the hike.

Shaun climbed with us on Sunday and took this photo of me working Ruby Shooter. I got the redpoint on my third attempt of the day. Score one for perseverance.

On Friday, we left early to have cool temps at the Source. Two problems on this boulder begin at a sit start where the cracks cross in the lower left hand corner.

Chris got the first ascent of the problem shown below, and named it "The Serpent." The crux for us was the match seen below. It felt about V7, but the problem might be easier for people long enough to skip the match.

Successfully moving through the match.

Latching a good hold. "The Serpent" tops out straight up from here.

Then Ashley brushed an extension to "The Serpent" that goes all the way to the right arete, and uses one hold around the corner to reach the top out. She sent the harder line and named her first ascent "The Caterpillar Arete Traverse."

Perseverance pays once again.

With so many boulders in the area, it's a little hard to tell when it's time to stop looking, and start developing what you've already found. Before I could really focus on the Source, I felt like I had to check out one more possibility. I spent much of the winter looking through books and online at photos of the Wind River mountains. Beautiful alpine boulders appear to be abundant in the Winds, but the hikes into the alpine areas are much too long for bouldering day trips. The only possible exception I read about was Silas Canyon. Forty minutes of driving and four and a half miles of gentle uphill hiking to alpine granite.

All winter I hoped I would find fields of house sized talus lining Silas Canyon similar to what is found on Mt. Evans. I'd been looking forward to checking it out for a long time. But I didn't find what I hoped would be there. The area is alpine and it's beautiful, but the good blocks were missing.

My hike was on Canada day, and I kept thinking how Canadian the environment felt.

I even hiked through thigh deep snow on the first of July.

Even though I didn't find good boulders, I did enjoy walking through an interesting ecology. The forests in the canyon are dominated by Whitebark Pine.

I saw some interesting geology.

And I did find boulders, just nothing good enough for me to feel like hiking back in with a pad.

Perseverance doesn't always work.

Today we woke up to cloudy and cool weather. I thought conditions would be perfect for bouldering at the Source. Then we hit dense fog on the drive up and had to turn the windshield wipers on. Ashley wanted to turn around and drive home, but I stubbornly persevered. Fog surrounded the parking area, but the rocks felt dry.

We began on a low ball line I had cleaned last week. It looked like a good warm up. I climbed the line and thought "Endeavor to Persevere" would be a humorous name for the easy low ball line. Then Ashley had the "visionary" idea to add an even lower start to the line. She grabbed on to my starting heel hook hold, and climbed the line from there. Then she changed the name of the problem to "Limbo."

I think her new problem should be called "How Low Can You Go."

Then we went up to the Arrowhead boulder.

I rolled around the corner right here for a problem I named "Off Target." The complete line to the tip of the arrow hasn't been climbed yet. If I finish it first, I'll call it "Bull's Eye."

Then Jesse arrived, and we moved on to better boulders.

Jesse cleaned a line on the right wall, but I climbed it first. It might be V2 from the stand start, and I named it "Teddy."

I brushed a line, and Jesse climbed it first. A V5/6 problem called "Big Stick."

Ashley got the first ascent of the plum line. The sit start to an arete problem that Davin did about eight years ago. I'm not sure what Davin named it, but Ashley named the sit start "Walk Softly."

It uses a fragile hold with the left hand. Grab it high, don't pull too hard, and hopefully it won't break.

It's a difficult line that I'm still projecting.

Eventually rain brought the session to an end, but I'm glad we didn't turn back too soon...

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