The dream lives on. Despite a long period of cold and only a few days in the real outdoors, the dream lives on. I haven't felt like writing anything down on this blog, but there has been a lot to write about. As usual, the search for new rock has motivated our days out of the gym and kept some hope that climbing outside remains a real possibility. Some days have been warm enough to go out, with hardly a breeze. We also had some brutal cold too. For a short few days Laramie, Wy made national headlines. It was the coldest location in the northern hemisphere for a few hours (-49 F) and two days later was listed as the 7th coldest city in America. The Source Gym complete with a new heater for the winter season took the brunt of my frustrations during that time. I'm stronger now thanks to that cold! The good days of course have been used for good purpose.
In Neverland, each visit produces new areas and fantastic future problems. Bryan Vansickle and I have been driving out, maybe once a week, to find road side stone and have had really good luck. Some amazing new sectors have been walked in the below zero wind chills. It's not like we need to find new rock. Our past finds provide a few life times of struggle on stone, but the dream of the perfect line is always near and draws us in.
The Swamp Thing Boulder is a real gem as can been seen in the photo below. It holds two distinct 4 star lines, while some other possibility is near by. The approach is a brutal 100 yards from the jeep and about 30 feet up a gentle slab.
In some other local areas, this time provided by Scott Blunk, we walked and explored some local granite. It is surprisingly close to Laramie, but I've been sworn to secrecy by Scott, so that's all I can say. If you know Scott and how gigantic he really is, you would keep it a secret too. Besides, he's very close to completing a first ascent project of very good quality. The line from his start is around V8/9 and a really nice and natural sit start will bump it up to v10. I was able to do the sit start move twice in eleven goes and am now really motivated to get back and do the entire line. The opening move is a granite twin of the Hueco Tanks problem Wonder Hole Dyno. The day we visited with Scott, the entire area was covered in deep snow and topping anything out was impossible.
The area around Scott's project includes a good number of large boulders. Some really impressive lines sit in the forest, waiting to melt out. Bryan and I walked the area a few days after Scott's tour in an attempt to get a better understanding of the area. The snow was deep, the walk was long, and the boulders were mostly encased in ice. We'll wait for spring to return, but the surprising quality of he local granite is set in our minds. I'm really looking forward to getting out with Scott again and finishing off the large lines of his area. It always amazes me when Scott gives us a tour of an area we should know about, but haven't found yet despite close proximity to Laramie.
If the winter wind calms and the sun shines we're going to Neverland this Christmas break. I'll post on it should we make it there and actually boulder. Otherwise you can presume we're in the Source Gym getting ready.
Have a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and enjoy the stone when you get on it!