Thursday, October 10, 2013

Finding Autumn

We were on top of the Tombstone formation at the moment this year's Summer died.  A storm came out of the mountains, and sent us back to our truck.  It brought a couple weeks of wet and unsettled weather, and just days after that, Winter started to visit.  We had just one sunny cool breezy weekend, and then weekly snowstorms started hitting Lander.  During the last week of September, and the first week of October, back to back Thursday snowstorms broke the branches off the green leaved trees, knocked out the power, and covered Sinks Canyon and the mountain boulders in a foot of slush and powder.  After the first storm, we managed to find snow free blocks away from the Wind River upslope conditions by driving to Sweetwater.  Our number one project out there was too cold and windy, but we were able to find some shelter from the tempest at the Hampi boulders.  We had fun and got a great workout on a variety of lines.  Here are a couple we enjoyed that we hadn't tried before. 

"Center El Herman" V5      

 This unknown V6 SDS has great moves, but the strong wind, possibly loose top out flakes, and not enough pads kept us from committing to the top out.
 We hope to get back soon.
 Last weekend I noticed that the northern Winds didn't get nearly as much snow as Lander did in the latest storm.  We drove up to Torrey Valley and had a nicer day than we ever expected.  Snow free, and 60 degrees.  I got a sunburn.
 Ashley got "The Good Earth Traverse."  Right to left, and then after a rest she jumped on and did it left to right.
 I got through the crux going right to left, and then pumped off the easier part before I could get my feet established. It was getting late in the day, and I was getting worked.  It should have been disappointing to come so close and not send the line.  But the weather and scenery were so good, I couldn't be upset in the slightest.
 On the drive home I decided it would be safer if I pulled over and took a photo.  It's hard to keep your eyes on the road while driving in a landscape like this.  I often wonder how many cars actually go off the road each year due to scenic distraction?  I bet it's under reported.
Unfortunately, Autumn can't be found everywhere this year.  In western Wyoming she's seemed conspicuously absent. But we've been able to find her on the weekends so far, hiding out of the wind, or in a sunny mountain valley.

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