Last weekend I was fortunate to be able to head up to Wyoming with Daniel Woods and Courtney Sanders. Most of the weekend was focused on Daniel making the second ascent of BJ Tilden’s Moonshine 9a, which he did in two days. It was a great effort on his part and rumor has it he may have put up another new 8C in RMNP. More to come on that later. I was happy to have one day to make it up to the Devil’s Kitchen, an area that continues to haunt my dreams.
The Devil’s Kitchen is a wild and remote place. Access is difficult (mandatory 4×4 road, which the few who have tried to reach without four wheel drive have come back with broken cars and sad faces), which makes the reward all that better. This was my forth trip down into this surreal canyon, and it seems everything here is magnified. The amount of rock is downright staggering, and the quality is, in places, perfect. There are only faint game trails, and travel across the extreme terrain is hard work. The level of adventure is high, and whispers of grizzly bears seemed to flitter in between the quaking yellow aspen. For me, bouldering in the Devil’s Kitchen offers all I could ask for.
Lander local Jesse Brown was ready and willing as always to go bouldering, and he suggested a new pile of boulders, one that had only been walked through, high on the shoulder of a dramatic waterfall. The excitement built and we raced down the hill and through a thicket of aspen, arriving quickly. It was evident immediately that we had stumbled upon a classic sector, and we all raced around like children, anxiously exploring the complex landscape.
It’s hard to know where to begin, and we all picked our projects.
David Lloyd, another dedicated Lander local, graciously drove his truck down the rough 4×4 road. His excitement for the area was hard to contain, and he picked off a classic just sitting in the woods, which I believe he named, aptly, Paradise Found V5
I did most of the moves and I hope I can return before the first snow falls to try and finish this amazing project. And while I was down 500ft below, Daniel was so psyched he couldn’t resist climbing, borrowing a pair of shoes to quickly establish the hardest problem in the Kitchen, One Shot Antelope V11. David made a nice video of the day and the FA.
The potential in Wyoming is incredible, and I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest the future of American bouldering lies in this wild and rugged state. The Devil’s Kitchen is one canyon in the vast and wild Wind River Range. I feel fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to visit, explore and help develop such beautiful places.
More to come later this week as Daniel Woods returned with Dave Graham and myself.