Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Projects, New Problems, New Perspectives

I've been really motivated towards bouldering lately.  We've been getting out a lot, and Sierra's been helping me explore.

One afternoon after school we found this new wall in the mountains near Worthen reservoir.  We did three new up problems (V2, V3, and V5) on it, and Ashley added a long traverse.
And this great project is right below it.
The next day we got to work.  We figured out that all the moves go, but we weren't able to finish it.  Now it's at the top of my list for next Summer.

The next weekend, I put up really nice new line at City Walls called "The Good Life" V5
During a three day weekend, after parent/teacher conferences, I spent Friday with Sierra exploring Lone Mountain.  We found some nice looking routes out there, and some bouldering potential.  But the boulders I found on Lone Mountain weren't quite good enough to justify the long drive out there.
But I did see more that I want to explore in the distance.

I spent two sessions that weekend on a line that I think will be a classic V8 for Sweetwater.  Another problem that I need to finish!
Sierra put up the first problem on the boulder and named it "Just Being Difficult" V2.
We followed her theme, and Ashley put up "Just Being Cool" V3.

And at the end of the day I committed fully on a move that appeared quite improbable.  But as soon as I really went for it, it didn't feel so difficult.
"Just Being Crazy" V3
If I finish the ~V8 project, I'll call it "Just Being."

In many ways I'm just following what's become my bouldering routine.  But I'm also aware that the routine is leading to some growth.  I'm working on harder first ascents.  I'm exploring further from the roads.  And I've grown comfortable with, and very fond of, landscapes that once intimidated me.  The sagebrush felt like a vast ocean when I first moved to Wyoming, and I had some fear of getting lost in that sea.  But now I seek out the sage.  The sagebrush has become an equal alternative to the forests, deserts, and alpine tundra that I've always experienced as beautiful.
 And I've been thinking about new things.  Including the topic of bouldering as a moral activity.  Bouldering was a part of my move away from the community and values of my upbringing.  By doing my own thing, I began to think more independently as well.  But I've found that there are strong values associated with bouldering and boulderers?  It's a pursuit of purity, mastery, transcendence, and a certain oneness with things.  It shares many aims with religions.  More overlap with eastern religious practices than western ones.  But if it's aiming at many of the same things that some religions do, should it really be classified as a sport?  For many it occupies a middle ground, like martial arts or yoga often do.   The activity, natural settings, and other worldliness of many bouldering areas often leads to a sense of the sacred.  One day I might put together a complete post on the topic, but it would be a difficult one to write.  It would take a lot of time to do it right.

But I've been really motivated towards bouldering lately, there are so many good lines to do, and time is the limiting factor. Philosophy can wait.