01 February 2011

January Sun, February Deep Freeze

This morning was in great contrast of just a few days ago. Waking this morning to -30 F was not the start I was hoping for in February. The high today was a -9 F and little difference could be felt  from the morning cold to the afternoon cold. Just two days ago the weather was 50 F and sunny. That was back in January when we actually bouldered outside on warm rock.
Back on Saturday the hope was for a day of good bouldering on good, warm, sunny rock that was long overdue. All hope was met with fulfillment and a day was made that was so warm I heard a local suggest that spring thaw was starting. Suggesting that spring thaw had begun was true hope or maybe despair. Sunday night the temperatures started to fall. The bottom fell out this early morning and now memories of sun warmed rock keep me going till the next "spring thaw".
Anyway, Saturday morning, eight in the morning (the usual time) Guili Zavaschi, our newest crew member Dylan Stowers and myself loaded the jeep without needing gloves and drove to the local boulders of Gneiss and Granite that we have been developing for a few seasons now. If the description of Gneiss and Granite sounds a bit vague it is because we have all been sworn to secrecy by the areas daddy. This was our first dead of winter trip the particular boulders we visited and it was amazing. Not even climbing that much, but enjoying the sun was what really sank the experience into the body. Staying close to the road we cleaned and tried a few new lines only completing the warm up, now called A Wife For Guili V1.
A Wife For Guili turned out to be a rare classic in terms of a complete line. Though easy, it is tall and proud with a perfect landing. The crux is a high step rock up on a sloping dimple foot to an insecure slimper. Even after a few laps the foot never really felt completely secure. We all smiled huge smiles with the joy of moving on real stone with real earth below our feet.
Guili Zavaschi on the perfect top moves of A Wife For Guili V1., Somewhere, Wyoming.
 After warming up on the new problem we spent a good while figuring out the moves on a short power problem that Guili had found and cleaned. Much effort went into figuring a usable sequence. Then, on the redpoint go from the start, the key foot broke and on further inspection the remaining foot completely snapped off. Another project was born. Dylan too cleaned a nice line, but cooler shade chased us away and into the sun of an area classic. The classic is Bryan Vansickle's Cowboys And Indians V6. Bryan rated the problem V6 and it goes along with his other V5 to V7 problems that rarely get repeated. The problem is a short roof that contains very little in the way of holds. The crux really is the problem. A dynamic stab at a mail slot crimp that is very hard to hit on point is the opening move and the crux. Of course the final moves are not easy and one can fall from from the top moves and people often do after they think it's over. None of us stuck the crux move of the problem, but came very frustratingly close several times. I figured out a lower start to the problem from a pour sloping rail and better feet, but the crux of the original problem kept me from any progress. Guili, Dylan and I thought V7/8 would be a better fit for the grade. I know Bryan is reading this thinking that we are a bunch of sissy imitations of boulderers, but he knows the truth.
Dylan Stowers setting up for the stab at the mail slot crimp on Cowboys And Indians V6 (V7/8)
 As we worked the above problem the local rancher and his wife drove by on four wheelers, herding cattle, and stopped to talk. Wyoming locals are for the most part incredibly nice people and the two we met were no exception. After explaining to them what we were doing (not hunting from mattresses) the rancher suggested a few other locations. He suggested rock that is tucked away on his private property. He also invited us to climb at those locations when we want to. The new potential is massive. Only below zero temperatures, massive snow storms and the rest of Wyoming winter can stop us now. We are very thankful of his offer!
Cows of good fortune
 Guili has been adjusting to life in America after being here for a couple of years now. He is from Brazil and for the most part is very American. When the sun comes out however, it's hard for him to hide the South American side.
Guili looking like he's on a trip to the money fields of Bolivia. In this case the fields are of boulders and he happens to have a monopoly on them


  1. It was -39 F this morning and -67 F with the windchill. We go deeper into the grasp of winter. Even the boulders suffer at this cold hour. Microscopic frost pries at the holds.

  2. Hold on tight, Davin! Spring is just around the corner.

  3. ummmm, we had an ice storm here, which is kinda like -67 right? are those crimps poured yet?

  4. and looking at that last picture was like looking directly into the face of sex. pure, perfect, sun tanned sex