Posted on 25. May, 2009 by in News

The last few days I headed home to Michigan, but managed a few stops along the way. I wish I had more time to spend bouldering in the Midwest. There are certainly not huge areas on par with Hueco Tanks or Joe’s Valley, but small, quaint areas with friendly climbers and the occasionally stellar problem make it worth a stop for boulderers looking for something different. Unfortunately, all of the driving left me tired and I didn’t climb very well. All the more reason to return, perhaps in the fall, when the dense forest explodes with color.

I made an evening stop in the Black Hills, South Dakota, where I did all the moves on Homestar, a classic V11. Conditions were surprisingly good, but it soon got dark and I pressed on.

Homestar V11

I drove almost 800 miles the next day and did no climbing. The following morning, Brian Runnells (aka The Climbing Narc) met me at Devil’s Lake State Park in southern Wisconsin for a quick tour. The scenery is as good as it gets in the midwest and the rock quality is second to none. We tried to get up there early but it was hot. May is certainly not the best time to visit as the humidity had already set in. I flailed on The Alpine Club V9, but did manage a nice V8, Beautiful Soup, up the hill.

Devil’s Lake


Photos courtesy Brian Runnells

We then drove about on hour to Governer Dodge State Park, also in Wisconsin. Sandstone Violence V8 is one of the best problems I have seen in the midwest and would be a classic anywhere. I felt exhausted from the drive and the heat has set in. I couldn’t manage a send, but it was an enjoyable session nonetheless. I look forward to coming back sometime in better conditions to finish off this awesome problem.

My final stop left me in mid-Michigan, at my old stomping grounds Grand Ledge. It was a grogeous spring evening and I just ran a few laps on some old classics. It is very motivating to know that even in MI, on a random Saturday in May, there were 20 or 30 climbers out there, scambling their way up the same broken sandstone, enjoying the feeling of moving over stone and sharing in this sport of climbing.

Grand Ledge

I return to Colorado later this week and I will head up to Vail on Sunday to begin setting for the World Cup.

6 Responses to “Midwest”

  1. Steve Schultz

    25. May, 2009

    Very glad that you enjoyed your time at Devil’s Lake and I’m excited to see what happens this fall if you return!

  2. mike rathke

    26. May, 2009

    i was in GL on saturday for a little while. it was later in the day, and i was taking a rest day. there was a ton of people out there today, 23 cars were in the parking lot.

  3. John Knoernschild

    26. May, 2009

    If you think Devil’s Lake was humid in May, just wait a bit. This is nothing. The humidity was up because it had just rained. But the friction at the Lake has been really good this month.

  4. automated

    27. May, 2009

    you goin to athens, oh?

  5. Sweatpants

    28. May, 2009

    Dude when you are coming thru the midwest you need to hit me up! I just missed you in Boulder as I leave to head home to Chicago today. Hope you’ve been well. peace

  6. […] other news, check out this mysterious Organic shirt wearing boulderer I captured flying through the Midwest […]

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