Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Weather Driven Life

Snow has been falling. The wind has been blowing.  And we've been climbing.  Our goal is to get outside for a great day of bouldering every weekend.  During the last three weekends, the weather made it look like a tough thing to achieve.  Yet that made the nice bouldering conditions that we managed to get even sweeter.  

Yesterday, the plan was to get back to our projects at the Norwegian Wood sector.  But when we hit the top of Beaver Rim the wind was howling from the south.  Rather than drop our plans, and head to the gym, we drove to boulders on the north side of a formation.  The "Weapons of Mass Destruction" sector.  It was quite sheltered, and we had a really nice day out there.  The wind at Sweetwater can wreck your day, but it doesn't need to.  There are so many blocks and big formations out there, it's always possible to get out of the wind.

To start the day, I put up a great V3 called "Technical Difficulties." 
 Ashley put up a V5 called "Falkor" and then a longer variation that tops out six feet to the right called "Fight the Nothing."  "Falkor" is most likely a first ascent, but it had already been brushed up to some degree.  "Fight the Nothing" hadn't been cleaned.

Ashley climbing "Falkor."
 Both of us ended the day by climbing Jesse's line "Weapons of Mass Destruction."
 It's such a great line, I was happy that the wind sent us out there.

Last weekend it was the snow that determined our plans.  The boulders around Lander had been covered in a recent storm, But I'd seen that the storm hadn't been as strong to the north.  So we checked out Torrey Valley.  I was hoping that at least the boulders would be snow free.  Turned out the entire northern side of the valley was dry!  We warmed up on The Croquet Ball.  Then added a V6 low start to "Wild Berry Power" that moves into the pinches from two lower holds.

Then we hiked up to The Balcony.

We climbed "Broken China" V3.  Here's a shot of Kian pressing out the mantle.
 Then Ashley unlocked "Dinner Rain." It's a V7 put up by Davin many years ago.
 I managed to put it together after a few more tries.

Sierra almost sending "Broken China."
 Three weekends back, the wind kept us in Sinks Canyon.  We decided to finish off the lines on the Puzzle Block.  All the up lines had been done, but not the variations.  Ashley got the first ascents of the five variations we could think of by starting on the two starts and traversing into the top outs of each up problem.  The longest, and most difficult, is "Gordian Knot" V6.  It starts left on "Tetris" and traverses right to end on Jason's line.
 That's all the news for now.  We didn't finish as many first ascents as I'd planned, but each day was better than expected.  And I learned that it is possible to find stillness, even in the midst of the chaos called Spring.

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