Thursday, February 24, 2011

Escape From the Icy Incarceration

Last year's icicles.

Sometimes I check this blog to see what we climbed a year ago, and last year we didn't get to go climbing. Two feet of snow had fallen, trapping us at home. It looked like the same type of weather was going to hit this year. A winter storm watch was called for Saturday afternoon through Sunday. But this year we had a three day weekend for President's Day, and we didn't want to get stuck again. The snow was forecast to fall primarily on the east side of the Wind River Range. We got in the van and drove into the snow over Togwotee Pass to escape the storm.

By driving over the pass into Jackson Hole we avoided most of the snow, but there was no way for us to escape the cold. Didn't matter. We'd planned a rock gym road trip.

It was worth the trip. Jackson's gym, Enclosure, has a large bouldering area, and route walls as well. It would stand out as a great gym in any city. It's in Wyoming, in a town of 8,000 people. Economics work a bit differently in Jackson.

We enjoyed hours of new problems, and climbed the place like a classic bouldering area we'd never visited before. Warming up, sending as hard as we could, and then cleaning up the easier classics.

Time in the town of Jackson felt crowded. We had bad luck with parking, packed restaurants, and a kid puked in the Rec. Center pool soon after our daughters got in to swim. But the Jackson Hole landscapes and wildlife are just as spectacular in the Winter as they are in the Summer. A world of snow, forests, ravens, and moose.

We weren't able see the Tetons covered in snow, because the view was always blocked by snow.

Our hotel didn't allow pets, so Sundance stayed in the van. We brought sleeping bags for her to nest in. On the first morning she looked precious when I woke her up, all snuggled up, and I decided to take my camera down the next morning. She wasn't curled up on this morning, but I caught her head shake.

Her yawn.

And her "Why are you taking my picture?" look.

Before we drove back to Lander we checked out the new Teton Bouldering Park. Two boulders are already finished, and one more will be built when the money is raised. It's found under the Snow King Resort.

Maybe one day, climbing boulders will become a common feature of parks. An accessible way for people to be introduced to the sport, and for boulderers to be seen doing what we do. To get there, the public needs be introduced to the sport, and see what we do. A Catch-22 that the Teton Bouldering Park can begin to crack.

We drove back through new snow, which wasn't as deep as predicted. In bright sunshine through the Wind River Basin, the temps were in the teens. We were satisfied, we had climbed new problems, and we felt worked.

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