Monday, November 14, 2011

A Fire in Sinks Canyon

Smoke and flames at the Main Wall on Sunday afternoon.
The weather on Sunday morning was looking nicer than we expected it to. We ditched our planned drive to the gym in Jackson, and went up to the Sandstone Buttress to try a few sport climbs on Sinks Canyon sandstone. Turns out, it doesn't rival the dolomite. But it is fun, and feels really different. Even when the moves aren't hard, they are often insecure, and you feel like you could pop off at any moment. I did once, taking a fifteen foot fall on "Lucky's Revenge" when my foot slid off a sandy smear.

About half way through the session, we noticed smoke coming from up canyon. Just when we began to get concerned that we hadn't seen any fire trucks, the first one sped past. The smoke obscured the sun, the wind picked up, and eventually eight more fire trucks headed up canyon. About an hour later the wind picked up so much, we decided to finish our session at the climbing gym. But before driving back to town, we wanted to see where the fire was.
We were upset to find out that the source of the smoke was a large fire at the Main Wall. The fire started at the Fairfield Hill parking area and burned very quickly uphill. The burn reached the cliffs, and burned a large portion of the dolomite bouldering area.
It's too early to say what the impact on the climbing and bouldering will be. And I've heard, or read online, five different rumors of how the fire got started. No official cause has come out yet. I'll update this post when I have more information.


nikkiwalley said...

The second picture, that is my car! We stopped to let our daughter use the bathroom. My husband actually made the 911 call I have a picture of people standing on the cliff in a red jacket was it you. This is awesome!

Lloyd Family said...

That was probably us. Thanks for the comment.