Sunday, May 31, 2015

Summer's Here! It's Time to Catch Up!

 The end of the school year is a very busy time.  So busy that I'm three posts behind on this blog.  Rather than catch up with one giant post, I'll be posting on one area at a time over the next few days.

The recent theme in Wyoming climbing has been trying to avoid the rain.  Two weeks ago, Sweetwater was supposed to have the lowest probability, so that is where we went.  Jesse came out with us.  And as soon as we got there I hiked with him up the formation to an overhanging wall that I wanted to begin working on.  I rapped in and cleaned a line, and then hiked back to the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" sector to warm up with my family.  Jesse decided to stay up at the wall and keep cleaning lines.

My warm up line turned out to be more difficult than expected, but I figured it out eventually.  It's just to the right of "Technical Difficulties" and I decided to name it "More Difficulties" V4.

While I was doing that, Jesse put up a line called "Cherry Bomb."  Amazing features lead out a steep wall, and the slab at your back makes you climb with your arms bent a little.  In the V2/3 range, it's the perfect warm up for the harder lines that will be put up in the area.
 Like a V8/9 project that goes up the wall in this photo for example.  I hope to finish this line by the end of next fall.
 But I could tell that I wasn't going to finish it last weekend.  So we moved on to another block that Jesse had cleaned, while we were warming up down the hill.  I climbed this line starting from a right crimp, that I'm about to step on in the photo below, and a left hand undercling.

"Skin in the Game" V6
After a little more exploration we went home, and Jesse kept driving to check out some more formations.  I didn't finish every line I had planned, but it was a good day of bouldering.  I have a new project that I'm inspired to do, it was great catching up with Jesse, and it was so nice to get some sun.  We didn't even realize how much more rain was coming...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Last Week at Sweetwater

It's raining this weekend, statewide, so we won't be getting outside.  But last weekend Mike and Kaiya spent a day with us at Sweetwater.  Mike first got in touch through Instagram, and two days later we were climbing together, telling jokes, and talking about mutual friends.  It was a fun day, and I'm looking forward to getting out with them again.

Mike making a quick ascent of "Norwegian Wood" V6.
Ashley also climbed "Norwegian Wood."  And that's news because she tried it on many occasions over the last few years.  Heat, wind, fatigue, or fear had always gotten in the way.  But last weekend she committed, topped out and had so much fun that she climbed it one more time.

Mike asked about rattlesnakes, and I let him know that there really weren't many rattlesnakes at Sweetwater.  In about thirty trips, I'd only seen one.  Then Matt heard one rattle right beside the warm up wall.  Sometimes it seems like the universe enjoys to proving me wrong.

We were lucky that it warned us, because I never would have seen it.
 For the rest of the day we were paranoid, and kept the dogs leashed. With such cool weather, it's likely that we'll make another trip out there this season, but we'll be careful and leave the dogs at home next time.

Mike made the first ascent of a project out there, and named it "Snake Charmer" V7/8.
Small underclings and sidepulls lead to an easier top out.  I've done all the moves.  But catching a key left hold just the right way from the bottom, and then being able to make a powerful but tenuous move off of it, didn't quite happen for me.

My fingers were tired before we even got to the project up the hill.
Luckily this steep patina slab is more about balance, and powerful high steps, than pulling hard.  Before the session ended, I put together "Sea of Green" V5, and Ashley got the second ascent just before a thunderstorm ended our session.

It's been raining a lot since then.  So I'm stuck inside, catching up on work, making sure that I'll be ready if conditions are climbable next week. Soon Wyoming will be a sea of green, and I'll have a lot of time to enjoy it.