07 January 2012

Good Omens of 2012

Mid-winter t-shirt weather in this corner of Wyoming simply doesn't happen, but for a few days it did. On Thursday of this past week the weather became unbelievably good with a forecast of sun and 60 degrees. With Bryan and Brian we went out to the Old Neverland sector of Neverland and found some out of the wind blocs. Normally too hot to boulder on because of the solar collecting hillside, the gneiss was absolutely perfect this time around.
Climbing on real rock was a nice change after a long while stuck on plastic. As we warmed up on the perfect stone and began to understand how good the conditions were and some objectives changed. We completed a variety of new lines as the day got going, adding 5 lines to the 2 boulders we started on, but started thinking of the harder lines.
I was really happy to climb on the sun warmed stone and started looking at taller lines where I could really get into a rhythm and just climb. One of the best easy high balls I've done in a long time went up. I called the line Colossus V0 as it turned out to be a gentle giant of perfect edges up the tallest face of the boulder. Bryan and Brian thought it was a bit too high for a repeat, but couldn't argue with the rock quality.
Everyone got in on the good stone. Each line unique and a great contribution to the area. Brian Horlick has been impressive with his continued drive to put in the work and climb new lines. He completed 2 new lines on the day, one of which is a really nice, short roof on crimps and incuts. He left a third line on slopers a project for next time.
A few additional lines were cleaned and never climbed, saved for another winter day. Not just an interest in climbing on sun warmed rock, but now finishing off some lines that stood out as great harder lines became the the drive. Bryan Vansickle kept looking up the hill side to a large and round overhanging prow he dubbed the Whale Dick Project. He was close a year ago on the single day he tried it, but all trips to get back on it had been too warm. The huge round slopers were sticky as sticky gets on Thursday. Bryan finished it in good style. The new classic is now Horton V9.
We moved on to a sunnier location as the sun began it's descent to the ridge line. The last boulder of the day was a massive gray giant that has potential for around 15 lines. I cleaned 2 new ones while the Bry(i)ans cleaned neighboring lines. The first was a surprise. A low sit start in a small roof that climbed into an amazing steep gray face of crimps. Ghost Face V6/7. The second line is a fantastic looking piece of stone that looks to be V10-V13, but could also be a surprise. As the day's end grew closer I ran out of time to try it. The light and calm during the final moments of the day were as much an experience as the climbing. I had Brian Horlick get on Ghost Face for a picture and almost missed the shot as I was watching the distant hillsides in the evening sun.
It was a really good day to start the new year! We completed a total of 9 new lines, but cleaned 13. I'll take it as a good omen of the days to come. Now the snow is falling, but for a change it is falling straight down. Another good omen. Happy New Year all!


  1. Horton, Ghost Face, and the scenery look amazing! Thanks for the post.

    I went hiking today on the reservation, and found an extensive sandstone boulder field. Haven't gotten to see it up close yet. Didn't spot it until the sun was setting, but it looks great from a distance. The good omens keep coming...

  2. David,

    Can't wait to see your find! Sounds great.