04 October 2011

"You goin' climbing or bouldering?"

"We're going bouldering" was my answer. Always have been, doing it now, and always will be bouldering. And it feels a lot like climbing. Maybe only in Wyoming does that question still come up? Voiced from a few older sirs who I very much respect and whom may have bouldered them selves at one time. Wyoming is traditional to say the least, but I am reminded of some pretty burly mountaineers bouldering under the Tetons in the early 1960s. They were climbing and so were we last week in the new frontier of Wyoming's boulder fields. But, if we have to make a division here, it's bouldering that we're going to do and did.
One Tim Rose was in the Laramie area last Tuesday, and along with Bryan Vansickle and myself some bouldering took place at Bennett Peak. Early this spring Bryan and I had walked a new section of the Bennett Peak area and had found some really promising new boulders. The issue was crossing the mighty Platte River, so saving the new sector for autumn became the obvious choice. Tim suggested that he didn't care at all where he bouldered or what, he just wanted to see the Wyoming frontier. New rock would fit that request. With autumn making the river crossing possible we entered the new sector and again became overwhelmed with possibility. Large boulders piled down the hill side and provided the psych for the day. 
The hundred yard crossing
Myself trying Southern Drawl V10. Tim Rose Photo.
Tim's company came highly recommended. Josh at Organic, had mentioned he may be in town, so I was excited to meet up and do some bouldering. The recommendation was a good one and Tim is a force of nature. Like a bouldering Hulk that is never mad, but really strong! He put down some impressive stuff on the Bennett Peak day including a classic V9/10 he named Southern Drawl and another in the dark, Metamorpheses V10/11. He onsighted the first ascent of an absolutely beautiful V7 he named Faust that is both tall and very steep. Bryan and I were instantly motivated and since that day I've tried much, much harder on everything. I'm calling the new sector the Rose Boulders in honor of that day.
Tim Rose on the FA of Southern Drawl V9/10
Bryan and Tim prepping the landing for Faust V7
While the day was maybe a little warm, we still had a fantastic time. My dog Amiee was there too and couldn't complain about the location. She's a water loving dog and the big river was just what she was looking for. As things cool down even more, the gneiss that feels like sandstone that is Bennett peak will get even better! The day was enough to convince Tim to come up for another visit and Thursday was that day.
Amiee Dog loving the good life
Thursday was a cool down in the weather and after some debate on places to go, we headed to Neverland, more specifically the Old Neverland Sector. Bryan found the place a few years ago and it has been a classic. Two of my long term projects are there, as is the wood grain wall, home of my Crazy In The Ocean V10. Justin Edl came along for the day and it was great to get back out with him. It had been some time since I last climbed with Justin and his addition to the crew was fantastic. We were all motivated to make the most of the day on the great rock. Tim and Justin completed the second and third ascents of Crazy In The Ocean and Bryan came very close to a repeat as well. Close enough that after months of not climbing he proclaimed that he's back in the game. Being back in the game, Bryan went ahead and linked the bottom half of the project central line of the Wood Grain Wall.
Justin on the third ascent of Crazy In The Ocean V10
Bryan back in the game on the project central line of the Wood Grain Wall.
We briefly attempted the Undercling Project which really helped me in realizing that it is both really hard and also possible. I hadn't been on it in some time, maybe a full year, and feeling rusty, will need to start working on it again. Tim stuck the crux move which has never been stuck by anyone. In doing so, he showed both the possibility and the difficulty. It will be a classic resistants line. Not too long, not too short, and very physical. 
Tim on opening moves of the Undercling Project
The true gem of the Old Neverland Sector is the Wood Grain Wall in it's entirety. The line will climb through the two cruxes of Crazy In The Ocean, then a third crux transition into the project central line of the wall, and finally finish on the project central line which has a high upper crux sequence. Crazy... is V10 and 7 moves to the transition. The transition feels similar to V9/10 and includes doing the second crux of Crazy... the hard way and is 5 or so moves. Then the central line of the wall is another 7 moves of maybe V11 plus several more to top out, which all equals V?? also know as V really inspiring, absolutely epic line. We tried the line for the majority of the session and felt good progress. Tim looked like he could get it done with some work, but he could definitely get it done and soon. The rest of us were able to do individual moves and some sections in combination. I made good progress and am very interested in this line. Intending to work it as long as my body will allow. I put up the V10 start and figured out the transition. The finishing problem will take some work, but I'm willing to put in the time. It caught my eye on the first day in the area and is one of the best lines I've seen anywhere. It really is the line that started the hysteria I feel for Wyoming bouldering. It's caught the attention of all who have set eyes upon it. Tim's great account of things is here.
Tim on a very impressive link up attempt of the Full Wood Grain Wall Project
There was some great bouldering prior to last week as well. The new kids at UW have been gaining momentum and are definitely infected with the developing bug. The last Horatio Rock post served it's purpose and some new lines have gone in there. In particular, Seth Sivinski went up on solo missions to Horatio Rock and has been cleaning lines. He mentioned he needed a spot to finish the left side of the Fox Cave, so last Saturday we headed out with Dylan Stowers and Seth's brother. My hopes of putting up a repeat of Lord Of The Forest were dashed by more than warm temperatures, but the back side of the hill was in the shade. We started by getting on a new V2 put up by Scott Blunk on the Warm Up Wall that is by far the best line on that wall. Fox Cave was next up and Seth went straight to work cleaning the terrifying top out to his project. 
Mr. Sivinski cleaning the terrifying top out of the Fox Cave.
After a long debate of which death flakes were good to use, Seth completed his line first go and did enough cleaning while climbing to scare the hell out of Dylan and I. We spotted like crazy! I can't remember what he named it, but it's a classic long line with a crux encounter at the lip. Seth leaned way the hell back off a slimper side pull and committed in good style. 
Seth on the FA of his V4 that he named, but I can't recall at this time.
 Dylan found a project of his own that fits his long frame very well. The excellent rock of the Fox Cave yields well spaced, blocky holds. The central line up the wall is a good example of that style. Good progress was put forth and I'm thinking Dylan will finish the line next trip. It was cool to see the progress on the crux move. It went from not even close, to little adjustments making it more of a controlled move, to Dylan sticking it every go. Even more encouraging was the B.S. coming out of the new crew. They talked about cleaning lines, working lines, future plans in all the right places, and how excited they were to get a dedicated group put together to repeat the good days. The kind of B.S. that is serious and then some with a not so family oriented theme.
The right side of the Fox Cave was also put up as Fairy Kick V3, which is a new bouldering move that can be put in the bank along side the Moon Kick and the Finnija Kick. With more to do, the entirety of the Fox Cave was  linked from Seth's line, traverses the entire wall from left to right, and finishes up Fairy Kick. It is Godzilla vs. Gina V4ish.
When all was done in the Fox Cave, Dylan's Project remaining, we dropped back toward the parking with a quick stop at the Dirty Boner Boulder. Everyone quickly repeated the lackluster line of Dirty Boner V2/3. They complained a lot about it's poor quality so I put up a classic next to it. A long traversing line on slopers that is for sure a star above Dirty Boner and is now Western Roll V7/8.
Anyway, it was a lot of bouldering last week. That's not even counting the Needle Peak day last Saturday. This is the best time of the year for both climbers and boulderers (if we have to make that division here). I waited through a long hot summer for this and now I'm going bouldering.
Dylan on his project
The Future. 
Dirty Boner Boulder. Dirty Boner V2/3 is the far left arete from a low sit start. Western Roll V7/8 starts on the right most chalked rail side pull and goes all the way left up to the boulder's apex.

1 comment:

  1. awesome day and awesome post man. See you guys soon