Although the temperatures were bitterly cold this weekend, I made my way south to New Mexico to explore a few of the hundreds of places I have pinned on Google Earth. The hunt for new boulders can often be a difficult one and even with the aid of technology like iPhones, internet, and Google Earth it can still be extremely frustrating. My focus this weekend was several areas near Las Vegas, NM
We drove for hours on marginal dirt roads, criss-crossing private property and public land. The difficult mix tested my ability to access the places I was hoping to see, but eventually we got to within a mile and a half of one particularly enticing spot. A long bushwhack lead into a beautiful and lonely canyon on public land. After several hours of driving and hiking just trying to get to the head of the canyon, it became quickly apparent that while there were thousands of huge boulders, none of the rock was suitable for hard climbing. We stopped at a few other places with less rock but the results were the same. The next day we drove over 100 miles to another potential new zone, but we were snowed out and went home. Developing is hard work, not only in the physicality of trying to find, access, and climb new and good rock, but I sacrificed several climbing days for my effort. No sends, no updates, no glory, however fleeting that may be. My time always feels limited, and it can be frustrating giving up a weekend of climbing simply in hopes to find more. This is the reality of what it takes develop new boulders, and it makes it is easy to understand why so many climbers don’t bother to make the extra step.
The benefit is that trips like this make success all the better. While I am defeated this time, my frustration only strengthens my resolve, in hopes to find the next Chaos Canyon, Devil’s Kitchen, etc. My efforts will be focused now on other clusters, particularly those in Colorado.