Inquiring minds want to know … what exactly is this BIVERing business?!
Not quite deep water solo-ing, not quite shallow water bouldering, "bivering" is a type of bouldering we here in MoabLandia do over the Colorado river! The term was coined by photographer and five ten athlete Eric Odenthal: b-ouldering + over the r-iver = "bivering"! ;-)
The season is short—in the spring, long after the down jackets and beanies come off and the tank tops come out, the Colorado river still runs high and strong through Moab. This year in particular, it was not until late June that the river came down far enough to permit more than two moves on the cliff with the current docile enough to not terrify the swimming climber! (see pic 1 and envision this: in early June the water line was above the climber's high point!!!)
Alas, as early as mid-August, the fall storms start rolling in, bringing icy water from the mountains to the summer-seared desert below. We sit roasting on shore, but can barely get waist-deep in the ice-cold flows! The river cognoscenti of Moab claim that September 6th marks the day that river fun ends, as far as splashing about is concerned, and in past years they have been eerily prescient about this. I am super happy that this year we are getting an extension—mid-September and Gold Bar is still rockin!
The problems are HARD! We have sent quite a few, but many flat-out refuse to roll over and play dead. As is the case with most desert sandstone, the rock seems to go from highly-featured to a paucity of usable grips in one move. Fortunately, half (or more?!) of the fun is had in the splash-down of a non-send! I never thought I would see the day where i would willingly boulder in the Utah desert in the summer—in the sun, no less!—but now I find myself eagerly anticipating mid-July's 100º days … well, as long as they involve Gold Bar!
Best of all though is the location—stunning views from the cliff belie the fact that there is a huge parking lot and picnic area/ campground above, just off the road. So we feel like we have this isolated special spot, yet it just a hop-skip and jump from town. After climbing, we can stroll on up to the picnic areas, bust out the coolers and charcoal and enjoy a ready made fête—maybe toss in a few back-flips for good measure, as what would a day of summer vacation be without a little bit of "jackassery" …
Added bonus? I think I can assert with tremendous confidence that I was one of a select few who necessarily had to use her car heater in the scorching July of Moab to take the edge off the residual chill from all the water frolicking.
Image 1: "Sooopa Proj"
Image 2: Another view of the proj
Image 3: A great example of general "jackassery". This did not end well …
Image 3: A great example of a perfect back flip!
Image 4: Who says you can't have fun and CRUSH?! Yes, we are always this happy at Gold Bar
Image 5: Even avowed non-boulderers LOVE Gold Bar!
Image 6: Dogs love Gold Bar too!