23 April 2012

A Short Break at Neverland

In the depth of the reading pile, lab work, exams, research, and more lab work was faint memory of the amazing spring we've had at Neverland. Despite the growing pile of work, I was able, with a few others to escape for a day. That day is now ten days past and playing catchup for the academic side of my life has kept this post from being posted until now. It was all worth it and the day was fine. It's hard to remember now, but the day of description was predicted by some idiot weatherman to be a severe winter storm. It was almost impossible to find anyone who would commit to the day because of the forecast, but there is usually a fool somewhere. This time there were four. Seth Sivinski rode in my jeep, while Brian Horlick carried Nick Turner in the now Wyoming-reborn mini van. We drove under ominous skies to the Chunks Sector of Neverland. The area that had been walked but not yet developed seemed like a good option. it is very close to the vehicles, collects lots of sun, and would be the most sheltered should the forecast be true.
We all warmed up on new lines in a sleet storm with huge dark clouds growing around us. The day looked doomed. Then, like a Hollywood movie where the heroes struggles are rewarded by sun splitting the dark clouds, we were in the light of a beautiful and perfect day. We bouldered like crazy.
Now, I don't have much time for the this post, so I will let pictures show the day.

April Showers V2. The warm up i put up in the Sleet Storm
Ivy League Prow V4
Nick's Project. A very technical wall on the edge of the great plains.
Seth on the FA of Death of a Sienna V1. The steeper scooped wall to the right is a nice V8 named Shooting Star.
The day was proving to be one of perfect conditions. We decided to risk going "up top" and see if the Evening Wall was in good weather. Storms in the distance made it doubtful, but it was worth a try. What ensued has now become a legend in the local bouldering community. We drove a few miles of paved road and turned into the heart of the mountains on a county road of dirt. Thirty five miles of dirt and a short, but brutal two-track put us at the parking for the Evening Wall.
Brian pulls in on my passenger side and asks "How's my bumper?" Apparently he and Nick had heard a noise when they first started down the dirt road 30+ miles back. The side view mirror had shown a loose bumper and that's apparently all, so they hammered it at 50mph to the boulders.
Seth, looking from the passenger side window of my jeep does a text book double take and asks "what about your tire? It's gone! Holly shit it's gone". Gone it was, a long while back. If you have ever asked how far a vehicle can go on a rim, I can tell you it is at least 35 miles of bad roads at a pretty good pace. Seth fell on the ground laughing at the site. I lost it and cried too. Brian was a good sport and laughed with us throwing in a few moments of concern and cussing. Nick kept on it with "I told you we should have stopped" and "I heard something in the wheel well". "Yeah, that something was the tire tearing apart the bumper". Classic. We went to get his spair from under the vehicle and found is other back tire flat. The Sienna had had it. Wyoming can be extremely brutal but the bouldering is outstanding. We got the van out to the county road and went bouldering.

Seth nabbed the FA of a fantastic and big line on the Evening Wall. This Will Destroy You V4
Brian was rewarded with a quick second ascent of the line.
Nick set his sights on a very steep V5 I had put up last visit. Both he and Brian were close. Nick showed an interest in traversing the entire evening wall. Something I hope he comes back and does!
We drove home, all piled in my jeep with the dog and pads. Some pads on the roof and Brian's flat tire up there too. As night fell the snow moved in and we drove through a white out thick enough I couldn't see the county road at times. The road became soupy and slick. I was thankful to have all my tires in working order. Another reminder that this is the frontier and should be treated and prepared for in that way. My jeep is loaded with survival gear and recovery gear for the vehicle at all times. We laughed at trouble this time, but we didn't have to walk 35 miles in a white out. My jeep is also loaded with pads and chalk for the end of this damn semester.


  1. I'm still on that damned spare tire! Neverland is truly a place of legend...

  2. For maybe the first time ever, words totally fail me. It seems you might have finally found some suitable replacements for the old crew.

  3. The old crew can never be replaced. Only substituted at times. These may be very good times with very good people, but the old crew was the best of the best.

    When are you coming out to boulder Mike?

    1. I wish I knew man. All I can say is that it won't be soon enough.