Monday, September 23

Stalk and Ambush

Suddenly... it's cooler. The sun is lower in the sky, nights are longer and the breeze chills your skin as it brushes past you. Maybe autumn is soon, or here... or perhaps it's finally just not hot. It's pretty damn nice for rock climbing though, and I'm stoked to be where I am. Back in Lander.

The first week I returned to Wyoming, climbing was mostly shut down because of severe storms. Meanwhile Boulder and much of the Front Range in Colorado was under water, and I selfishly complained about missing climbing days... Several friends and family have suffered extreme damage to their homes and communities. I'm sorry that I wasn't there to help you all. It was clear from mid week that the area was getting an intense storm, but no one could have predicted the degree of tragedy. Glad to hear that people are lending a hand and also drying out. Best wishes to everyone recovering from the floods.

As things dried out here we hit the crag. Wolf Point. We busted ass and laid a lot of ground work in the early summer there and now the temps and psych are all lining up. I've been out at the crag 6 of the last 7 days. A touch more cleaning, rehearsing and even some welcome sending. First objective was a forgotten Steve Bechtel project that I revitalized back in June. I moved several bolts, extended it and thoroughly cleaned this impressive route. It begins with a savage 4 bolt boulder problem through tough pocket pulling, monos and deadpoints - a solid V12 boulder problem itself. From here, without rest, 9 more bolts of resistant ~.14a on two and three finger pockets takes you to an exciting finish at over 100 ft. The bottom was so difficult that I worked the route in sections - aware that if I made it through the opening boulder problems that I would want a good shot at the send. So I wired the upper section, and then tried the bottom until I made it through, and thankfully nailed the ending. I'm calling the route 'Stalk and Ambush' after a number of run-ins with Mountain Lions on the hike... and as for the grade it's been a topic of much consideration. If there was one more hard move on the route I would not hesitate to call it .14d, but somehow .14c also seems too shy of an estimate. I've got no 8a scorecard to report to, so I'm not afraid of vague grading. I'll suggest 5.14c/d and we'll see what its repeaters have to say. BJ, you're up next dude...

so much hard climbing here.... 

Also well worth noting is a brilliant Tom Rangitsch rig that I had the pleasure of opening yesterday. It extends his killer 13b, 'Remus', to the very top of the cave. Barely climbable with an 80meter rope, this .13c is officially the first route to the top and the longest sport pitch in Wyoming. Come and get it...

On to the next project... another towering .14+ that ends beyond the 40m mark. Ultra resistant, run-out and huge, It's called 'Spitting Venom' and I'm giving it everything I've got. I'm in much need of a rest today but we're heading back out tomorrow and wednesday before another storm hits, and then I'm off to Idaho for the Mountain Fest! 

A throw-back ANDY MANN photo of me climbing 'The Heretic' at City of Rocks, circa 2009. A great trip we did together. Can't wait to revisit this amazing place. 


  1. Are you saying the 13c is 80 meters long? Or 40 meters (so only lowerable with an 80m rope)? Rad looking crag. Do say more about the Mt. Lions...sounds like a good story! Keep living it up man. Enjoy following along...

  2. Hi Jonathan,

    I like your photos. What kind of camera and lens do you use?

  3. The new 13+ is over 40 meters long - so BARELY doable with an uncut 80 meter rope. It's a monster!

    Thanks ! I have a Canon T2i and these were mostly taken with a fixed 50mm 1.8 and a Canon 18-200mm

  4. JStar- you packing heat for the hike in or the random shootings these days in 10 Sleep?
    I'd love to see some close up photos of Wolf Point to see what sort of features it has... looks killer!

  5. Belles couleurs d'automne. Mauruuru


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