Monday, March 26, 2012

How is History Made?

On Sunday, we went out to Sweetwater with Kyle. I got the first ascent of our project and named it "True Grit." Ashley climbed it too, and we discussed what we should rate it. It felt like V8 to Ashley, and on the easy side of V7 to me. So I've settled on V6. It's probably slightly easier for people who are taller, and I don't want to over grade it. I don't think anyone would find it easier than V6. Some of the holds are pretty slick and core tension is required to keep them. Conditions weren't perfect, but not bad either. Warm temps were improved by a stiff breeze, and a cloudy afternoon.

Kyle rode out with us, got a tour of what we've done so far, filmed us on a couple problems, and did three first ascents.

Kyle standing on the top of the second problem he established.

And topping out on the third one.

Kyle does good film work! And his current project is a film documenting the history of climbing in Lander. Which got me thinking about history and how it shapes, but is also created by the future. Because history is only history if it is important, if it affects the future in a significant way. But in the moment you never know what events will end up being significant, and which will be completely forgotten. Probability is involved.

Ashley and I are just bouldering for fun, at generally moderate grades, at an area that's been bouldered at sporadically for over a decade now. We aren't making history. We're not trying to, or expecting to.

But if others join in, and development of Lander bouldering continues. And the Lander area one day becomes a significant center of bouldering activity. Then the areas we helped develop could have some significance in that progression.

Future events decide what will be history, and what won't be. So future and past times are tied together in a mysterious way, somewhat detached from the present moment. And it's like this for everything. And I should get some sleep.

We went out for an after school session last week at the Cheesegrater boulders. Smoke from prescribed burns up canyon made it smell like we were bouldering right next to a campfire, but also made the sunset look pretty.

Well, I really do need to get some sleep. That's all the history for this post. We'll see what else is history later.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Double Dose of Sweetwater

Beautiful weather at Sweetwater in March?! I'd never seen it in the forecast before, so I had to check it out. Jesse came with me on Saturday, and it was absolutely gorgeous. Then the same type of day was forecast for Sunday so I took the family back out. Sunday started nice, but got windy and cold pretty quick. We toughed it out, and got a workout. Ashley made the third ascent of "Gimme Three Steps" and the second of "Davy Jones" which you will see below. We spent the rest of the afternoon at a sheltered project we've named the "True Grit" project. It will be an enduro V7 for me, but requires Ashley to do moves that are probably V9 since she can't skip the bad holds. It's still a project, but hopefully it won't be for long. I'll post photos once it's been done.

On Saturday, the weather was incredible. Cool, sunny, and air so still the enormous landscape was silent. Jesse wanted to show me some new projects, but snow and mud forced us to turn the van around. Luckily we had a good back up option. Plenty of lines have already been scoped at the God Eye area. Before we hiked to them though, we warmed up and both repeated "God Eye."

Jesse likes tall problems, so I made sure to avoid the short lines. We began at a tall line I thought would be V3-6 from a stand start. It ended up being V3 from the sit start, but starting at obvious jugs it's a perfect V1 that climbs just like a Hueco problem. Jesse flashed the sit start and got the first ascent. It's named "Gimme Three Steps" and is an instant classic.

Jesse continued his first ascent streak with a V5 he named "Sheep Go To Heaven." It has a committing top out over a marginal landing. Jesse was willing to go for it before I was ready to risk it. After I saw that the top would go, I repeated it without too much trouble, but Jesse deserves props for going for it before knowing exactly how it would go. It's a great addition to the area.

"Sheep Go to Heaven"

Just behind "Sheep Go to Heaven" was a line I'd always wanted to try. We were short on time, so instead of hiking to "Norwegian Wood" we jumped on it instead. The boulder isn't tall, but it is nicely overhung with a really interesting hueco feature. I got the first ascent of the line, and it felt V5 to me. The problem is short, but really cool, so I named it "Davy Jones" after the recently deceased member of the Monkees.

"Davy Jones"

Shots of "Davy Jones" looking out from the sit start.

I'm excited that we were able to get started at Sweetwater so early this season, and hope that the good weather will continue...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The First Day of Spring

It doesn't matter what the calendar says, in Sinks Canyon, Spring began today. The sun was hot, the rock was warm, and the breeze just slightly cool. Conditions were gorgeous, and we soaked it up.

We spent the day repeating problems on the Rubber Blanket boulder, checking grades, giving stars, and sunbathing. I also did a fun V5/6 contrivance that I'd never done before.

Twenty one pages are finished for the guide, and I'm estimating that I have one hundred and seventy-five left to write. It's been surprisingly fun to revisit problems in order to confirm things for the guide, but I'm also getting excited to try some problems that I haven't been on before. As I've started organizing my information, I've realized that I still have a lot of lines to do. Some that are old, some that are new, and some that haven't been climbed yet.

Here comes the sun, and a new bouldering season!