Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Welcome to bouldering in Lolo

Vedauwoo- a post-holing playground for any idiot willing to subject themselves to absolutely bitter conditions 8 months a year 

   I learned to climb out amongst the vast granite paradise of Vedauwoo located 15 minutes from Laramie, WY and the University of Wyoming. Some might consider this place absolute hell with crystals as big as dice and meaner than your asshole friend drunk on whiskey but these people obviously never spent enough time there. To the uninterested college kid it offered all one could want: escape from the meaningless day to day in hopes of fulfillment through the most selfish of past times... climbing. Vedauwoo is a brutal teacher but through hardship, failure, unforgiving weather, absurdly long winters and terribly short summers, heinously sharp stone which was often blank, scattered boulders and long approaches I learned how important things like a dependable climbing partner and the need to escape from the masses are. Fond memories still resonate through me as I now spend my days on similar rock deep in the maze of dense Montana forest near the border of Idaho.

   In Montana, my core group of climbing partners has shrunk dramatically to Levi and Dylan but efficiency, motivation, and debauchery is outrageously high. This season we have consistently gotten out to climb all year despite a short spring, terribly hot summer, and smoky fall. Projects have been getting put down in addition to new boulders in established sectors and new sectors altogether. Tons of time and money has been put in and blown through on gas, beer, ammo, brushes, walking through the woods, finding nothing, finding gems, sniffing out new climbing areas, and tomfoolery. 
   I have been very fortunate to be given this opportunity to lend a hand in the development of an entire climbing area with close friends and respect their level of secrecy. To have an entire climbing area to yourself in this day is rare and to keep it for yourself may be selfish it is also absolutely devine. It is less about taking first ascents for yourself as it is climbing in an area with one or two friends all by yourself. Having said that getting the FA of some new sweetheart boulder problem is incredibly fun and innately motivating. Let's not forget the simple fact that the amount of rock in the Lolo pass area is simply staggering and for anyone with a sense of adventure and a little motivation this same experience can be replicated.
   One of these days there will exist a guide to the bouldering of Lolo for all to enjoy but it will be a little while we work out the last little pieces for the biggest concentrations. Keep in mind that there are few places left like this and a lot of time and effort has gone into this so far with much more to come but not all that motivates are first ascents as simply stepping away from the routine and being by oneself are equally as important to some. Most importantly, climbing is inherently selfish and patience is a virtue.

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