Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cleaning Up at the Source

A stormy sunset at Red Canyon, seen on the drive back from Wild Iris.

Three of our last four climbing sessions were spent at Wild Iris, but this entry is mostly about the Source. We've been spending a lot of time sport climbing during our first year in Lander. We've each done about 75 sport routes since the move, and I've been having a great time doing them, but I usually don't want to blog about them. It's hard to get good pictures, and sending sport routes just doesn't feel like news. Everyone already knows that Wild Iris and Sinks Canyon are great climbing areas, and though Ashley and I keep improving it's been at an unremarkable pace so far.

Bouldering on the other hand is fun to write about. Photos are easier, and most of the problems we've been getting on are new. Unclimbed boulders are all over the place around Lander. The only limit is how much time you have to clean them. Last night I took out the short rope, and rapped down a good boulder. My car is dirty and the lawn needs a mow, but the boulder has been cleaned. Davin and I found the boulder while exploring the Source two months ago.

It's up on the formation so the views are great.

There are some really cool, ancient, twisted, wind stunted trees up there too.

I brushed the main boulder which I expected to have three problems, and a few other lines scattered around the formation yesterday evening. Today Ashley and I returned to climb them. We started on what I thought would be a good warm up boulder. Some feet broke, and it was more difficult than I expected, but it did warm us up.

From there we moved on to the "Deception" boulder. It's deceptively steep, but the tallest center line "Deception" is much easier than it looks. I'd call it V1.


I expected to do three problems on this boulder, but we did six. The right arete sds is about V3 and is called "Inception." A sds to "Deception" starting in two cracks to the right is probably V2, and I called it "No Pressure." A family happened to hike up the formation while we were bouldering. A little boy reached a good look out point and screamed "Holy smokes it's beautiful!" Ashley decided to use this phrase to name her two traverses. A left to right traverse beginning with a right hand jam on the left side of the face and ending on "Inception" is at least V5 and was named "Holy Smokes." The classic right to left traverse beginning at the sds to "Inception" and ending on "Deception" was called "It's Beautiful" and is about V4. I managed to add a powerful line I'd call V6 going up the face in between "Deception" and "Inception." Off two good starting holds it makes a huge move to a poor left hand sloping edge that requires a pinch with the thumb. Then with a right foot jam you can make an insecure reach to the top. The wind was pretty strong when I did it, so I named it "Updraft."

Up at the summit of the formation is a cross, built by the summer bible camp that inhabits the valley below. Nearby is a short face that has a perfect starting rail, and spaced out, solid, incut patina crimps. I thought it would suite Ashley the best, but I was able to reach past the smallest edges to send "The Children's Crusade" V4.

Ashley climbed it too, but her sequence was much more difficult.

That's the climbing news for this week. This blog just turned three years old, and it's hard for me to believe that I've kept up weekly entries for so long, but I have. Sometimes I've had things to post, and sometimes I found myself scrambling to find something worth talking about. During the upcoming school year I've decided that I'm not going to scramble in order to have a weekly entry anymore. If I've got good photos, news, or an interesting idea, I'll post it. If I don't, I'll wait. The quantity of posts might go down a bit, but I'll try to improve the quality of what I publish. Ashley and I will be rejoining the working world next week. Summer break has been fantastic here in Wyoming! Now I think I'll get some rest, before it all begins.

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