Friday, July 8, 2016

The Importance of Traveling and Coming Home Again

We've been climbing on the road, and climbing close to home.  To construct the narrative I've diverged from chronological order.  But our summer break began with a road trip to see family in Oregon.  We camped and climbed along the way. 
 We bouldered at City of Rocks, a spot I've wanted to check out for a while now.  It's a very beautiful area.
 The rock is both pretty and pretty strange.  Some of the most solid patina I've grabbed covering some of the softest granite.  We had a good time there.
We spent most of our day climbing and trying a variety of lines on the Green Wall.  Sierra climbed her first V7.  I'll need to return to put all the moves on this line together.
 We camped above Boise.  I began the night wondering how it was that so many people were in the city below us, and none of them were camping near us this beautiful Friday night.  Later we were joined by three stoners who parked nearby, and proceeded to keep me up with their laughing from 2:30 am until sunrise.
 We also took a trip to see family in Vail.  I was excited to gauge my bouldering strength by getting back on "Return of the Jedi" V8 at Red Cliff.  I'd almost sent this the year before we moved to Wyoming, and had never gotten the chance to return.  I did the problem, and Ashley repeated it too! It's wonderful to find that I'm a little bit stronger than I was eight years ago.
 We also repeated many classics, like "Star Crossed Lovers" V5/6 at the Aircraft Carrier.
 And Sierra was introduced to and climbed a lot of the great lines too.

We've also been climbing closer to home.  We spent one day in the northern Winds on our trip back from Oregon.
 Where we cleaned and climbed a few new moderates.
 I thought the line below would give us a good workout, but the friction was too good, and it ended up going at V2.  Sierra got the first ascent, and she hasn't told me a name for it yet.

 We've also been climbing closer to home.  Repeating lines at the Rock Shop, and getting a few we hadn't done before.

Here's Cole demonstrating the stretch and then scrunch beta of "2nd Hand Smoke" V5.

 When we went to Deer Park I was the only one prepared for a river crossing, so I carried my family, and all of our stuff across.
 I put up a V3 called "Tell Me Now" and then an extended traverse into the line called "Tell Me Later" V4.
 That was how I warmed up for the project.  But I we haven't been able to finish it yet.
 Even closer to home, I did the "Caterpillar Arete Traverse" V8 at the Source for the first time.  A little more evidence that I'm a bit stronger than I've ever been.
 And Sierra climbed it too.  Demonstrating that she is getting stronger much more quickly than I ever have.

A rare Chocolate Lily up at the Source.
 And I explored some new stone in the Winds with Davin.  We found lines I'd like to return to.
 A lot of rock with great features.
 We put up a few lines there already.  The best one of the day was cleaned up with the help of Davin's alpine rappel kit.  Behind it, I put up a V3 traverse that exits the cave along a thin seam called "Out of the Den."
 Davin climbing his line.

 It's a tall line with an interesting crux.

I'm impressed with the area, and will go back as soon as someone commits to going there with me. We'll also come up with a good name for the sector eventually.
Travel is essential. It's been good to see new things, and it's been great to climb some established lines that I haven't been able to climb before!  But having a home is essential too. I feel more relaxed here, and enjoy being able to contribute to climbing, by exploring and putting up new lines.  Like most things it seems, a balance must be struck.

No comments: