Monday, August 20, 2012

A Day in Devil's Kitchen

School has started again, and most of my spare time has been spent working on the bouldering guidebook.  It's up to 250 problems, but geographically I've only covered most of Sinks Canyon.  From the Dolomite Band through the Cabin Boulders, so far.  There are many more areas to write up, and the full guide will easily surpass 500 problems.  It's looking incredible, thanks to a ton of design help from Ben Sears!  We're aiming for a release this Spring.

So due to time constraints, and the other project, I'm not going to do a complete write up on my trip with Jesse to the Devil's Kitchen over a week ago.  I must say it was a fun and adventurous way to end my Summer break.  Thanks for the tour Jesse!

Here is some information:

The hike into the canyon isn't bad at all.  Much easier than I expected.  The 4WD part on the other hand was longer and worse than expected.  You need 4WD!   You want high clearance.  And you can only hope that a tire doesn't pop on the sharp dolomite blocks.

Jesse about to drop into the steep part.        
 A portion of Devil's Kitchen from above.
 The first problem I put up.  "Welcome to the Kitchen" V2.
 Jesse showed me so many beautiful blocks! Many with established problems already.  Here's a taste.

 The deep river canyon has it's own micro-climate.  Warmer and wetter than most local mountain areas, the plant life along the river is thick.  Some plant species didn't even look familiar to me.

As soon as I saw the rock below I thought, "That's the famous rock from B3 bouldering."  Check out B3 for a couple longer posts about the Devil's Kitchen.  Combined, they explain the area, and it's potential very well.

Of course I took my own picture of the famous rock.
 I spent most of my day cleaning and climbing on this rising fingertip traverse that curves up to a good top out.  Ashley would love this thing if she ever commits to the trip down here!  While I worked on this, Jesse worked on a couple projects across the river.  He sent one of the high problems just before we hiked out.
 The traverse from the other direction.
 The traverse is probably around V8, and I wasn't able to send it in a day.  I wanted to complete something other than a warm up though, and managed to clean and climb this new problem to the right of "Tall Cool Granite One."

"Small Cool Granite Crimp" V5.
 My favorite scenic shot of the day.
 The hike out is steep, but doable.  The scenery is great the whole way.
Since they are both major destinations accessed from the same general area, it's impossible for me not to compare the Devil's Kitchen and the Falcon's Lair.  Like the Falcon' Lair, the Devil's Kitchen requires a full day commitment and a Reservation Fishing Permit.  The hike is easier to Devil's Kitchen, but still pretty rough, the drive is much more difficult than I'd like it to be for my Honda Ridgeline.  Devil's Kitchen is warmer, and the boulders need more cleaning than those at the Falcon's Lair.  But Devil's Kitchen has a many more boulders, often with very interesting features, and an incredible ambiance all it's own. With it's current access, the Devil's Kitchen won't eclipse the other places, but it definitely gets added to the "short list" of incredible bouldering areas near Lander.  We're going to be busy for a long, long time.


Brian said...

Cool pictures, the DK rock looks really good! I'm also stoked for your guidebook, sounds like its going to be huge!

Davin said...

Looks like some great stuff!