Friday, July 4, 2014

Photos from a Trip Northwest

We spent a couple weeks on the road, visiting family, and bouldering in Washington.  On the way out, rain was forecast for Montana, so we took the southern route through Idaho.  Based on a recommendation from Bouldering USA by Alli Rainey we visited Dierkes Lake near Twin Falls, ID.  The cold front that brought rain to Montana, gave us a sunny 60 degree day in Idaho.  As perfect as a day in June could be out there.  I don't know any problem names, but the rock is basalt with huecos.

 Some of the huecos are so big you can get inside the rock!
 This was my favorite line.  We started it sitting to the left and traversed into this top out.
 Dierkes Lake isn't extensive, but it could keep most traveling boulderers occupied for a couple days, and it's the best basalt bouldering I've ever visited.  While there, make sure to take a look at Shoshone Falls, it's "the Niagara Falls of the West."
 We enjoyed our bouldering days in Washington.  Conditions were warm and humid, so it was hard to get psyched on the harder lines.  We chased stars and climbed 10-15 lines per session mostly in the V3-V6 range.

We spent our first day at Forestland.  Here are a couple photos.

"The Real Thing" V4.
 "Feel the Pinch" V4
 Our second climbing day was spent at the Beach, forest area.
 "U2" V3
 Our third climbing day was spent at Gold Bar.
 We weren't able to find the Five Star Boulder.  So we hiked up the closed road, which is rapidly being absorbed by the forest, to visit the Sanctuary, Clearcut, and Forest areas.  It's really all one boulderfield.

"Water" V5, yeah I'm downgrading this one.  It's definitely a classic though!
 "Midnight Lichen" V4.
The beauty and rock quality of Washington's bouldering areas are impressive!  Gold Bar reminded me of Squamish, but with better friction!  So it surprises me that moss is returning to many of the problems at Gold Bar due to a lack of traffic.  Either the hike is keeping people away, or it's the possibility of vehicular break-ins.  A car parked just down the road from ours had it's passenger side window bashed in while we were up the hill bouldering.  Our truck wasn't touched, but it felt like we'd dodged a bullet. The guidebook mentions that this was a problem in the area, but it's disappointing that it's still a problem seven years after the book was written.  Seems like the culprits should have been caught by now!

It was fun to visit some new boulders, see some new scenery, and enjoy the ambiance of northwestern forests!  But it's also nice to be back home.  We've been busy bouldering around Lander since our return, so I'll probably be writing another post soon...

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