11 May 2014

A Long Neverland Spring

Spring can be a trying time in Wyoming. Sun, snow, heat, and cold are all carried with the wind. In past spring seasons bouldering conditions have been good for several months or a couple weeks. Winter forewarns nothing of the coming transition, while summer does not remember. This time around spring has been a long stutter of the middle ground of weather that makes for great bouldering. Weekends are starting to stack up into the same long memory. Reference into the written journals where I record all related to new boulders show a deviation from the norm. Most of the time it is too warm by now for Neverland to produce much.

The length of time, so many weekends in a row now, have been highly motivating and revealing as well. In fits I've pushed the tubby grad-school boy fitness aside and tried to regain some real man steel again. A good crew has been a huge driving force in a season to remember. For the first time Neverland has more than a car or two per week. Good new problems are being contributed regularly in a renaissance of sort. Or another kick in a fitful start. Last autumn was a long season, but a loneliness set in and a long while past without much new being done. It is sometimes difficult to look through the great wide open and see through the solitude of Wyoming's far away places. The new areas and new problems this season have felt closer and less wild than normal. Still more remote than most bouldering areas. After all it is still Wyoming, but a little more comfort allows for more to get done.
The usual suspects have been regulars over weekends, including Josh Oxner and Dr. Thunder. Jamie Emerson, and Collin Horvat have made weekend trips as well. Collin in particular has made the most of his multiple trips to one of Neverland's newer sectors. His clear and definite motivation has been a treat to witness. We've jokingly suggested naming the new sector Horvat's Boulders, but the joke is getting more serious each week as he continues to finish projects. I had not climbed with Jamie since our Bear Valley expedition last summer, but a reunion was inevitable. As he has written, a fire burns in a few of us who seek to find the best boulders. It burns brighter when like minds share something familiar. The process of finding the best lines is an aspect of climbing that I now realize I enjoy almost as much as the actual bouldering. Fantastic stuff has been found and climbed and I really can't say enough about how motivating it is!  It has been a great group to boulder with for sure. New excitement has strongly driven me to get off my ass and boulder a lot more and a lot harder. To get the steel back in the tendons from seasons past is the goal now. Too much good rock needs to be climbed.
Collin Horvat on the first ascent of the beautiful Aging Moose V2
Collin Horvat sticking the crux on the first ascent of Bird of Prey V10. An incredible problem on incredible rock.
Several weeks ago now we started bouldering in the new sector. With each visit it grows which is always a sign of a good area. This one keeps giving good lines and so many boulders wait to be seen. The first weekend was spent in a small area of high concentration.
Dr. Thunder on an unnamed sloper problem on great rock with Jason Anderson spotting
My fellow geology graduate student Connor Marr getting very close on the brand new Hair of The Dog V5/6 
Jamie Emerson on what is now another Horvat line, Southern Envy V9
Each subsequent weekend has seen new lines there, but more has been found all over as the famous Wyoming Syndrome has afflicted us.Wyoming Syndrome is a condition I wouldn't wish on anyone. Life times of great rock spread all over the place to such a degree that daily life becomes a chore. You can only think of rock, you dream of rock, and you forever walk through piles, fields, mountains, valleys, and plains of rock. Your body changes shape, more rugged usually, and the hands gnarl. A persons eyes start to focus on what seams like nothing, a boulder in the distance maybe, often a few.
Dr. Thunder finishing a problem put up moments before. Wyoming Syndrome V2
Even in a frenzy of new problems going up there is a feeling that more projects are being put on the list than being checked off. Always another pile of boulders to walk too if needed. Put some chalk on the holds and see what happens. I find myself walking to boulders in Neverland with a ridiculous smile and knowing exactly what a personal heaven would be. Then there are walks when the place feels like doom and an up welling of worry moves in. Is there any way to climb on all this and damn how time has flown by. Will just have to keep putting chalk on new rock. Those are the best days.
The Cow Cave Project
A project without a name


  1. Where is Neverland? Are you keeping it a secret or are others invited to check it out?

  2. Another great write-up Davin! Thanks for the continued motivation!!!

  3. Cameron, It has been part of an agreed philosophy within the core developing group at Neverland to not post directions or maps, to not "give it away", but to share with the highly motivated who want to put up problems on good rock. The history of the place from several generations of boulderers have contributed to this belief. Honesty, bouldering sectors are incredibly wide spread and specific directions to everything would take me weeks to record. One day a guide book will likely be written, but the place is far too raw at this point. It is an area in the early development stages. It is doubtful anyone of us developing actually understand the place. I've lost more than one project.

    Chorvat, thank you for the motivation! The fire burns within.

  4. Davin, it sure looks like you guys continue to ferret out the finest blocks in the area! Good work - I look forward to another trip up there.