Friday, September 9, 2011

Labor Day Weekend Post #2 Falcon's Lair, So Cool, So Bright

Davin, Brian H., Chris and I spent Labor Day at the Falcon's Lair in perfect, cool, sunny conditions. My appreciation for the area keeps growing. The quality of the rock, the aesthetics of the view, the breezes that come off the permanent snowfield, the adventurous approach, and the fun of sharing it with other psyched boulderers, all add to the Falcon's Lair experience.

For this session, we skipped the warmups at the Lander Boulder area, and hiked straight to the Ice Cave. On previous sessions I''ve been distracted by problems at the lower field, and didn't have enough power left to complete projects by the time we reached the snowfield. Davin seemed happy to head straight there too. He also had a project in the Ice Cave.

We warmed up and got to work. Chris was climbing strong and he made quick work of "Wind in the Willows." I completed the fourth ascent in ridiculously desperate fashion. My feet cut twice, and I almost pumped off of the top out sloper. It was a struggle, but it felt so good to get it done.

Then Chris and Davin began working on the Ice Cave Project. It was fun to watch them piece the moves together, and refine their beta.

The Ice Cave Project's attention grabbing first move. Now you're bouldering.

The hold pictured below is very difficult to catch after working through the beginning. Both Davin and Chris came heartbreakingly close to linking it up. A double digit classic, that I predict will get done next trip.

Brian H. made the drive with Davin from Laramie. He's been climbing for about a year, and just moved to Wyoming in August. This was his first trip to an alpine bouldering area. What a way to start! He shoed up and jumped on "Cracked Eggs."
He came so close to finishing it! Now he has to visit again...that's how it all gets started.
He did three first ascents, the first of his life, on Monday. "Captain Falcon" V3~ is just left of the Ice Cave and starts on two obvious holds in the small overhang. I'm looking forward to trying it next trip.
The only reason I didn't try it on Monday is that I was saving everything I had for another go on "The Yeti." "The Yeti" traverses a thin sloping rail across an overhanging footless face. It has a very powerful start and a longish move to the lip over a suspect landing. Earlier I had linked both cruxes and had just thrown my heal over the lip to top out when my right hand slipped off the rail. I yelled "Falling!" and as any good spotter would, Davin reached up for me. Just as his hand touched my back I realized I wasn't falling. My left hand and foot was enough to keep me on and I didn't swing off the top like I thought I would. Davin didn't take weight, but it was a dab. I rested and tried again a few times, but never could make it back to the lip. "The Yeti" goes at about V7. Doing it in good style is my first priority for the next session. I love the line, and I want to do it right.

Davin did the first ascent of a beautiful lip traverse right of "The Yeti." It's on immaculate stone, and uncontrived, by which I mean it's impossible to top out early, before the apex. The top out is the crux, and it's over a perfectly flat landing. It looked really difficult, and I didn't feel any rush to get on it. We'd start working it eventually. Then Davin tried it, and flashed the first ascent. The rock has such good friction, the line goes at V4/5.

"The Barnyard"

Chris did it too.

And I did the third ascent just before we hiked out.

After "The Barnyard," Chris sent "Mortal Angel," a spectacular dyno problem, which can be seen in the post below.

Bouldering doesn't get much better. Davin wrote a great post about the day on his blog, and I got a photo of Davin dancing at the After Party.

Thanks for the great session guys! I'll be in touch, and am planning another trip as soon as I can spare a day.

This post covers Monday. But Ashley and I spent Saturday and Sunday, last weekend, bouldering in Cody. I'll get to work on that post soon. Climbing so much, that I get behind with the blogging is a problem I can live with.

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