21 April 2014

Neverland Again

 It has been a long while since updating this blog. The busy busy schedule of graduate school has allowed the quick gratification of instagram to be my bouldering update method. That may work for some people all the time, but I have found a lack of detail with the quick post social network method lately. So many new and really high quality areas, boulders, and problems have been found that a grainy cell camera pic will not even come close. A high quality image won't do well through the instagram filter either. The rock is just too good. The demand for wasting so many of my days on such good rock is ever growing and maybe, just maybe sharing some of the good stuff will help justify my addiction. Spring has been a fine time to explore and temperatures have lagged far behind the warming of last year at this time. Good conditions!

A lot of time has been spent walking across as much rock as possible. During the opening days of Winter Break last December I managed to expertly blow up my MCL on yet another Neverland project. With rehab in mind and too much rock I haven't seen it has been a productive combination of motivations. I also feel the conclusion of my graduate studies on the very near horizon. How much more time will have to understand Neverland? How much time to understand some of the finest bouldering I have seen?

Over the past three weeks two major new sectors of many boulders have been found. Some of the highest concentrations of good rock in southeast Wyoming. Some of the best single lines have been uncovered along the way. It is a strange place to be in ones life where the past two years have been in a transition to continue bouldering but with an emphasis on real life being dominant, and yet the best boulders are now being found. Damn the curse.

It would be silly to list everything or try to explain the almost delusional wanderings through so many damn boulders. The details are too much, but the highlights are worth a bit of time here.

We drive past several miles of boulders every time we roll out to the developed areas in Neverland. During the bitch of winter we sometimes stop and look at them. Finding good rock is not a problem along the main roads, but returning to actually send the problems has been. Finally we developed a few and lot more have been cleaned.
Nathan and Bryan chatting it up under The Nest V6 and It's All You V3ish. The county road is about two hundred yards distant
The Cow Cave. Just another road side attraction.
In the lone wanderings I do with my dog Amiee, some serious stuff has been found. Bouldering can be fun and it can be serious too. On a random two-track along a random fence is a small (very small) pile of a few boulders. Anyone looking for boulders knows to find the biggest boulders first and in the largest piles. This knoll of a few gneiss blocks was a good vantage point for binoculars to be used looking across the valley. It was also the end of the road, so foot travel was next in line for accessing the huge pile of boulders across the way. Where I would never expect it is a monster of a roof made of absolutely steel hard stone. I spent around two hours freaking out chalking holds. I returned with pads and felt all the moves and possible hold positions. I can't climb the line, but someone can, and they better! It is one of the most superb lines I've ever seen. Estimated at 8B+ to 8C it should be pretty serious, but all the holds are there.
Not much besides crippled kids makes me cry, but this did. That whole thing is the beast and the finish jug didn't even get into the photo. Bryan standing at the start of roof for scale.
Several young climbers over the past seasons have asked me how to get sponsored or if I would help them attain sponsorship. I strongly believe one should be satisfied with their own climbing and that is all they should worry about, so never have been able to answer the sponsorship question for them. Now I have an answer for them that is 30 feet long and has a ripping hard sequence. So go west young man into the vast emptiness of Wyoming and put down the mega-roof.

An amazing amount of time has been spent finding and even cleaning giant hard lines that I'll never climb. There is something special about those rare gems that hold an aesthetic almost impossible to find in smaller and easier problems. Every once and a while I amaze myself with a lucky send of a giant, but far more wait for a stronger more focused climber. The list of giants is growing and becoming a heavy load to remember.
A major focus for me lately to alleviate the giants problem is to find a good concentration of great rock where I can put up a lot of new lines. The hunt for the best possible problems has me fondly remembering the days of Needle Peak or even young Vedauwoo where we would add problems by the page full every trip. Two such areas have shown themselves lately. One is completely new and just a few hundred yards beyond where we had last looked. The second is actually an old area, but for some reason we had not focused or looked at it with the right gaze. We certainly had not walked it all and that was a mistake. Either area would satisfy the need for new lines at a good pace, but two are even better.
Another damn roof. Luckily a small one, but this new area has some huge ones.
Until the heat of summer rolls in my weekends are obviously gone now. Then El Dakota season comes in and the Winds after that, then late season El Dakota, then Neverland again, then somewhere in there a job I suppose.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great post! I've also been posting to Instagram, but find that it isn't as satisfying, or as much fun to reflect on. The boulders you've found look amazing, and I also enjoy hearing the full story of your continuing mission. I'd love to visit sometime, but there are so many boulders closer to home. Wyoming syndrome...

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  2. David, I do understand that wyoming syndrome, but you might want to see some of this soon. What I'm really saying is don't leave me out there alone. Great rock!

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  3. Glad to see a new post! I'm a student at UW and have used your blog (and David Lloyd's as well, actually) and the bouldering guide to help me immerse myself in the rock close to Laramie. I have read through most of your blog and was seriously hoping you would update it soon. You've definitely inspired me to go explore a bit this summer and find more rock that is at least new to me!

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    1. Chris,

      Good to hear from you. I rarely meet new climbers in Laramie now that the gym is closed. Shoot me an email and I'll pass on my direct contact info. Would be happy to give you directions to all sorts of boulders. Most of it never makes this blog. Looking forward to talking with you.

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  4. Funny you should post this as I'm packing my car for an extended trip to that big, wide open, lonesome place you live. Almost feels like fate.

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    1. Dammit Mike it's going to be great to see you. When can we expect your fine figure and vise like grip to grace our boulders?

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