Sunday, February 17, 2013

Spring is When the Weather Goes Bipolar

There's a joke that a person suffering from bipolar disorder once sent out a postcard that read, "I'm having a wonderful time on vacation!  I wish I was dead."  The weather in Sinks canyon has been swinging just as dramatically lately.  Two weeks ago, we spent the first half of our climbing session in the gym because the weather outside was too cold and cloudy.  Then the sun came out, and we rushed out of the gym and drove up the canyon for a late afternoon of bouldering on the dolomite boulders at Fairfield Hill.

Willow and Roo during the second half of our climbing session two weeks ago.
Then last weekend, Sinks got twenty inches of snow in less than 24 hours.  We couldn't go climbing, so we went sledding.  It was such light powdery snow that you'd pick up speed at the top of the hill, and end up tunneling under the snow for a considerable distance at the bottom.  Like a mole digging in a time lapse film.

Sierra between sled runs.
 And then yesterday was possibly the nicest day I've ever had at the cliffs.  We climbed for seven hours, and conditions never felt too warm or too cold, the entire time.
Last Saturday!
 Then yesterday!
 I made some progress on my sport climbing project "Citadel of Hope."  Now it's just the last bolt that I can't manage to get clipped.  Ashley got bored of doing laps of my project on toprope, and decided to work it on lead.  But after climbing up the top half, bolt to bolt, decided that it was actually much more fun doing laps on toprope.  Sierra did some climbing too.  We ended the day on "The Heaven's Can Wait."  Sierra made a flash ascent to the top of the pillar.  She's a natural at chimney climbing technique, and I wonder if she could chimney her way up some of the high rated Vedauwoo offwidths?

As part of the guidebook writing process I've been trying to get first hand knowledge of as many local boulder problems as possible.  But actually that's what I'd be doing even if I wasn't writing a guide.  Anyway, Davin gave me a topo to some lines that he and Dave Nash put up about ten years ago.  This low roof problem was on the map, and I managed to repeat it during the late afternoon session two weeks ago.  The lighting was poor for video, and you can't see the holds because they are all pockets under the roof.  This video isn't my best work, but it's the only new video that I have.  One of the pockets is much harder to hold than the others, and I had to make a small dyno off of it.  It's a very steep problem.  If this roof were on a route, it would be considered classic 5.13 climbing.

Dolomite still isn't my favorite stone for bouldering, but I'm getting interested in it again.  There are a lot of new lines to be climbed on the dolomite boulders in Sinks, and they are less likely to be covered in snow than the granite boulders this time of year.

Spring is coming.  But in Wyoming that just means that winter weather, summer weather, and windy weather will alternate and blend chaotically for a few months until summer arrives.  All we can do is hope that the good days fall on weekends.  My mood in spring generally follows the weather pretty closely.  I just looked outside the window, and it's snowing again.


Brian said...

Good stuff! Looks like you all have had better luck with the weather than here in Laramie...the arctic hurricane weather has been persistent this week. Also, I gotta say that Roo is one proud looking dog!

Davin said...

Well done on Buttwink! The version Dave and I had done exits left of where you went through (I think). After the dynamic move you did, there should be some thin mono and undercling pockets moving left to the sharp lip of the boulder. Not sure if changes the grade, or maybe I didn't recognize the exit in your vid that may be the same as what we did. Nicely done on a rarely tried problem!