Monday, March 11, 2013

Gettin' Psyched

It's been bitter few weeks in Laramie, with the wind being far worse than the cold.  Everybody's been stuck on plastic, which really isn't a bad thing...at least for training...

Our climbing team here at UW has seen a pretty successful season this spring, with a solid group showing up to weekly practices and weekend competitions.  We even got us some fancy schmancy matching tank-tops and shorts-- quite the step up from last year.


Swag

 Now cycling 3x3s, lockoffs, and enduro circuits into my training, I've been making notable gains in fitness.  Unfortunately, I got shut down by a particularly long move last week and strained my left shoulder, which has forced me to stop training for a bit.  Now just 4 days away from a trip to Bishop, I'm a little bummed, but the shoulder is feeling about 90% better at this point.  To boost my psych, I drove out to Neverland in the wake of the weekend's "blizzard" in search of some new boulders.
  
The first area I walked was small and dense, littered with an odd type of granite that forms blocky chunks reminiscent of  petrified tree stumps.  The rock has a lot of patina and wind-polished faces, which will make for some s(l)ick problems!

The Petrified Boulders



 After that, I just drove one of the public access roads through a local ranch and found a few lil' gems.

Just another roof in Wyoming

A nice cluster with an almost alpine feel to it

Always cool to find some archaeology!

The climber's worst nightmare...

 I found plenty to be excited about for the spring season, from big compression lines to overhanging crimpfests.  There's seriously so much out there its hard to try to prioritize your hiking time.

On the way out, I decided to check out the obvious limestone buttes that flank the Southern outskirts of the mountainous area.  As I walked up to the cliffs in the dying light of the evening, I couldn't help but notice a very distinct change in the layout of the soil.  And then I saw it-- flakes.  Thousands of them.


What I mean by flakes is the scrap pieces left behind during the process of flintknapping, or making stone tools such as arrowheads.  After some excited surveying, I formulated a quick interpretation that the buttes once functioned as a chert quarry and/or defensive settlement.  Pretty cool stuff, and a good reminder to tread lightly in these areas.  The mysterious hills of the Neverland area are rich in early Native American history, which I consider something very worth preserving.  Because of that, I think I'll stay off those cliffs. If I want to climb ungodly sharp 20' limestone routes, I can go to Rogers Canyon...

And thus another splendid day amongst the boulders came to an end, complete with the mandatory 45 minutes of dirt roads in the dark.  Spring is a-comin'!

 

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