With Mike Haftner asking on a weekly basis about the Neverland experience we made plans for a day when the weather would be tolerable. That day was yesterday. Even with gray clouds and occasional gentle snow, the day was perfect. Had we carried pads we would have enjoyed some great bouldering in two new sectors. However, thinking the day might be shot for actual bouldering we drove to a completely new mountain and walked two completely new ridges of stone. The first Mike called The Chunks, and the second we agreed should be called the Snow Flake Sector after the beautiful huge flakes that fell gently on the perfect blocs as we walked.
Mike had never seen any bouldering in any sector of Neverland, continually asking about the rock quality, but always having hope. A new sector is always a gamble. Not knowing how good it will actually be, but having an idea of where to look can help. We walked an 1/8 of mile or less to the first bloc and there it was, the best quality possible on par with any of the best sectors we've found thus far. Mike instantly went crazy looking at possible lines and started negotiating for a possible route that would take us to all the boulders along the ridge of good rock. Really the only negotiation was from which boulder to which boulder as we wanted to see all of them. Quickly realizing as we went that there is too much for one walk, we did end up choosing a middle ground approach to see boulders both above and below our walk along the ridge.
The rock did change from perfect gneiss to a granite along the way. At first and from a distance the granite looked chunky as chunky gets and hope started fading. It turned out to be chunky in a great way with large chicken heads and pimples of grip everywhere. Normally unusable slopers and abundant dishes have instead a unique bubble texture. This isn't Vedauwoo texture of horrible crystals, so don't even suggest it! It's great chunky granite that's not even close to sharp.
|Mike's first boulder find|
|Backside of the first boulder|
|Amiee dog pumped about the rock quality too. Feels so good on the paws!|
|One of the chunks and a good one at that.|
|Another of the chunks|
Knowing the new sector is good we walked the short walk back to the jeep and planned for a post-lunch loop in hope of some more. Driving several miles of two track without a property ownership map made us unsure of where to turn. Several roads lead to ridges of boulders in the distance while others went into the open country side. Eventually we opted for a turn we had passed up first thing in the morning and within a quarter mile were at a ridge of huge boulders. A couple hundred yards from the jeep an obvious boulder sat looming and gray. When they're gray at Neverland they're gneiss and without a doubt this one was of the absolute highest quality. The ridge of many huge boulders and short walls behind the beast only made things more overwhelming. They were all of the looming gray stone. I had warned mike on the drive that morning and again after The Chunks, that it might happen to him too. He might catch Wyoming Syndrome and forever live in a haze of dreams in massive stones of great quality with too many to ever remember. He would end up wandering almost forever trying to remember where and what had happened, climbing sometimes to ground himself and to focus, only to go deeper into the mess. After we walked the majority of the Snow Flake Sector it became clear Mike was sick. He raved about things I couldn't remember. Some steep prow of swirled stone and I would try to remind him of another that he couldn't remember. We agreed the only way to sort out the unbelievable dream was to return and face the cause of the syndrome. From experience I know it won't work, but is worth a try.
The Snow Flake Sector:
|The obvious gray monster|
|The gray bloc that made Mike sick. Looking far beyond the boulder are two huge sectors that have never been walked. Zoom in and take a look.|
|A prow mike forgot about, then remembered, but we'll still have to return to be sure.|
|Another prow that's a bit smaller than it looks with Mike down the hill looking at another prow.|
|A beautiful compression roof made to order for my style.|