2014 was an incredible year and I am grateful for the climbing I was able to do. As the last two weeks of the year came to an end, Doug Shepherd, Shawn Gregory and I slayed some new routes in the valley. A brief window of ideal conditions lined up and we were able to pick off First Ascents like it was the opening day of duck season. More info to come on those sends, but that week got me thinking about the projects I have wanted to complete for some time. I wanted to take on a big project that would take more than a single day to get done, probably multiple days to complete.
After ringing in the New Year Wyoming style, I decided the time had come.
A hanging pillar in the valley has taunted me for years. It’s big and has teeth and I know it will not go down easy. It is indeed the “Bodacious” of pillars in the valley.
If you have climbed in the South Fork Valley, then you know it’s not exactly easy to get to some of the climbs. This project is no different. All things considered, the hour and half hike from the road isn’t that bad, but it’s definitely not a roadside crag. Thankfully, my good friend Shawn Gregory was still in town and he is basically a mule. He was a perfect guy to talk into carrying a heavy load to the base of the climb with me.
A couple days later, I returned solo to rappel in and start cleaning and bolting the wall up to the hanging pillar. I brought a Beal 60m static line to get the job done and as I began to rappel over the edge, I looked below to the see the end of the rope dangling in space. I quickly realized this route was bigger than I had suspected.
Thankfully, I was able to put in a bolted anchor station at the lip of the route, giving me enough rope to reach the ground. At 180 feet or so, this thing was big and I was scared. Not many people know, but I am scared of heights a bit and there is nothing I hate more than dangling from an 11mm piece of dental floss in the middle of nowhere. After a few conversations with myself, I dropped in and mentally prepared for myself for the long day ahead.
I am super psyched about this route and after another day or so bolting, I should be able to send the beast. More info to come!