Thursday, June 26, 2014
Sunday, June 15, 2014
The wildflowers this year at the Cabin Boulders.
Justin also got the first ascent of the V4 SDS arete just to the right of "Ocean Man" that evening.
Calen climbing "Scrub a Dub Dub."
The next day Calen and I hiked way up into the Roaring Fork and found a new sector of blocks. It's a good sector and it will be developed, but I didn't take my camera, and we were too tired to hike back to it again the next day. So we went to the Rock Shop instead. Every time I go up there I'm reminded that we have very high quality rock to develop that you barely need to hike for. I know I've gotten a little stronger, because I climbed two lines that I couldn't quite finish last Fall, "Escape From Reality" and "If, Then, Because."
Calen is off the couch from a finger injury. So he's brushing easier lines than when he visited last fall, but he hasn't lost his eye for good lines. On the "Chocolate Thunder" boulder he added two great looking problems. Both begin underclinging the hueco. Going up the arete is "Big Fudge" and going up the crack is "Skid Marks." I haven't climbed them yet, but plan to soon.
Davin drove up back up to Neverland to meet us, gave us a tour of blocks further down the hill, cleaned some lines, and almost got sucked into starting on another spring project up there.
On Tuesday, Calen and I hiked east from camp to a ridge that looked good from a distance. We found some good lines, but nothing like the blocks Davin showed us on the tours. All of Neverland is good rock, but the outstanding lines aren't everywhere. That's why we drive miles of two tracks past dozens of gneiss formations to camp at an area with many outstanding lines. From the initial discovery of Old Neverland by Bryan V., to Davin's exploration of at least 20 other sectors, the driving and hiking required to get to know this entire vast area is staggering. And it's really paid off! The best of Neverland is world class, and finding the best spots took a lot of work. Thanks again Bryan and Davin!
Off the couch, Calen lacked the power endurance needed for "Wilford's Reserve." Turns out that I still lack the power endurance for "Wilford's Reserve," but I didn't realize that until the end of the trip. Calen was able to make impressive progress on "Wilford's Reserve Right"
Roo in the breeze at sunset.
Back in Lander, I took Ashley on a tour of the Upper Cabins. We were greeted by this marmot on the hike in.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Baby Roof, Crimps Start V5/6
First off, ALL of Wyoming is bright green right now! Even Sweetwater looks like it could be located in Ireland! Lately the weather has been wonderful, but the month didn't start out so merry. Our planned Spring trip to Neverland, that we'd scheduled a couple weeks in advance, had to be cancelled due to an early May snowstorm. That storm is one of the reasons it's so green now. The four day climbing weekend we'd set up turned into a long weekend of catching up on school work. We did get out for one afternoon of climbing during that long weekend at the Dolomite Band. It was the only area around that was free of snow. Since I've finished off all the established problems on the main section of the cliff, I explored the seldom visited walls to the right of the main area. I climbed Baby Roof from the lowest start that I could manage. It goes at V5/6 and my method requires a knee bar.
Further to the right on the cliff band, minor cleaning was required for this V3 left to right traverse. It could have been done before. This photo makes it look better than it is, but it is worth climbing. It tops out after passing the roof.
The final weekend of the school year included an absolutely perfect day. Sunny and 60 degrees with just a slight breeze to keep everything cool. The Loop road was closed, and the Rock Shop still had snow, so we hiked up to some lines I'd seen on exploratory hikes at the summit of the Granite Buttress.
It's got a nice view up there!
One level below the summit is this wall with a sloping landing. The corner and the right side can be climbed without much difficulty, but connecting the two lines intrigued me. I did a SDS on the right, and then walked my hands across the high line of small crimps until I could swing my feet over and finish in the corner on the left.
"Walk the Line" V4/5
Right after the last day of school ended, I got in the car and began exploring the Rock Shop. I finally found Bryan's problem "Darth" V3. It's really easy to find, but not where I had been looking last season.
The next day, I took my family back out for a bouldering session up there, and we got started by developing a high quality warm up block. It has three up problems and a fun traverse. We've stopped trying to name all the warm ups.
Wow, you're still here! Well if you've made it this far I'll reward you with a few photos from a four day trip we made to Neverland last week. It's a pristine, magical place, full of wildflowers and animals, great bouldering, and has an interesting bouldering history. If it was easier to get to, I probably wouldn't post a thing about it. But I'm happy that it is so remote, and is such a confusing area to access, because I already love the place, and I hope that it never changes.
A Place of Legend if you'd like to read more about the area. I'm grateful to Bryan and Davin for rediscovering and seeing the potential of the area, and putting so much time into exploration out there. And extra thanks to Davin for sharing the area with us, and taking the time to give me a very comprehensive tour of this sector! There are about 20 other sectors to see, but I'll be happy to just keep visiting this one for a while.
It's a gorgeous place this time of year. So green! The color and wildflowers right now make up for the too warm mid-day temps. And two out of four evenings we had rainbows.
It rained so much that day, that by the afternoon we probably couldn't have left if we'd wanted too. The 4-wheel drive, high clearance required, maze of two tracks is a bit difficult to manage even on a day that's clear and dry. We'd planned to climb three of the four days, but due to the rain we only got to climb on two. We all did a lot of tent bound reading on the day of rain.
So what did we accomplish on the two climbing days?
I added a nice SDS V1 to the left of "Aging Moose" called "Bullwinkle." It's a good warm-up for the rest of the lines on the Wilford's Reserve boulder.
Ashley warming up on "Bullwinkle."
Ashley did the first ascent of the somewhat contrived, but really fun, "Proudfoot Traverse" V3/4. It climbs across the roof on the formation above the Black Boulder. Only features below the lip are on until after you've rounded the corner on the left. The stone on this formation couldn't be any better!
Wilford's Reserve V7