Monday, January 16, 2012

Sometimes it's Personal

Were you aware that snow can get in your shoes during a long winter hike, completely numb your skin, and then rub your ankles until they are bleeding, without you even realizing it?

On Saturday, Ashley and I fled windy conditions in Sinks Canyon. So I decided to spend my free afternoon hiking to the boulders I noticed in a photo last week.

Objects in a cropped photo, taken with a zoom lens, will appear closer than they are.

Down in the canyon, it was difficult to tell which ramp the boulders were on. I cut off too early and ended up missing the main field in my photo. The snow was knee deep on the shady side of the canyon. And even after five hours of hiking, round trip, I didn't cover as much ground as I hoped to. I missed the concentrated boulders, but I did come across a few scattered sandstone boulders, and granite erratics that could have some good problems one day.

Next time, I'm planning to pack binoculars and hike the sunny side of the canyon.
While wandering on the shady side, I stumbled upon a well hidden cave in the woods with a wide ice pillar inside. It could offer some great bouldering, and I'm looking forward to climbing in it this spring.
Sometimes when I'm exploring, I can justify the time spent by thinking "I'm finding boulders for other boulderers to enjoy one day." Other times, I'm browsing Google Earth examining giant talus fields, miles from any trailhead in the Wind Rivers, or hiking canyons with very widely scattered boulders. Then the justification doesn't work. I ask myself "Who's going to hike this far, to boulder here?" Not many.
But I will.

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