Tuesday, August 26, 2014

No Bodies here

Finding a dead body is a scenario that never really crossed my mind, I've been around dead bodies, but never gone through the "hello.... hello, wake up please" part. 
Ok story time, 
It was during a climbing trip to Vedauwoo, with my girlfriend Ashley, and friend Matt. It was both of their first times to Vedauwoo, so I made sure to fill them in on all of the crazy, gun toting redneck, aggressive wildlife, groups of swingers, stories I've accumulated while climbing there. 
Vedauwoo isn't just a place to climb hard offwidth cracks, it's a freak show, a full value survival of all kinds, and I really wanted Matt and Ashley to have that "adventure".  Well things usually don't go as planned, of our four days there, the first three were beautiful, friendly locals, blue skies, everyone sent atleast one climb! There were no gunshots ringing out, or even a moose sighting! 
All it needed was some, vegan lady telling me I needed to wear a helmet. And it would have been the exact same as a typical Indian creek trip. Boo!
On the last day, we decided to pack up camp and head back to a boulder called beer crack, so Ashley and Matt could have another shot at finishing it. We all jumped in the car and drove out, it's a boulder that's really out in the middle of no where. So I was surprised to see a car in the parking area when we pulled up. 
We all piled out of the car grabbed the bouldering pads, and there it was (a body). I think we had all partially noticed it before, but it hadn't moved, and it was time to acknowledge what we were all fearing, I'll just leave the details to that. The next hour of my life was all a blur of cops, paramedics, morticians, and even a random cowboy (Wyoming). 
It was an unusually quiet ride home, conversation never really held. Just awkward.....  
We had talked about it a little, just to make sure we were all ok, but we just needed to get out of Wyoming and back to a routine. 
Two weeks later Ashley and I were packing to head back to Vedauwoo, she mentioned that she had a bad feeling, oh thank god she said it first! We immediately abandoned going back, and decided to establish a new climb in Bells canyon, which we decided to name "No Bodies Here" 
Last week we returned to Vedauwoo, it was time to give it another chance. I remember feeling a lot of anxiety about just being in the area, Vedauwoo is, by far my favorite place to climb, and I was worried that it could be ruined forever. 
We stepped out of the car and heard that all too familiar sound, of not so distance gun shots, and even saw storm clouds building up on the horizon. It brought an odd relief over me, I knew we were in store for a much more normal trip. 
Ashley Cracroft hanging out on "Squat"

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Offwidth Army

Climbing Offwidths has a certain stigma associated to it, usually leaving those who search it out, socially outcast by the general climbing community. In other words, we're weird and we know it. Typically, offwidth dedicated climbers are a rare to come by, but as climbing grows among the community here in Salt Lake, so has the interest in wide cracks. 
Recently a select few have distinguished themselves as talented offwidth climbers, and have joined forces to rage war on our local offwidths. 
This is Matt Davis on a boulder problem I've been calling "twister". He is incredibly strong and has already sent the 5.12 inverted offwidth at our local gym, he's smart and calculated with his climbing and can read movement in the rock
This is Ashley Cracroft, I believe her history with dance and sport climbing transferred perfectly into offwidths, she is incredibly technically advanced in offwidth movement and has climbed hard vertical and inverted offwidths. 
And this is Wes Burdett, he never seems to give up, and has that "blue collar", grind it out personality, so crucial to offwidths. I don't think much will stand in his way from climbing some serious hard offwidths.

I've been calling them the "Offwidth Army"