Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Browns Park Boulders, Alcova Wyoming. Rediscovered!

  Welcome to my first journal entry. Here I will be posting about my expeditions all across Wyoming, where I will try to cover every inch of ground. The plan is to explore the state of Wyoming from corner to corner looking for the Best rock in the state. This will include varieties for the Traditional, Sport, Soloists and Boulder seeking climbers, both in the state and outside it. Alpine Climbing and Aid Climbing may become a  part of the blog over time, though I would like to make my focus centered around a strict style REQUIRING both Hands and Feet to make an Ascent. This to me is the form of climbing that feels the purest... and that is subject to change as I try more traditional styles.

 To start my first blog I would like to focus on the one thing that has led me to this blog, Developing new climbs for the future ascentionists.

  For the past 2 weeks a number of local boulderers have taken part in the development of a "fresh" valley of rock... dried river bed to be specific. Rediscovered as of recent by friend Freddy Gossman, this place as well as many others in the state have exploded... with curiosity. Freddy has the perfect lifestyle for this particular sport/passion. He hunts wild game, mountain bikes, fishes, skies and he hikes. It's these things that has led him to the best short climbs in proximity to our hometown, Casper Wyoming. Myself in particular only hunts fish... and Rock! so the diversity that would led me somewhere might be limited to what I "think" I see using a map, or just my own eyes. Also evaluating the quality of rock would possibly tell me the worth of whats ahead.

 Getting back to this dried river bed of boulders. A rough number of 60+ boulders have been found and rising. There is however a limit to the canyon of rock as the google maps have shown. It is about 2 miles long with exceptional access on foot and even more exceptional access by car. From Casper Wyoming it is 25mins without road construction to the parking lot, 5/10 minutes of hiking to the best known boulders. When you are done bouldering you can walk down the parking area to a grand view of Alcova Lake for some swimming, dinning and drinking at the Marina or camp and have a fire with friends. 

 This Valley was found originally by Heath Brown back in 2001. I have little information on the area though he has made some ascents here and possible traces left behind mark his ascents. The valley is known by Heath's last name Brown and is called Brown's Park.

 Problems of high quality rock are fairly concentrated to the center of the river bed. Photos of these problems are listed below. These boulders are highly recommended if you are passing by or in the area of Casper and looking for some fun or even challenging climbs. However other locations for this style of climbing are more suitable for those traveling from a far, elsewhere in Wyoming.  

This problem is known as Dragons Scale V3-4 with two variations to make the ascent.


 Anna Junker and Devlin Junker came to help send and develop in the lower sector.
Devlin sending Dragons Scale shortly before Anna.

The Landing is completely groomed. Protection needed is 1 CrashPad, no need for a spotter. Makes for a great climb with limited equipment. You can clean the boulder from top to bottom without a ladder or harness. :)

This waving Black wall is very accessible from the top of the trail with slightly secure landing space. 2/3 CrashPads recommended and 1 spotter. Here several routes exist and even projects to be cleaned and climbed, ranging from V1 to V7+. It's about 20 feet to the highest point with crimps, pockets and gently slopping holds.

Problem in this photo I put up is called BlackMagic subjective in its grade.
To the left of  the photos above is a new climb put up by a Lander Local, Jesse Brown. This climb has decent development on the starting holds under the roof and sold sandstone edges leading out. It can be as dynamic as you want it to be. :) Recommended 2 Pads 1 spotter!
 Jesse making a first scent on Devil's Wishes.

Next Up! a series of projects and some newly established fun problems recommended within the river bed.
 Above Is the Nautilus project, somewhere between V9/V10+ from the sit down start. I have groomed the landings of the photo above and below and both can be protected with 2 CrashPads and no spotter. Access for cleaning, may want ladder/harness or stickbrush.
  Mike Bockino working the Titanic proj below.
The Problem above is known as the Titanic project for the general shape of the boulder and rusted look of the side walls. Falls into the V10/or harder range thus far.
 This Problem is called Electric Rupture V6 from the beginning of the Crack. Not shown in photo is a Fist and Hand Jam roof that start on the low roof. It is also a great clean climb with diversity in styles. Recommended 2 pads and no spotter. Landing was recently groomed by me a few days ago. The top is easy to reach and does degrade in quality where climbing ends.
 The Problem below was climbed by Freddy Gossman. Needs some tuning for safety reasons. To be cleaned this weekend. Sits around V2/3 recommended 1/2 CrashPads 1 Spotter. A beautiful challenging line was found to the right about 15 feet on the other end of this boulder by Jesse Brown out of Lander... To Be Continued! :)
The line below I named Rain Roof  for the recent waves of rain that came through while making trails in this area. I found several boulder roofs in excess of 15+ feet long for shelter. This one has a wild visionary look. Only until I scrubbed the moss off did I see the texture and holds come alive. V2, very challenging mantle topout. 1 Crashpad no spotters needed.

 Both Mike and Kaiya Bockino came up to make some ascents on the newly developed boulders.

 Above Mike makes the first ascent of Rain Roof!
Mike also contributed to the area with two of his own lines he found and cleaned up. Photos of this to come.

Shortly after Jesse made a clean ascent of his 2nd line he named Bones, Katie Dooling and I scrambled our way to the top. Amy Crawford made a strong effort to send, though I believe another day and she will have this dialed. 

  Here is a look at one of the more trafficked routes, FLY BOY. I put this one up originally to draw out a younger novice crowd, but found it so fun that most climbers have repeated this many times over. It starts low and traverses left through a roof of jug holds, mantling out over a hueco.
 Cari Faye Antonovich makes some very static moves through the roof of FLY BOY.

Both Anna and Devlin became really psyched to clean and climb this new problem just right of Fly Boy. Devlin making the first ascent named this one Sight For Sore Eyes as his view was restricted when a lichen particle fell into his eye. Following the ascent was me then Anna. It was her first mantle topout and she was extremely happy to learn 12 feet off the deck. 
 Starting on the seem and traverses left over the roof. A crux low start was recently put up by another local Wyoming climber a few weeks after Devlin.
Last but never the least... The Gill wall after Jesse Brown named the first ascent Gill Dyno which we both made short work in hiking shoes. V0 beautiful wall with black, blue and yellow streaks. Several routes and extended starts to be made. The landing is superb and covered with moss. Gathers shade all morning and at sunset. Recommended 1CrashPad or even a Towel will do and no spotter. Can be cleaned top to bottom on foot. I made a trail at the top and bottom for best access and one rock stack at topout. V0- V8 projects.
Below Is Cory Cummings working an unfinished line traversing through several hard moves from left to right of this wall. 

Mike Bockino made an impressive ascent of a new line on the near center right of this boulder just at sundown. I was to follow with a second ascent days later. I am calling this Twilight until I have a name from mike. It is a definite crimp line from a low sit down start. Photos to come. The images below are the final images of ascents made and random photos later in the season as development continued. Hope you enjoy the fresh rock.