Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Long Rush for Timelessness

"I confess I do not believe in time... And the highest enjoyment of timelessness ... is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants.  This is ecstasy, and behind the ecstasy is something else, which is hard to explain.  It is like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love. A sense of oneness with sun and stone."  Vladimir Nabokov 

That's what boulderers are looking for!  That sense of oneness with sun and stone.  Most of the year, I can find it, but it often gets difficult in spring.  Weather and circumstances force a sense that time is limited.  Spare moments, before heading to work, are spent studying weather websites, making plans, and then having them fall apart as new spring storms appear.  Probabilities need to be assessed, and I end up settling for sessions that can only last a couple hours, before the sun sets or the snow starts to fall. What I want is a full day of bouldering outside each week.  Long enough for that sense of timelessness to set in.  But I settle for minutes, or even moments, when that's all that I can get.  Here are some of the best bouldering moments I've managed to find this spring.

Climbing the second ascent of Ashley's problem "Lioness" V7 at the Beach in Sinks Canyon.
A fun left to right traverse, that felt like V5, along the Warm Up boulder at the Beach, Sinks Canyon.
We lucked out with a perfect weekend day at OZ.
We put up a couple new warm ups.
And I tried as hard as I could on "Wild Thing Stand" V8.
We made our way to Gateway, CO for spring break.
And I finally feel like we've devised a really good car camping system.
We sampled new stone.
And got to experience spring before it made it to Lander.
I really enjoyed "Blacking Out the Friction" and "Blood on the Tracks" which both felt V4 to me.  But both lines were too reachy for Ashley and Sierra. They've decided that Wingate Sandstone is not a fair rock type for short people.  It doesn't have many extra holds. And between holds, the stone is totally blank.   It's pretty though!
"Rail Slide" was once a V4/5 but Christian Prellwitz (the guidebook author) told me that a hold broke on it, and it's harder now.  I'm not sure how much harder it is, but we couldn't hit the top out.
Ashley was disappointed by the Wingate, so she had us make a stop the next day for the Dakota Sandstone of Unaweep Canyon.  She was so happy to have multiple traverses to climb, with plenty of small features!

We had some rain over the break, and while giving the sandstone plenty of time to dry, we climbed at the gym in Grand Junction and took a look at Colorado National Monument.

We also checked out some interesting rock art panels on our way back home.
During recent spring weekends the Falls Trail was the only place we could find bouldering out of the wind.  We put up some new moderates.  This is the shortest one, but it has the most photogenic backdrop.
I sent a project on the Blind Eye boulder.  "Foot in the Eye" V6 starts on a good hold low and left, then traverses the sloping lip to end at the top of "Blind Eye."  Ashley got the second ascent.
Then I got to work on a line in the talus field.  I was already tired, and it felt slick in the sun.  So I didn't send it that weekend.  And that bothered me all week.
So I came back with Sierra on Friday after school, and climbed it.  It's called "Freaky Friday" V4.

Then it was my turn to spot Sierra on "Silver Spoon" V5.  She did all the moves, and would have put it together, but then it started to snow.
The snow didn't stop.  The weekend was so cold we didn't get an outdoor bouldering session.  We hiked up to Bomber Basin instead, and I scouted a few boulders there.

Since that weekend, we've managed to get a couple after school sessions.
A highlight was climbing this fun V5 on the Balanced boulder above the Beer Time Boulder last Friday.
Last weekend we got rained out, and the weather this upcoming weekend is also looking poor.  I need some time, some good weather, some sense of oneness with sun and stone.  Without it, life just rushes by.


Unknown said...

Sounds like you guys have been busy up there! Countdown to summer is on! Give me a call sometime... I lost my phone along with all my contacts :(


Lloyd Family said...

Hi Calen, I sent a text, but haven't heard back. Maybe your number has changed? Give me a call at 307-438-0755 or e-mail me at Hopefully we'll see you this summer! We've only got one more week of school up here!