Wednesday, January 31, 2018

An Endless Season, in Unaweep and Beyond

A year without winter.  It looks like we may have one.  A couple dustings of snow that melted within hours seem barely worth mentioning.  We've been getting out every weekend, and spend most of our bouldering sessions in Unaweep Canyon.

Ashley warming up with "Endocrine Disruptor" V3
Sierra climbing "Southampton Dock" V4

Adam climbing "Outside the Wall" V4
Jesse exploring the upper rim.
Jesse on an unknown line at the Other Side of the Road Area.
I'm still working on "Huckin' Bronc" V7 on the Dune Boulder, just one of my many current projects.
I'm especially excited about my first documented ascent of "Spotless" V4/5 HB at the Other Side of the Road Area.
It's a tall vertical face over a sloped landing, with long moves between thin crimps on perfect patina.  I was so excited about the line, I decided to session it by myself in a well timed session on a cold afternoon.  The rock had just enough time to warm up in the sun.
Video of the ascent can be found @mrdlloyd on Instagram

The stone at Unaweep isn't as solid as the stone at Roy, NM but the climbing is surprisingly comparable.  I know because we visited Roy recently over our Christmas Break.

I'm tempted to spend another session on "Flaming Liberty" someday.  It's a very committing V6 for short climbers.  I needed to jump for the horizontal slot near the top out, and I wasn't willing to risk the fall on this trip.
 Sierra climbing "Star Wars" V2
 Ashley climbing "Milagro Beanfield" V3.
After our day at Roy, we decided to dodge an incoming cold front by driving south to Socorro.  We were surprised by both the quality of the volcanic bouldering, and the popularity of the area.  The place is busy in mid-winter, but the locals are friendly, and the weather was nice.

Ashley climbing "Peck's Mystery" V4.
 Ashley climbing "Sofa King" V4.
 My favorite ascent of the trip was "Rubber Walrus Protector" V5.  A puzzle of a problem, that's so much fun to work out.
 And "Pressure Drop"V2 is one of the best for the grade that I've ever done.  The "Unbeatable Boulder" deserves the name.

My post wouldn't be complete without a few photos of the sandstone bouldering we've been doing on the Wingate.  Adam and Nicole gave me a tour of a special sector they've been developing.

Adam climbing "Surf's Up."
 Nicole putting up a probable first ascent of a great V2.
 And I put up a probable first ascent of "Babies' Blood," a short V7 named from our discussion of therapy options for aging joints.
 The sector includes historic problems that were put up before anyone was keeping track.  This is an unknown and historic classic V3.

 And last but not least, here are a couple photos from Big Bend.  It's worth hiking up the hill for "Drunkula" a high quality V4 on the Monster Block.
 Bruce enjoying the sunshine, and attempting a huge move on the "Right Side" of Split Decision last weekend.
Now I'm looking at the long-term forecast and see only rising temperatures.  A long fall, an early spring, and winter never arrived.  A never ending season, enjoyable, yet unsettling.  It doesn't feel normal, it hits me as unnatural, even here in the desert.

No comments: