Jess and I decided we needed an escape from winter, so we took three day weekend and headed down to Lander, Wyoming for a little pocket pulling in the sun. We headed down on Thursday night and camped in good ol' Lander City Park. Don't get me wrong, I love camping in the park, but nowhere makes me feel more guilty than when the police cruise though and shine their spotlight into the car in the middle of the night.
We woke up Friday morning to sunny skies and headed up to Sinks Canyon. We warmed up on Firecracker Kid and Elmo's Fish, two really fun 10s. Then it was on to Blue Moon. I can usually get through this thing, but it is never easy. It's kind of a slick, hard boulder problem about mid-way though the route that always feels heinous. Jess gave it a couple goes and then we both tried Searching for Jose Cuervo once. After that, I put in one poor try on Busload of Faith. I tried this last year and felt pretty good on it. It didn't go all that well this time, but I did figure out the first move, which I hadn't done before. I ended the day with two tries on Confessions of a Mask, a 12d right on par with Kundun in its sandbag nature. The route has big pulls between good pockets, not something I'm typically good at. It was a lot of fun to try it though.
Saturday turned out to be 35 degrees and snowy/windy rather than the forecasted 50 and sunny. We walked around a while, got snowed on and then decided to bail. We headed into town and waffled about returning to Bozeman. As a last ditch effort, we went back up the canyon to see if things had improved. It was slightly better so we decided to give climbing one more go rather than leaving. We ended up climbing a few 10s on the Stud Alert wall. I was also able to onsight Backup Binkie, a fun 12a with a boulder problem at the beginning. Jess sent it 3rd try.
Amazingly, the sun came back out on Sunday morning and we had great climbing temps. We warmed up on Corner Drug and then went to Purple Galaxy an amazing 100' 12a with cool two finger pockets and monos. Jess tried the route a few times while I gave a few goes on Confessions. The first go went really well, but I got incredibly pumped and fell at the crux. The second go brought me through the crux, only to fall in a dumb place. With Jess done trying Purple Galaxy, I had one more try on Confessions before we had to leave. Luckily, I managed to pull off the send of this great route. The winch start leaves a little to be desired, but the good climbing above more than makes up for the 10 feet of choss you have to pull though.
It was an awesome weekend and it felt great to get out and climb at Sinks again. Ever since my parents let me pack up the car when I was 16 and head off on my own to Lander for a week, the place has felt special to me. I've climbed in a lot of really cool places, but going to Lander always has a nostalgic feeling that can't be beat. Can't wait to get back and put in more work on Busload!