Southbound into the Sun

The last two weeks have been pretty busy for me. Between school, physical therapy  getting called into work last-minute, and switching plans for spring break, I’m really looking forward to heading south into the sun and relaxing for a week.

With the Montana weather on the fritz I tried to go climbing with the Manlove’s on the 27th down at the Winter Wall on the Madison River. The wind was so strong it kept us below just one new route that Joe lead (on marginal pro) and then bolted. Leigh and I both got to toprope the route but it was so windy I didn’t bother putting my shoes on and just climbed in my approach shoes. The result after about a cars worth of rockfall (that still has one more good-sized flake that needs to come off) was Moya the Leviathan 5.7, 5 bolts and gear to 3″. If not for the wind it would have been a really nice sunny day.

Joe getting ready rap down and bolt Moya the Leviathan

Over the next week I heard that the climbing wall at the Marga Horaeus Fitness Center on campus was looking for two routesetters for a couple of hours a week. I called up Matt Parks and he pretty much hired me right away. With this job I doubled the amount of time I will be setting, and I’m pretty psyched to try out some new ideas at the MSU climbing wall. I owe this all to Kevin Volkening who told me about the job and gave a great reference for me to Matt.

This last weekend I managed to sneak out of Bozeman go climbing again. This time I went out to the Trailer Boulders, by the King and Queen, in the Boulder Batholith with Tom Kingsbury. We tried to check if a few other areas could be accessed but the snow was just too high to get in. Tom first took me to the Trailer Boulders back in November. I thought of them a just a small collection of boulders with about 20ish problems. But this time as we worked our way though some of the problems I hadn’t tried on the last visit, Tom took my down to the lower section of boulders that leads off to two distinct ridge-lines full of boulders. We ended up climbing 11 new (?) problems between the Trailer Boulders proper and the other boulders, we must have looked at about 40 to 50 potential problems on the two ridges. the closer ridge is more a maze of boulders stacked on top of each other that holds fewer lines than the other ridge. The further ridge that Tom called the “Moderate Mecca” had tons of potential and even probably the biggest single boulder I’ve seen in Montana. The only problem with the big boulder is that it only has about 3 to 4 lines on it, but one of those is a Proud arete that tops out around 30 feet or so with a perfect landing. Overall the boulders at the moderate mecca are larger and have ok or interesting landings due to the slope of the ridge. Tom put up an entry on his Boulder Batholith Blog about the trip here.

Originally my plans for spring break were to head out to Smith Rock with Dave Reuss and meet up with a couple of his friends our there. Both of us have been keeping a close eye on the weather for about a week and a half now and the results aren’t good. The temperatures in smith are going to be good high 40s mid 50s but the weather isn’t looking inspiring with snow and rain forecasted or most days. I’m kind of sad the weather turned out the way it did, I’ve been looking to go to smith for about two months now. So the plan now is to head south hitting up St. George, UT, Red Rocks and Mt Charleston outside of Las Vegas, NV. Though I went to Red Rocks last year I’m excited to go back it definitely the most aesthetic climbing area I’ve been to so far. I haven’t climbed at Mt. Charleston or in St. George yet which should be fun. The weather sound be nice and sunny with the temps in the 70s, I can’t wait to leave the winter behind for a week down in the sun. I just have to make it through three more exams first…

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