Friday, July 27, 2012

The Rock Shop Rocks

 My appreciation for the Rock Shop continues to grow with each trip.  When Chris first showed me the area, after a snowstorm last October, it was obvious that the place would have some really good problems, but it wasn't obvious that the area would have a high concentration of problems.  Now that I've hiked a bit, it's clear that the Rock Shop will have many sectors.  And that each sector will have a set of concentrated problems.  I'm feeling very content and relaxed, because I've finally found enough great bouldering to keep me happily occupied for a long time.  I can still enjoy exploring new places, but I don't feel like I'll need to for a while.  The Rock Shop is what I've been looking for.

Tuesday evening, Jesse and I went out to do some development.  Jesse was brushing and climbing, but I didn't bring my climbing shoes.  It was a rest day, and I wanted to focus on cleaning and exploration.  We hiked to an overhanging block that a few climbers had noticed on their way to "Nexus."  It was finally time to brush it off.  While Jesse worked on the overhang, I set up a rappel and started cleaning some cracks on the left side of the boulder.  I finished my brushing, and Jesse was still working on the overhang, sussing out the beta.  I went for a few hikes in different directions.  The first two didn't lead to any inspiring boulders, but on the third one I found a lot of nice lines in close proximity to each other.  It started to get dark.  Jesse hadn't completed his project yet.  Ashley and I were planning to have a session at the Rock Shop the next morning, and I asked Jesse if we could try the line.  Jesse was pretty sure that Ashley would get the first ascent, but he generously offered it to us, saying that we could give it a try.

The next morning was cloudier than expected and conditions began pretty good.  We took our time. We warmed up on the Paralysis wall.  Ashley climbed a new link up on the wall called "Total Paralysis" and I did the second ascent.

We moved on to the lines I had cleaned the night before.  I was familiar with the holds after cleaning it on rappel, and that helped me get the first ascent of "Sliced Bread" V3.  It works it's way up the center of the "slices" from a stand start, and the climbing is unique.  It follows two cracks, but jamming is optional.  The cracks have huecos inside them that you can grab instead!  I also wanted to climb some features up the arete on the right side of this face, but we didn't finish it.  It's now known as the "Top or Not" project.  It's probably not too difficult.  It just feels very committing.      
We finished climbing on the things I had cleaned, so we moved over to Jesse's project.  Ashley figured out some beta, and climbed it very quickly.  Jesse was right.  It suited her well.  It was a struggle for me though.  Ashley's beta was too scrunched up, and I had to figure out another sequence.  Things were heating up and I was getting frustrated.  Eventually I figured it out and got the second ascent.  It might be V6 in good conditions.

Ashley named it "Burly."
 Ashley channeling her boulderer's focus on the crux of "Burly."
 Ashley and a tall overhanging wall that will have some nice highballs someday.
This seems like as good a spot as any for a puppy break.  "Willow" is our new puppy from the Lander Pet Connection.  Here's a photo of her at Wild Iris.
 And another with her in the shade at the Rock Shop.  Sundance is in the sun.
 Today Jesse and I visited another project.  A beautiful line that will probably be about V8 or 9 from the stand, and will also have a double digit sit start.

Jesse working on the stunning line.

 The crux moves of the project are too big for me, so I worked on a short powerful line to the left.  I'm pretty sure that Chris got the first ascent, but I'm not sure if he named it.  Until I hear that Chris has a name, I'm calling it "First Contact?" and it felt like a V7.  My sequence required a jump, and it was a surprise when my hand caught the lip.  My ascent is in the video below.   After getting too worked for the steep stuff we added a couple new lines.  I rapped and cleaned the middle of the face below.  The line starts on a perfect slot five feet off the ground.

"Armchair Martian" V2
 Jesse brushed and climbed another new problem he named "Mars Attacks."

Here is a video I put together with photos and videos of some of the new problems at the Rock Shop.  Video footage of includes Ashley's ascent of "Starry Night" and her first ascent, "Burly."

Last week I had an errand in Rock Springs, and I decided to do a little desert exploration while I was down there.  I'd heard about an area with Basalt boulders.

The boulders are in the distance on the right side of the photo.

 Many are big enough to climb on.
 Some of the biggest blocks have toprope bolts.  And this one had an owl!
 I was surprised to find north facing bolted cliffs as well.  It reminded me of a wilder, slightly shorter, version of Penitente Canyon with more cracks and fewer pockets.
It was a fun area to explore, but I'm not planning on going back anytime soon.  I won't need to... because I'll be climbing at the Rock Shop!

Or the Falcon's Lair when it's hot, I've got a full day, and someone is psyched to hike up there with me.


Bryan said...

Hey david, that left line to that project (first contact) is mine. it went up around the time we saw you guys up there early this summer. i'll have to post pics and names of some of the other stuff we put up at rock shop.

Lloyd Family said...

Cool, what did you name it? I'd love to see the other lines you did in the area. Do you have any trips planned this way?