Jesse B. wanted to check out a boulderfield near Rapid Lake that he'd noticed while alpine climbing in the Winds. He asked if I wanted to make the trip? Of course I wanted to check it out. I'd never been to the southwestern Winds. On Google Earth the blocks looked a bit round and small. I wasn't even sure that we'd find good bouldering, but at the very least I'd see some new scenery, and test whether two day bouldering expeditions into the Winds could be a good way to climb lines deep in the mountains. Experience has taught me that Google Earth is no substitute for hiking. To know what an area truly offers you've got to make the trip.
This is some of what we found.
Jesse at the first water crossing at Big Sandy Lake.
"Safety First" V4
After that, both of us felt a bit tired and off. The big hike, alpine sun, and altitude were having their effects. We set up camp, and rested while waiting for boulders to go into the shade. In the late afternoon we felt quite a bit better, and hiked up into the big field to a line Jesse found with a relatively nice, flat stone landing. We worked on it until it began getting a little dark. It's got long undercling moves to a very difficult slab top out. I took a scary fall while working on the top out and got a bloody scrape on my leg on the way down. Also I couldn't figure out a way to get past one long move below the top out. Jesse worked it all out though, and came close to doing the line from the stand start. I'd estimate the stand start to be V8 and a lower start might make it V9/10. I have a feeling that even if this was the only line up there, Jesse might make the hike all over again, just to finish this amazing project.
Jesse's Rapid Lake Project.
The next morning, the sun came up and hit the boulders surprisingly quickly. Only minutes after this photo was taken.
Their persistance would be admirable if they weren't so evil.
Right below camp was a large aesthetic block of stone. Thirty feet tall on every side, I wondered if we could put any problems on it?
On a satellite boulder just north I put up another short problem named after the terribly high mosquito population in the vicinity.
"The Gathering Hordes" V4 SDS
The view as we made our way out of the main field.
On the hike out, I noticed mushrooms that managed to melt snow, and found it oddly inspiring.
So I'm tired and sore, and need to get some sleep now. But thanks to Jesse for inviting me along for this adventure! It was great to spend a bit of time in the mountains before a busy week, the International Climber's Festival starts tomorrow! See you there.