13 October 2010

Needle Peak Bouldering a Salvaged Day

This past Sunday was one of big plans. Boulders of perfect quality and amazing proportion were going to be climbed in the finest style and at hard grades. That was the plan anyway until rain, rain, and more rain started to fall the night before. All night it rained and then in the morning light it poured. We canceled and sulked, sometimes looking at the local radar with hope. Hours past and morning moved onward and finally we decided to go look at rock even if we couldn't climb it. The thinnest clouds were westward over the Snowy Range in the Saratoga Valley. Needle Peak is somehow in a bubble of good weather most of the time and it was again, for the most part, on this day.
I can't even count the number of times we have climbed at Needle Peak with all other local rock completely blown out for the day in rain and torment. It is somehow a place like that, a shelter from the storm.
 Bryan, Guili, Kyle and I went over to Needle Peak and managed to add eight new problems to the already large number of problems we and a few others have put there. We spent the day on the north end of the peak which is becoming the more concentrated zone of boulders and only tried one established problem the entire day. It had been a while since we had been at Needle Peak and it was refreshing to return and add problems. For several seasons myself and a few others (Bryan, Ethan, and Guili) had almost lived at the peak developing its hundreds of problems. It is now an entire mountain of boulders ready for visitors and new motivation. I only ask that you respect the place and keep it wild and beautiful. It is a sacred place for a few of us and should be kept that way. It should be enjoyed by others too!
 Guili warming up on Kids These Days V2 immediately after it's First Ascent.
 Bryan topping out the second ascent of The Road V2/3. The problem starts deep in a pit below the spotters foot and climbs forever out of the pit. The landing after the first few moves is poor with the danger of a long fall off the ledge to the right. A no fall problem of great quality.
 Kyle Beitz entering the no fall zone of The Road V2/3. The pit below is a steep gully with pads wedged in to make a catchers mitt and the ledge gives way to a slab into the trees below. 
Guili on the second ascent of Mr. Ed V6 a minute after Bryan put it up.
After putting up the new problems on the north end of Needle Peak we moved southward to established problems. Guili wanted to try Little Big Hand V7/8 and I knew of a good possible line to put up in the same area. The send of the day was the good possible line, Guili's FA of the massive Femea V5 (?). I did not get a picture of the line because of the building darkness, but it is a new classic. The problem is a true endurance line on steep rock all the way to the end. It starts in the depths of a cave on the classic and long TSSST V4. Guili climbed the first half of TSSST, then moved right to buckets, onward and upward along the roof for eleven moves and into the top of another steep and long problem Royal Oats V5/6. The entire line is around 24 moves of overhanging terrain and required all of our pads (4 regular pads, 3 half pads, and 2 medium pads)! It was a great conclusion to a salvaged day.
 Guili trying Little Big Hand V7/8 at Needle Peak, Wyoming. It is a short little core tension fest!

1 comment:

  1. i know you fellers have been climbing more than posting recently, and this saddens me. i was promised timely updates on all happenings and i demand them dammit! i must know all about new areas, sends, failures, near-misses, conditions, sends, new boulders, near-misses.....
    and all in vaguely inappropriate detail.
    michael molony