Spring in Neverland is always a reminder of lost fitness from a season bouldering inside. Winter training just doesn't prepare one for the rigors of full days and long walks to many problems. This spring was one of particular struggle for me to regain fitness. A long winter with little climbing yielded great entertainment as I struggled on my own problems from seasons past. It is always interesting to rework a known problem, and a great lesson.
|Dr. Thunder on Memory of Ankylosaur V7/8, a problem with a touch of new beta putting the original V8 grade to question|
|Jaeger on some sort of mega link up in the Columbine roof|
|Jamie on the opening crux of Moon Dust V9, a picture to quench your thirst as I don't have an image of Jamie on The Arkenstone V11. (see B3bouldering)|
With Neverland growing warmer and my body getting into bouldering shape again, Josh Oxner and I drove north to the Wind Rivers. Our hope was to sneak a few days in at Devil's Kitchen before the sun torments the place through summer. With Torrey Valley as a back up plan just in case, we never left, and Torrey remains destination I have yet to check off this season.
On the first day we hiked and made our way into the upper canyon where much virgin rock awaits a suitor. The way was blocked by thick forest, sharp bramble, a moose, and white water that would swallow a man whole. We became men in an afternoon. Josh tore both pant legs to shreds and blew out a shoe. We found immense amounts of boulders and an approach that will actually be pretty reasonable come fall. And we found a beautiful and desolate canyon with no one in it.
|Josh's new pirate pants and scars to be|
Day Three Josh and I both bouldered and descended into the "Lower Kitchen" along with Tim, Shannon, Rob, and Justin, while Jesse cleaned lines up top. Josh and I made a short recon once again into rugged and thorny wild. We found some good things to do in the fall. Several good lines went up throughout the day, but a highlight was Shannon making a quick FA of Crystalis V6?, a direct line going up from near the start of Bumble Speak V8. It is a beautiful line with a committing top out. no one else repeated it that evening.
|Josh on a new Kitchen problem Neon Aphid V3? baking in the sun on this day.|
|The FA of Crystalis V6|
|The beautiful Viscountess Olive|
That day came quickly as Josh and I visited an older sand stone area just out of Laramie. A short walk from the limited problems of the past two seasons, we wandered through thick forest and found a bouldering paradise. Several days of exploring are now ahead of us and many problems too. So, that will be the future at least until the heat or bugs chase us away. Hopefully that day is weeks ahead as snow still hides in the thick gnarled forest among the sand stone boulders. El Dakota...