Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Field School

Its been quite a while since I last posted here.  The past 28 days of my life have been spent in the University of Wyoming's archaeology field school (10 days on, 4 off), and I begin the final session today.  Needless to say, climbing has been somewhat put off, but I've managed to find a few boulders here and there, and have mainly focused on keeping in shape for late summer/fall.  Though the two generally clash (*cough*Hueco Tanks*cough*), I've found that Archaeology and climbing are a little more similar than most people would think.  When I'm dirtbagging around, I live in my car and spend all of my time dealing with and thinking about rocks.   When I'm doing archaeology, I live in my car and spend all of my time dealing with and thinking about rocks.  Did I mention that neither make me money?  But I digress...

The first session and a half were at various sites in the small town of Pine Bluffs, which sits right on the Wyoming/Nebraska border.  The town is situated at the base of extensive forested bluffs and buttes which hold many limestone boulders, which I must say are absolutely awful.  But I managed to find a little bit that wouldn't kill me.

 The Pine Bluffs

 Best boulder I could find.  Only one problem, going up the far right side.

 Gurney Peak

 Living the dream in the Swagmobile

After the desperation of 15 days in Pine Bluffs, I was pretty excited for the next five, which were spent at the base of Twin Mountain.  Twin Mountain is a small peak on the Remount Ranch, just East of Vedauwoo.  I wasn't sure what I would find, but I knew that there would definitely be rock there.  And as fate would have it- gneiss.  Why did it have to be gneiss?

Though thoroughly exhausted at the end of each work day, I took the time to get out and climb a little bit every evening.  The boulders were mostly clean, but spread out, which gave me a lot to explore.  Quality varied from chunky granite to fine grained gneiss, but it was all fun to climb on.

Camp at the base of Twin Mountain 

Overhung face with 2 fun problems

Short traverse problem

And after a climbing a few cracks in Vedauwoo this weekend, I find myself leaving for the Vore buffalo jump site, near the tiny town of Beulah.  I'm totally clueless as to whether or not there's rock remotely near there, and therefore, the desperate search must continue.