News from the off-width capital of the world.
Lots and lots of bouldering in the cool air has been the motivation lately. I've been working on several projects at once. One is The Project Project in the Vedauwoo area. Basically a few of us made a list of all the unclimbed lines and unrepeated lines in the greater Vedauwoo area and have been laying siege on them. It has been a bit warm at times, slowing down some progress as tips get too soft for the sharp holds here, but progress has been made.
I finished three projects in a row over a couple of days while making further progress on two harder lines. I put up The Cat House Squeeze V8 in a few tries and also in a few tries Choo Choo Peeker V9. Both in the Blair area where I have spent two days on another project that should be V11 or so as soon as it is a bit cooler. I also finished what turned out be the second ascent of Throwing The Dice V9 in an entirely new are in Vedauwoo. It is still too warm for the harder lines and at this point I'm waiting for cooler temps to get on the crimps. I'm also looking for someone to boulder with here. My two usual partners moved away and no one else is willing to get out and try harder lines on a regular basis. It has been difficult to finish things without a spot sometimes. I've done a number of other good problems too, but they aren't very tall and maybe not worth doing if a couple of people were bouldering (i.e. butt draggers). As for easier things, I think I've added around 40 or 50 this summer to the area (V0 to V6ish).
Elsewhere in Wyoming I've been driving an hour to two different Gneiss bouldering areas and adding problems/projects there. One is an alpine bouldering area that is actually very cold at times and really good. I put up several good lines at both up to the V9 range in fast time and have several projects in the works again. Brian Capps visited one area with me and we came very close to finishing a couple of beautiful lines that should prove to be very hard. I have been trading tour days of Wolverineland on Mount Evans for tour days up here in Wyoming. At Mount Evans, I've done a few trips down there to see what other harder bouldering areas are like. It seams that I've been sandbagging here in Wyoming for a few years now. I got on Phobos V11 and it would be a V9 here in Wyoming. I made quick work of all the moves and also tried some V7, V8, and V9 lines there that all went quickly. So, feeling really strong and motivation is high. I am trying to get back there soon to try a harder line or two like Clan Of The Cave Bear V13 that looks amazing and feels doable, then back to the harder lines here. 6 hour round trip drives are the crux there. Some of the Colorado boys are wanting or thinking about coming up to Wyoming (finally!) to try some things and I'm hoping we get some really hard lines finished here. It would be great to have some hard standards here to compare to so I don't have to drive three hours to compare. Cold temperatures are just settling in and it feels like a number of great problems are about to get done. It is warm now and tomorrow, but Saturday the temps are crashing and it is going to be a day to finish something.
On Monday the 20th. I start my real job at the Wyoming Geologic Survey as a mapping geologist and my weekend warrior schedule will start:( 40 hour work weeks followed by a day or two of crushing. The Project Project will be the only good option ten during the week. As soon as I can get off work I will drive the ten or fifteen minutes to Vedauwoo and work on something from the list of projects. The upside is the money. I will get a geologists pay check each month and should bank enough to either climb a few years or buy land near the best boulders I've ever found or seen anywhere. Scott Blunk visited those boulders last fall and commented in all seriousness that I should stop looking for rock and just climb there forever. He said "It is better than Heuco, Font., and probably anywhere else in the world except maybe Rock Lands." Going there in October, so I'll send some pictures. As of now the location is secret however, until I can buy some land near the rock and set up a base camp. Land is around $800 an acre there, so finding it with good water is the only crux.
The shoes have been fantastic! I've worked my Anasazi VCS every day for two months and they are holding up like new. Same for the Team shoes, but they have been sticky and like new for four months of hard climbing! The quality is evident! My Free Runners went for hundreds miles in China and have been on my feet for hundreds of miles here in the States. They are solid! Thank you for awesome shoes!