Early season bouldering was a bit warm and rain continued through September. A large amount of sandstone only 35 miles out of Laramie had been my primary focus. El Dakota as Josh Oxner and myself have titled the area has turned out to be an enormous addition to Laramie bouldering. It is a mountain of Dakota Sandstone that sits at nearly 9800 feet in a deep forest. Because of this, bouldering through the summer and especially early fall has been fantastic! How did this large new area hide for so long and how many more can we possibly find out there? Bouldering potential within a two hour radius of Laramie continues to grow at what seams like an ever increasing rate. I never could have imagined the potential, but will gladly take it as it comes. Should climbers continue to motivate and put up new problems, Laramie area bouldering will have many thousands of problems in a decades time!
|One of a hundred boulders or more at El Dakota. Alca V5/6|
|Hynds Lodge Crag and a whole lot of boulders|
Of course other boulders have to be climbed on some of those trips. The motivation is high and progress only adds to the addiction/madness. An example, Bryan Vansickle and I spent way too much on gas and time to drive three hours around the mountain to Bennett Peak. We spent a day there, crossed the ice cold Platte River, quickly finished an old project (now Down River Vibes V9), and drove all the way back to Laramie the same day. This allowed for a two hour session the following day on Triple X in a snow storm. It is border line crazy when you add up the two days and ten hours on the road for a V9 and an ass kicking in the freezing cold. I would do it again, probably this weekend.
At Neverland, Vansickle had cleaned a beautiful and huge roof, very reminiscent of Hueco Tanks. Luckily it is close to Triple X, so we managed to feed addiction for both of us. During the last trip Vansickle completed his line. Ultamak V8? and it is one of the best new big lines to go in at Neverland. It climbs like New Religion in Hueco Tanks, but has a harder start, longer moves, and a big round top. It is an area classic. The roof has several other possible problems and a long traversing problem Green Machine V6 I added as a warm up. An 8A+ feeling project climbs into Bryan's line, then follows a huge slash out the length of the beast, for what must be one of the finest power endurance lines I've seen. Anywhere but Wyoming this thing would be on glossy paper with a bunch of strong dudes talking about a stunner.
Going back tomorrow, and this weekend, just me and the dog.
|Vansickle on his new problem Ultamak V8? in the huge Fern Roof of Neverland. Green Machine V6 starts on the far right near the blocks and climbs all the way left into the black flakes.|