08 April 2012

Neverland Update: The North Wind

The north wind blew extremely cold. We went bouldering anyway, but the gale kept us from accessing most areas in Neverland. Saturday morning dawned cold with some hope that the past weeks of t-shirt weather would cool. Perhaps enough for the Triple X Project to become a reality. It is a temperamental project that requires conditions to be just so. Conditions were not just so, but just frigid. The wind carried a cold not felt in weeks, clearly carried from the northern ice sheets of our planet. We had to find cover and with sun to help warm the day. In the Aspen Grove Sector that was too warm a week ago, the wind was far too strong and the cold too deep. We went deeper into the mountain this time and decided to put up new lines on a completely new hill of rock. On a hill that had some shelter from the storm
For the day, Julian Poush , Seth Sivinski, Josh Oxner, Brandin Blanthorne, and myself made the group. After a meandering wander to find what interested us, we found a nice concentration of good rock that was generally steep. I say good rock, because it did require some cleaning and some of the surface had loose crumblies. Some areas in Neverland have truly extraordinary rock, while others have fantastic to good rock. This stuff was the good rock and far beyond most other rock in Wyoming. The group was pretty much new to the bouldering out there and were more than happy to climb on stone that is so much nicer than Vedauwoo. They quickly grew excited with all the steep stone as well.
A number of new problems went up and a few more projects got added to the list. Everyone played a part cleaning, chalking, spotting, and sharing good beta. Despite bitter wind snaking in at 60mph we had a great session in the sun and sheltered zones among the huge blocs.
Seth giving it hell on a Josh Oxner problem that was put up minutes before
Josh on a nice steep line he and Seth cleaned. The left exit is a project of Josh's and a good one
Julian working the exit moves of his new roof project. He nearly finished the line, but will have to return for the send.
As the sun shifted in the afternoon and the wind went from 60mph to a more modest 50mph we moved up the valley to a beautiful and large overhanging wall. What I have been calling the Evening Wall collects sun for the last few hours of the day. The location is well hidden from wind in a somewhat flat and open corridor. The corridor itself is because of a large fault that split the boulder from the wall opposite. It is a unique and amazing feature to boulder on. One of the cleanest and consistent angles I have seen anywhere. The wall varies in height from around 40 feet on the bottom end to 6 feet on the upper corridor. It is a massive wall over 100 feet wide.
Josh contemplating the journey of the Evening Wall
Three new problems went up in the corridor. Two on the beautiful and clean wall in the sun and another on a boulder that leans onto the wall creating an a-frame of a cave. The days group is relatively new to the bouldering game and in some cases to climbing. I gave them shit for having such an amazing feature to play on so early on in their climbing lives. Lucky bastards indeed.
Brandin on a project of fantastic quality. I'm sure it will be race to nab the first ascent on this one
One line in particular was a true gem and have to thank Julian for allowing me to try the thing. He spent the time preparing a line of perfection and had the vision to see the thing in the first place. A true pure power problem of two remarkable moves leads to 20 feet of climbing to top out . It traverses and then goes up the weakness of the wall to finish. Really, the opening two moves are the magic of the line and rest a nice compliment. A big opening move from a good but small in-cut goes full reach to a sloping edge gaston that is a perfect move distilled. Holding core tension to keep the foot on is a must. Lock off the bad hold with exacting feet and cross to an edge, then the compliment of the next 20 feet. I thought it was a V8, but haven't named it yet. 
Julian on the move of perfection
All in all the day was a good one. We left after dark and felt well about the day. It was a good group and good bouldering that I hope are a repeat in the near future. Of course we couldn't just boulder. We did walk and look for new boulders to fill our future days with bouldering. A few worth pictures are posted here as a reminder of the place.
The roof on the right side of the boulder is home to a V6/7 and Josh's project. The center prow is Julian's project. The big roof on the left is a full value line and completely high ball on the upper third!
Looking down the huge roof from the above picture. This is the bottom half of the line taken while standing on the boulder seen under the roof
Julian under an absolutely massive line. It starts in the dark back of the roof and climbs a total of 40 feet (yes, we measured) of steeply overhanging gneiss. The crux (seen in the top edge of the image) looks to be V11ish and in the last 15 feet of climbing up the huge and beautiful prow! The top of the problem is well above the edge of the image, but still possible with pads.

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