Wednesday, November 27, 2013

So Many Places to be Thankful For!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I like the spirit of it, and I'm feeling very thankful this year.  Of course family, friends, and good health are the most important things for which I feel gratitude.  But this is the climbing blog.  So for this Thanksgiving post, I'm going spend a little time highlighting the areas that I'm psyched about right now, and some of their qualities which I'm thankful for.

Here we go,

Oz- has incredible stone in a beautiful environment, and wild horses!
 Torrey Valley- has classic mountain scenery and the conditions there are often nice when the weather is poor everywhere else.
 Roaring Fork- has a friendly mountain ambiance,
 and shaded high altitude blocks.
 Sinks Canyon- is so convenient,
with good sport climbing when the boulders are covered in snow.
And I'm also thankful that the fire in Sinks Canyon last summer only damaged a few routes.

The Rock Shop- because it stayed cool for most of the Summer,
 and kept sprouting new lines and even new sectors all last season.
 Thanks to Alex, Justin, Jesse B., Jesse F., Bryan, Kerrek and Calen, for adding many of the new lines and sectors.

The Falcon's Lair - I didn't get up there last summer, but I'm thankful that I can make up for that when summer returns.

 For more alpine granite that's solid and clean.
 The Source-
 because it still has a lot of potential that's not even far from the road.
 Bear Valley- vast and wild with so much potential!  I'm thankful that I got to see it this year.
 Zebra striped gneiss,
  and endless fields of boulders in the northern winds.
 Thanks to Davin for showing me the areas up there, and for giving me one of my favorite first ascents of the year.
 Sweetwater- because it feels like another world,
 with high quality projects already found and ready for attempts.
 And many more areas to explore.
 The Cirque of the Boulders- for fueling dreams, and making all the other areas feel easily accessible in comparison.
It was a stroke of luck that I ended up in the right place at the right time to be a part of these area's development.  And without Davin, Chris, and Jesse's exploration and willingness to share, I wouldn't have nearly as many areas to be thankful for.  Big thanks go out to them!

Directions and problem descriptions for the majority of these areas are described in the guidebook, and in case you're wondering it's available at:

Wild Iris
and Fixed Pin Publishing

Add it to your Christmas list, or give it to another boulderer, and thanks for the support.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Reminiscing on Weekends Past

We didn't get to go climbing outside this weekend.  Weather and circumstance just didn't align in our favor.  But I used the day to get as much work done as possible.  And for the first time in many weeks I can spare an hour to write a blog post.  The last few weeks have been good ones!  Let's reminisce.

Ashley got the first ascent of a traverse problem called "Gluten Free Pizza" at Sweetwater.  It tops out up the left arete and into the gap on the left without touching the left wall.  A powerful low and crimpy crux leads to a surprisingly pumpy finish.  Exactly what Ashley looks for in a boulder problem!  
 Ana came out with us for her first day of bouldering in a while, and we had stellar conditions.  It was a great session despite the fact that we left with more projects than we finished.
 We all worked on "Gluten Free Pizza" and the "Glutino" project seen below.
 By the time we moved on to the Ocean boulder we were all worked.  None of us had the core tension, endurance, or finger strength to get anything new done.  But we all gave it a good effort.

Ana on "Debaser."

 That might have been the last perfect weekend day of this season out at Sweetwater, but I'm still somewhat hopeful that we can get another.

One windy day, we were able to find shelter on the Falls Trail.  Just looking for something new to do, we added a sit start to Rio's Face that uses the boulder to the right.  Ashley did it by only using underclings.

 My method used two kneebars.  It doesn't add too much difficulty, but it does require more endurance than the low stand start.

Just west of Rio's Face is a tall south facing slab.  The pocket problem on the left is about V3.

The pockets were pretty clean, so I don't think it was a first ascent.  It's worth trying if you're in the area.  Ashley came close enough on "Blind Eye" to decide that it's worth working on some more.  I've begun working on a couple "Blind Eye"variations.

We've had a couple other good weekends, but I've got some papers to grade before getting some sleep.  It's time for me to sign off.

But if you have any time to spare, I highly recommend watching "Wind and Rattlesnakes."  It tells the story of Lander climbing, and Kyle also included a section on the new wave of bouldering development.  Kyle put a lot of work into the film.  Often a day of effort on his part lead to just seconds of film within the finished movie.  Kyle came out bouldering with us for four days just to film the parts that Jesse and I were in.  It was fun to be included, and see the process of its creation.  Wyoming in general, and Lander in particular, is a special place that inspires art in many forms.  "Wind and Rattlesnakes" is a work of art and obviously a labor of love.
Wind & Rattlesnakes from Kyle Duba on Vimeo.
If you like it, consider buying a copy on DVD or giving Kyle a donation.