This last month has been too cold on the weekends. But even without the month of December contributing much, 2012 was still the best and biggest year in Lander bouldering history. Well over 100 new problems were done. On top of the new level of quantity, the quality of the problems and areas we climb at near Lander took a major leap forward in 2012. While many of our new areas were first discovered in 2011, this was the year that their development really got going. From the Rock Shop, to Devil's Kitchen, to the new sandstone, to the Land of Oz, the best and most difficult lines near Lander mostly happened in 2012. Getting some help from Colorado climbers such as Jamie Emerson, Collin Horvat, Justin Jaeger, and Daniel Woods certainly accelerated things. Daniel Woods climbed "Never Cry Wolf" in Devil's Kitchen, which at V13 or 8b is currently the hardest problem in Wyoming. Other noteworthy lines for difficulty and quality done this year include "The Giving Tree" by Jamie Emerson, "A Tribe Called Lander" by Chris Marley, "Weapons of Mass Destruction" by Jesse Brown, and "Nexus" which is the highest quality first ascent I've ever done. Davin Bagdonas kept the exploration going, by hiking past the next ridge to the Midsummer Boulders. A whole new set of amazing boulders in a scenic alpine valley just waiting for some attention from fit boulderers.
This year also stands out personally, because I put almost all my spare time this year into writing a bouldering guide. I've never taken on such a large, difficult, and long term project for "fun" before. It was looking a lot like any standard, self-published, full color, bouldering guide when I was working on it in June. Then Ben Sears heard about it and volunteered to help. Ben is a graphic designer who once lived in Lander, and had some spare time, between his days of lobster fishing, while living off the coast of Maine. At first he just helped with the maps, then he offered more design advice, and once he saw how hopeless I was at design, he decided to design every page himself. He took the whole project to a new level of quality, and I think it's looking as good, or better, than any guidebook out there. Here are some sample pages.
My favorite cover so far.
This table of contents shows all the areas included in the guide.
A couple pages from the Rock Shop.
Here's to the New Year!