May 20, 2010

a dam good time!

This is how the west was won.
Riley Rollins in a wild west landscape

Those of us on the east side of Idaho woke up to a lot of rain and wind this morning; pretty much dampening any motivation for climbing outside.

Well, the wind blew so hard that it carried the storm clouds into Wyoming and by early afternoon a small group of boulder happy buddies were rolling toward the Teton River Canyon.

We first tried the west side approach with intentions of bouldering at the Dam Boulder and on the surrounding erratics but the gate was locked forcing us to head east to the Teton Dam Site. With several of the Rexburg area climbers re-exploring the first area i visited on a regular basis in 2004, i thought it would be fun to go back and see what all of the excitement was about!

Riley, Beth and I wandered around "The Quarry" as i reminisced about various exploits there early on in my exploration of lower Teton River Canyon. I call this sector of the Teton River Canyon zone the Quarry as it resembles the teared and blocky nature of most rock quarry's. It was cool to see chalk on some of the problems and to see how quickly the signs of my visits from nearly six years ago have vanished.

The history lesson quickly got old and we only had a limited amount of time, so it was time to boulder! I didn't give many names to the routes or features at this sector back in 2004 and i am super excited to get with the Rexburg crew to collaborate on identifying things. Basically I'm just excited that others are starting to catch the vision of an area i thought was pretty DAM cool!

Riley warming up on a fun little crimper of a climb i humorously dubbed "Not Cho Cheeze". Crimp and edge up thin potato chip-like edges in the center of the Doritos Boulder.

Beth working on the right side rail feature of the Doritos formation on lowest tier of the Quarry. This little face kinda reminds me of a Doritos Chip. Maybe this fun problem could be called "Cool Ranch"!! Sit start and follow the left sloping corner rail to the top. Using the holds on "Not Cho Cheeze" is off limits.

Beth sending Cool Ranch

There is a slightly overhung face on the 2nd Tier just right of what folks are calling Jack in the Crack. I attempted this face a few times in 2004. One of the lines offers a couple of small, shallow and slopping pockets to reach the lip. Feet are super difficult too. In this photo Beth reduces my gravity a bit so i can clean out the upper pocket! This Pocket Project is HARD!

Even though our time was short and we only did a few boulder problems, i had a dam good time revisiting this sector of the Teton River Canyon. It is easy for me to see why the Rexburg crew is so psyched on the place. I look forward to going back for more!