06 November 2012

Neverland Days

Late Fall has always been the finest time to boulder in the vastness of Neverland. With an amazing Indian Summer now continuing into this late Fall there have been some fine days indeed. Conditions have been perfect. Last Saturday had  perhaps the best conditions in a long while. A touch too warm in the direct sun and a touch too cold in the shade. The wind blew and regulated the difference. Chalk from the first moves of a problem were still on the finger tips on the top out. I enjoyed the hell out of myself and climbed until my back started seize up.
On the day, Bryan Vansickle and Rachel drove out, Brian Horlick drove with me and Nathan Hough a newcomer to Neverland drove himself out. He had too drive separately to go home early, but the grasp of Neverland had other plans. He drove out with us as the sun went down and was super late on his return to Laramie.
We climbed in the Finger Paint Cave where Brian and Nathan added two new problems. Hopefully they give them names as they are the usual outstanding quality of the area. Bryan and I went to work on the Finger Paint Project(s) trying to remember long lost beta on the rarely tried steep roof. We have different beat sets, so much that we now have Finger Paint Left and Finger Paint Right, starting similarly, diverging through the center cruxes, and following the same desperate exit. I gave it everything I had once my beta was figured and came up short by a move. One of those goes on a problem that both disappoints and charges at the same time. To get so far was exhilarating and gave proof my right variation is both hard and will go very, very soon. It is ~19 moves, that total something in the 8A range and is a classic.
Finger Paint Cave is a solar collector and drove us out by mid-day. We moved to the shade on the other side of the mountain and found far to much to climb this season alone. The shaded side of the mountain is one of my favorite places in Neverland, but for whatever reason I had only bouldered there a single day in the past. Mr. Guili Zavaschi and I had been there on a Winter day that was one of the coldest bouldering days of my life. A Cold Wind Blows V4 was all we put up that day.
Nathan and Brian repeated the 18' A Cold Wind Blows and gave it the V4 grade, Vansickle put up a nice prow next door (which of course has no name or grade), and I went to work cleaning a short and steep wall with difficult sloping holds and a strange start. After some work, Fire Cracker V8 went up and based on suggestions by others is probably sandbagged. In any case, it turned out to a finer problem than expected with very unique moves and surprisingly difficult top out resulting in a good sustained difficulty.

Nathan on lower rail of Fire Cracker V8
Vansickle on the crux of Fire Cracker V8
Feeling tired and cold after the good rock of the Cold Wind Area, we moved down to a huge cave. Nathan and Brian were really excited to put up a problem in the cave and picked a line that has a logical start and drops off a huge jug after ~25 feet of climbing. The problem could go another 25 feet if they choose to clean it. On our day the second half was dripping water from fresh snow melt, so another day perhaps?
Brian toward the end of the new cave line.
Feeling plenty tired after the big cave, no one wanted to boulder anymore. The day was closing and the Cold Wind was picking up as the light faded. We wandered around in the few hundred yards around the huge cave and found too much. I didn't bother taking pictures, but we all found a half dozen lines each for future trips. One in particular is a steep and long roof that looks to be in the V10ish range. I can't wait to get back! Lets hope this weather continues and the bouldering is always good. Get out there and enjoy the late Fall days!

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