Monday, November 5, 2012

Solace in the Sandstone

 The weather has been gorgeous lately, and the Devil's Kitchen has been cooking with development.  It seems like everybody's been making trips down there, and so many lines have been cleaned and climbed.  Spectacular photos keep appearing on Facebook of "Big Country."  And I'm very happy that so many people have been able to experience the Kitchen, but lately I haven't been able to partake in the new zone festivities.  As hard as I try, I just can't get all my work done fast enough to free up an entire day.  Yesterday, I scheduled all my grading, planning, and housework and decided I could free up about six hours for bouldering.  Devil's Kitchen was out of the question, and Sweetwater would have been rushed, so I decided to go back to a zone that Chris showed me last winter.  And it turned out to be the perfect time to take the family.  No snow yet, but too cold for snakes.  All the poison ivy is withered, and the river is low.  We crossed the river, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that someone has been cleaning boulders!  I don't know any problem names yet, but I'll update this post when I learn them.  We warmed up on this fun block, and Ashley did a low traverse from a lie down start on the right, to the roof top out on the left.  The stone is soft, but this block offers some fun lines!
 We tried another line up the hill.  It's really a high quality sit down start out a roof, but also very difficult.  We weren't able to put many moves together.  Classic V10?
 We did this interesting pocket problem from a low stand, but couldn't quite unlock the sit down start.
 We passed this face, and I think I see a line.  I'll take my cleaning rope next time.
 We ended the day by cleaning and working on a new traverse problem.  It's an obvious eliminate that starts sitting at the pink pad, makes a move up to the lowest rail, and then traverses that rail to the right arete to top out.  All the moves go, but we haven't linked it up yet.  I'm hoping we can get back to it soon!

It hurts a little, to not be able to get back to Devil's Kitchen right now.  I'd love to be up there, but I take comfort in the fact that Lander has many beautiful canyons, with good bouldering, close to home.  Thanks Chris, for showing me this one!

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