Saturday, May 28, 2011

Good lord, another one.

The granite walls of the lower canyon in Cody have had a strange pull on me this year. Like a junkie having found a new drug, I am pulled back again and again. Though this is a much healthier habit and has produced some pretty good additions to the canyon. I finished installing another route, this one went ground up. The recent rains had left it quite wet as I picked my way up the wall leapfrogging RB's and bolts. This was a pretty clean stretch with several different varieties of stone. Of course there was a section of the pink exfoliated potato-chippy shit and also the dark brown lichen covered stuff. The usual suspects notwithstanding, I was pleased to find a section of coarse grained grey rock with macro features and also a clean greyish-pink intro with good crimp edges punctuated by several giant inclusions of black basalt. Though I was able to clean it pretty well on the way down, I'll have to wait for it to completely dry out to go after a cruxy section that was soaking wet. I am very pleased with this new addition and I think it will be a great challenge for me to redpoint.

This is a route I have been looking at for nearly 20 years that until recently had a ancient power line strapped to the wall blocking any thought of development or ascent as a rock climb. The Bureau of Reclamation removed the old rusting cable and cut all the steel struts off with a torch a few years ago returning the wall to a more natural state. Fortunately the Bureau has always been friendly to climbers and the myriad of other user groups that visit the canyon on a daily basis. As it is, I am the only local resident interested in developing sport routes down there, so you might say I have there entire canyon to myself. I hate to say what I have planned next, not because I'm afraid someone will steal it, but more because I'm afraid I won't get around to it or it won't actually go. Suffice to say, if this next line works out I will need several sets of anchors.

I went bouldering with Dan and Clint a couple weeks ago and shot them working out Ancient Sea of Fire, a cool V5 that ascends a beautiful orange face with subtle ripples.

Ancient Sea of Fire V5 from Mike Snyder on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Maya and Eden's climbing video

The girls had an end of the year talent show at their elementary school. They asked me if I would make a video of them climbing on a favorite route at The Island. We spent an afternoon shooting some different angles and practicing the route. I thought we would get to go back again to shoot some more footage but the weather has just been too cold and wet. As it turns out I had enough film footage to assemble an entry for them. So here it is; Maya and Eden climbing Witch on A Broomstick 5.8 at The Island in Cody with a favorite song of theirs, Jalan Crossland (sorry I butchered your last name on the video Jalan) doing Cumberland Gap.

Maya and Eden climbing at the Island from Mike Snyder on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Little of This...

Things finally came together on the wall in the lower canyon. The Single Malt Wall now has four lines with five pitches. The left most line is Laphroaig .11a. The central line first pitch is Glenmorangie .10b, it finishes on the ledge with the second roof pitch being The Ardbeg Roof .12d. Since they are only 50 feet or so each, they can be strung together with a 60 or better yet a 70 meter rope and a little rope drag. The right line up the slab is The Bowmore .10c and is 13 clips and 100' total length. The only one I haven't finished yet is the original line just to the right and up the streaked scoop. This one is called McClelland Strong and I think it is about .13b. I slid off right at the anchors last fall and hope to finish it up as soon as it dries out this year and before the heat sets in.

I met some friends today up at the Carcass Crag and got some bouldering in. We have had so much rain recently, this was the only place we could think of that might be dry enough for climbing on sandstone. Jason and I had a session at the Antelope Boulder a week ago and decided it would be cool to check out some of the sport routes in this area, specifically the two on the Visionary Boulder. So today I packed a sport rack in with my bouldering stuff and brought a short piece of rope. The route on the left is 12- and the one straight up the steep part is .13?. We set up a TR on the left one to check out the route and the integrity of the sandstone, since it had rained a lot over the past four days. Surprisingly everything seemed sturdy and solid, so after a TR burn I went for it on the sharp end. It went much easier than when I practiced it earlier on TR and seemed about 12a due to the bouldery crux right off the ground. We didn't have time or strength left to check out the harder one, but we'll be back.

Also I managed to race up to the Mondo Beyondo in Tensleep Wednesday after work and install a proper sport anchor on Momma's Mental Medication at the Slavery Wall. This little bouldery beast has gotten some serious play over the last two seasons since it went in. Since the new Guide will be arriving in stores any day now I think it will see even more traffic. My original anchor was too far left and the hook portion moved, so I abandoned it and installed a better located one a few feet to the right. The rope runs better over the lip now as well. I left the chain from the old anchor so if the route ever gets extended up and left I can use it as a perma-draw. Hope that helps improve things.