23 March 2010

Snow Again, Always

Many months ago, in October I made a short list of hard projects to chip away at over the winter. That was on October 26 the first day of shit weather we had. Day after day went by with gray, cruel sky and snow. Yesterday was my second day on a project since winter set in. Lets just say that the chipping was minimal this past season. No hard projects went here in the Laramie area. Sounds like a similar story for a good part of the country and as of today, the weather continues to suck.
The Boulder Recon Vehicle waiting out yet another snow storm. Pads are waiting in the back, as is the stick brush.
Looking at the weather forecast showed a break of gray yesterday, so I loaded up and went to the project. It was the usual post hole, wet socks and pants trudge. The sun was out and very little wind. I willingly approached the "Curt Gowdy Project" as it has been titled by the locals. The feeling of spring air was too much for the well developed cabin fever. I smiled all the way to the boulders. Every post hole was greeted with a smile, even the break through into the slush puddle was a laugh. It was spring dammit and a great day for bouldering.
The trip was one that had two objectives. The first was to obviously chip away at some projects. The second was to go at it alone. Many, many times I've boulderd alone. Sometimes by situation, sometimes by choice, this time a test. I've been climbing with the same crew for some time now, but have been informed that the crew will be halved in a short while. Ethan is fielding job offers in all places but here, and Bryan is loading the U-Haul as I write this. Giuli, the final member of the team is busy in grad school, injured, and without a vehicle, so myself is who I've got for a while. I boulderd two straight years alone When I lived in Dubois, Wyoming, but it has been a long while since doing so. Yesterday was a reminder of those solo days, a refresher. In any case it was a needed day.
Not wanting to walk too far I warmed up on a couple new problems for the area. Barely cleaning I put up two side by side first ascents. The first a 30' 5.6 mini route, ground up, lie backing a flake. The second is a choss pile I called Desperate Dudes Do Desperate Deeds V3. After all I just needed to warm up, so choss would do. Successfully missing my pad on the down climb was muddy, but a good reminder to be alert when alone.

Desperate Dudes Do Desperate Deeds V3, Curt Gowdy State Park, Wyoming. Sit down, grab the lowest sloper and go. This is up hill from the "Curt Gowdy Project" which is up hill from the stuff I've mentioned in this blog earlier. See the Curt Gowdy descriptions. The 5.6 is just behind this, left of the frame.

I moved onto the project and continued the warm up. Stuck inside all winter with only steep bouldering walls with small holds turned out to be a good thing. I immediately broke a hold pulling too hard and moved to another, lesser crimp that was previously too small. It is small, but definitely the beta needed. The better hold that broke was bogus and progress moved to the next two moves, the crux. Both, in earlier times were a guess at best, not even being able to hold the needed holds. Now I was tugging and pulling and actually feeling moves. The top half went first go all the way through! So excited to make progress. Only two or three moves to get better at!
The Curt Gowdy Project is in the dark overhang on the big boulder. Granite Reservoir can be seen in the distance, still frozen, still cold.
Another view of the Curt Gowdy Project
Now a snow storm with several inches of the unspeakable is here. Covering the project and choss alike. Time to sit inside and consider the lessons. In a college town people come and go. This will be my second really dependable crew to disband. My fourth crew total in 10 years. It will take time to find another ship of fools. Winter makes us stronger, just have to keep the focus. The mind is what has to be trained more than the body. Fighting cabin fever can be a project in its self. Many of my best bouldering days have been solo. Sometimes the focus and silence of being alone in the wild is as good as a bunch of friends. Patience is a virtue as my mama always said. In Wyoming it will snow all the time. Smile when the snow looses for even a single day in a place like this. Use every day you get!


  1. Oooh, that proj. looks nice Davin!

    Hey quick question, any idea what has happened to Aliens after Dave's passing??? Did they sell the biz, equip, etc.?? Any word on the streets around your neck of the woods????

  2. I'm not sure. A few people have asked me about CCH. You might try Zach at Extreme Angles publishing. you can contact him through his web site.

    Yep, the proj. is a fine one. You should drive on up and give a go.

  3. Curt Gowdy State Park looks rad. I was thinking about checking it out. Is the Curt Gowdy Project an "open project "?

  4. All projects are open projects!