Friday, February 8, 2013

Before the Storm

45 degrees, sunny, no wind.

I stared longingly out the window of the Outdoor Program office, the sounds of Veronica Falls' gloomy dream pop flooding my brain.  I love my job and school and all that, but some Fridays, nothing can quite hold my attention.  Nick and I had made plans to climb at Curt Gowdy that afternoon before the weekend's big snowstorm set in, and I was so ready to go.  I was set on finishing the roof project that I left undone at the end of our last session out there, and I could feel it in my bones....the conditions were perfect.

A few hours later and we were on the road.  Ian McDonald joined us as well, who I met through this season's climbing team (which is going really well so far).  He's earned himself a reputation for abusing hot sauce- more on that later.

Upon reaching the boulders, we were greeted by what has to be the most picturesque Wyoming day I've ever experienced in February.  I quickly set up shop under the roof and got to work.  I originally intended on doing a stand start, but after sending that relatively quickly, I decided to piece together the sit start, which really makes the problem worthwhile.  It all went together in about an hour's work, taking big rests between few burns.  The crux moves involve a nasty half-pad crimp that has a perfectly placed finger-destroying crystal, so attempts were limited by the amount of skin I could maintain.


My poor fingertip...
 I named it Hillbilly Militia (V6), due to the seemingly constant gunfire that can be heard coming from a nearby ranch.  I think it's one of my prouder problems, despite the rat shit on the start and finish holds.  It has a unique anti-Vedauwoo style, with steeply overhung crimps and jugs.

Nick working Hillbilly Militia

Damn, Wyoming is beautiful.

 After finishing Hillbilly Militia, I joined Nick and Ian at another boulder a few yards away that caught our eye on the walk in.  There, Ian had cleaned a long lowball traverse problem while Nick cleaned a very difficult crimp line on the larger boulder.  With my fingers already shredded, I chose to sit back and watch Nick torture himself on the new project.


Gnar
 Afterwards, we turned our attention to Ian's problem.  For its height, it packs in a solid 10 feet of climbing with really fun and tricky sequences.  It involves a lot of heel-hooking and toeing in, and can be done in a variety of ways.  Of course, it has to have an epic mantle too.  Another classic on the warm-up circuit, Stormin' Mormon (V3) should not be missed.

Toe it

Heel it

Slap it
Style points
Climbing makes me happy
Yet another splendid day on the boulders, with still many more problems to be done.  More to come soon!