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Posted on 02. Apr, 2012 by in Neverland

While a number of climbers are rightfully headed to the Poudre Canyon these days, or even more appropriately RMNP, as the weather warms, I had a free weekend and was looking for something new and different, so often the motivating factor as to where I climb. I will be sport climbing soon, but I had the opportunity to check out some potentially amazing new bouldering in Wyoming, and I felt compelled to make the trip.

Capps, Davin Bagdonas second from the left, Collin Horvat, Justin Jaeger

Davin Bagdonas has been my contact and has spearheaded the hunt for the best new lines in the state. Davin is a geologist, and he uses his expert knowledge to help him track down quality stone. Laramie local Bryan Vansickle has been involved in the development as well. For years, Vedauwoo has tarnished the reputation of Wyoming bouldering. Many climbers from Colorado have made the quick trip there and written the area off. I have had some really enjoyable sessions there, and Vedauwoo is a beautiful area with thousands of boulders, but as a connoisseur of fine rock, the large crystals have left much to be desired.

Davin is not one to settle for less, and is the kind of committed and driven person I can relate to. He has made it his mission to find and develop the best bouldering in Wyoming. There seemed to be a just a hint of excitement to his normally understated demeanor, and I knew this could mean he had found something exciting.

After several solid reports, I finally made my way up on Saturday with Collin Horvat, Brian Capps and Justin Jaeger to see some of this new rock and climb with some new climbers in a new setting. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but I was hopeful, as always.

We left Laramie under sunny skies and motored north, angling into the heart of the mountains and eventually making our way across a maze of private property and into a maze of two track roads on public land to the base of a mountain with huge boulders spilling forth down the hillside. It was obvious from the get-go that the rock was outstanding. The rock there is gneiss, similar but more solid and compact than Clear Creek Canyon. The shapes of the boulders were simultaneously sloping and angular. We marched up the very steep hill for 20 minutes to some fabulous problems. Our first objective was a Davin problem called Crazy in the Ocean V10. We all began working on what was described as the hardest problem in the Laramie Range. This is a classic boulder on extremely solid rock.

Crazy in the Ocean V10

It took us all some work, but Chorvat, Capps and myself all repeated the line. Capps and Davin set about working on another adjacent line that looked better and harder. A link-up maybe possible making a probable V12 or V13 of very high quality. This was the first of a number of projects we would see and try throughout the day.

Capps on a project.

I also attempted a very nice power problem on a nearby boulder with an interesting undercling that will probably be V12. I was feeling a bit flat all day, but there are four projects at this sector I would like to go back to and put some effort into. The first one would be the direct line of Crazy in the Ocean (which I didn’t attempt seriously), the undercling project, another roof I brushed up with very good rock (potentially V13), and the best project I saw, which I might add is reminiscent of that incredible problem in Cresciano, CH, La Prue:

It is very rare to find such a proud and pure line. While newness can feel less boring, it is rarity that satiates me more often than not. This was exactly the kind of problem I was looking for. An outstanding project on near-perfect rock and the landing is nearly flat. It is inaccurate to say that I found the problem. Brian Vansickle is the one who found the cluster and Davin is the one who pointed out the line. Without the efforts of these two I wouldn’t be there and for that I am very thankful. Davin had answers for all of my questions all day, and as with any interesting intellectual subject (bouldering included) it seems like the more I know, the more questions I have. He has explored many of the nooks and crannies of this complex and varied range, and his wealth of knowledge impressed all day.

A neurotic photo of a hold.

With limited time, we went to several other areas to just get an idea of what else was out there, and to try and fill my thirst for more information. Davin graciously drove around until almost dark. Thankfully, we had four wheel drive. We scoped projects, talked about new places to hike, and checked out some of the problems already established by the locals. One of the best was The Power of Contentment V9, established not long ago by Bagdonas. The rock on this problem is outstanding, and it cuts across the center of a massive roof. I was tired and couldn’t manage the send, but I’m psyched to come back and try this, and a new direct problem established by Brian Capps, which starts on two crimps and climbs the right side of the face at around V9.

Local developer Bryan Vansickle attempting The Power of Contentment V9

All in all, it was a great day on the lonely, high, plains of Wyoming. I am really psyched to return and put some effort into all these new lines! Calculus takes precedent next weekend, but soon after I shall return! W3rd.

17 Responses to “Neverland”

  1. David Lloyd

    02. Apr, 2012

    Great post and photos! I can’t wait to check this stuff out.

  2. joeyjoejoe

    02. Apr, 2012

    Yes, awesome post! Sounds like an awesome time.

  3. Collin

    02. Apr, 2012

    Big thanks to Davin, Vansickle, and the other Wyoming Brian for showing us around the vast terrain or amazing rock.

  4. Davin

    02. Apr, 2012

    We enjoyed the company. Thanks for making the trip and the future trips we’re looking forward to.

  5. Evan Martin

    02. Apr, 2012

    Nice! All of it (especially The Power of Contentment) looks amazing.

  6. big poppa skinsosoft

    02. Apr, 2012

    thanks for all the laughs and hospitality! sorry to stain your stones with my juice!

  7. Wes Walker

    02. Apr, 2012

    Great quote!

    “and as with any interesting intellectual subject (bouldering included) it seems like the more I know, the more questions I have.”

    …and some incredible looking problems!

  8. Davin

    02. Apr, 2012

    big poppa,

    Your juice is what adds flavor to our stones. Come back and juice it some more.

  9. Bryan

    02. Apr, 2012

    This place looks pretty sweet. Love the photos from your post and Davin’s. Keep it up!

  10. Danny B

    03. Apr, 2012

    Wyoming is a jewel. I love home

  11. Michael Rathke

    03. Apr, 2012

    Often we don’t even understand how cool stuff like that could possibly happen, and sometimes we get so into cool stuff but there is something that is much more cool…

  12. […] Neverland […]

  13. adam strong

    10. Apr, 2012

    well, these boulders look good. if they were mine it would be a cold day in hell before i released them to the general public.

  14. Davin

    10. Apr, 2012

    Boulders cannot be yours or mine, but there sure aren’t any directions to them. It is still hot in hell.

  15. Michael Rathke

    11. Apr, 2012

    -Marco Gnardaci

  16. Michael Rathke

    11. Apr, 2012

    I wonder if they know about the problem you found in TN that JW put up…Same name as the film

  17. big poppachosscrush

    11. Apr, 2012

    here are the directions as i remember them:

    -drive to laramie;
    -follow greenish jeep with red tail lights;
    drive away from laramie for long enough to have to manaully flex legs to relax knees 8 times;
    -turn onto dirt;
    -pass 5 sets of antelope;
    -bang head on window 5 times when road gets more rough;
    -get out of truck. wonder how it is midday and we’ve not started climbing yet.


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