Monday, January 30, 2012

Off to Neverland!

Neverland is a truly magical place.  You won't find Peter Pan and Captain Hook there, and it certainly isn't in Michael Jackson's backyard, but you will find stellar rock, and lots of it.  The area is absolutely massive, and offers potential for all styles of rock climbing.  Boasting incredible boulders, steep overhung face climbs, beautiful multi-pitch granite domes, and more cracks than you can imagine, Neverland certainly has the potential to become one of Wyoming's premier climbing destinations.  But for now, it remains a pretty low-key area.

 Pile o' boulders with some steep cliffs in the background

I first visited Neverland at the beginning of January, and needless to say I was super pumped.  Seriously, the rock is so good and the sheer amount of it is staggering...like, multiple lifetimes of climbs to be done.  I logged two quality FA's that day, Davin put up an awesome moderate highball called Colossus, and Bryan VanSickle finished his long-standing project, dubbed the "Whale Dick Project."  That, by all means, was a good day.


A bit of the Old Neverland sector

This weekend was not so good.  Davin Bagdonas, Dylan Stowers, and I were looking forward to putting up some new lines under sunny skies and warm temps.  However, we soon learned that the weather forecast was LIES!  We were greeted by heavy cloud cover and 50+ mph winds, which, when paired with knee-deep snowdrifts and fourth class scrambling, prevented all actual climbing.  It also didn't help that I wore sneakers and forgot my gloves...but that's besides the point (don't judge me).  What ensued was a day-long tour of some of the best that Neverland has to offer.

Some huge cave


Oh, and I left my camera's battery charger in Virginia and the battery died, so above is the only picture I snapped that day...forgive me.  Anyways, we began by attempting to climb in a new cave, which is about 80 feet long and 40 feet tall at its highest point; plenty of potential for power-enduro boulder problems and hard, dynamic sport routes.  But, with the ever-unforgiving weather, we had to call it and not climb, it was just too damn cold.  We headed back to the car and off to some nearby established climbs, notably the Columbine Roof.  The Columbine Roof is hands down one of the most impressive overhung boulder's I've ever seen.  It has problems ranging from V2-V10 on it, and the granite is smooth like glass from years of wind erosion, a definite classic.

Further away, Davin took us to his epic project, called the XXX Roof.  It's a truly spectacular boulder, with complex and powerful movement on a deceptively steep face, thus far estimated to be V12/13 upon completion.  While Dylan and I explored some of the nearby boulders, Davin had a bit of a "beta-refresher" session, going through each individual move in his head.  He really knows this problem up and down, forwards and backwards; living proof that once the flame has been ignited, there's no keeping a man from his project until it's sent!  Hell, even his dog knew there's something special about that boulder, suddenly exploding with energy when we walked up to it.  Another classic.

We then stopped by another VanSickle project, called the Finger Paint Cave.  This interesting little cave is marked by the obvious mock petroglyphs that line the walls, whose only explanation is the 1970's and LSD.  It starts on a short but burly V9 section, finishing on a V4ish problem, another great climb.  We checked out a few more boulders, including some super-highballs and potential sport routes in a sector called Little Britannia.  To finish off the day, we stopped at one more unclimbed roof that's totally going to go down this spring.  It's huge, has at least 3 natural lines with mixed slopers and crimps, and is almost totally clean.  It also just happens to be just perfectly (debatably) on the outside of a nearby rancher's property line...destiny??  CLASSIC.

The drive home saw long discussions about climbing grades, politics, nutrition, the decision to start meeting at Daylight Donut instead of Coal Creek Coffee, and more climbing plans; needless to say we were inspired.  All things considered, a bad day of climbing isn't necessarily a bad day at all.  Maybe a day of good old fashioned motivation was just what we needed.

2 comments:

  1. Absolutely a bad day climbing is better than a good day almost anywhere else.

    Great blog! And yes it's Daylight Donut for sure when we go out next. Keep up the great work here.

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  2. Me encanta tu blog!!!!! Espectacular.

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