Well last year I headed south of Gateway on Hwy 141 a mere hour from Grand Junction and noticed the rock type changed from the disappointing Dakota to the much better Wingate sandstone. Due to time restraints and a sleepy 3 year old I was limited to only a quick inspection of roadside blocks but I saw enough to know I needed to come back.
So this year I was back in the hood and excited about seeing what this area had to offer. It only took a few hours of running around boulders before I saw enough to last multiple days and I had only scratched the surface. The rock was good and formed awesome features that make for great lines and climbing.
Super psyched I recruited Matty and I went back for a half day of brushing and further exploring. We put up two great problems and left 3 sick projects and I became even more excited about the area. I was even thinking I could spend a couple weeks in Junction developing when the weather gods decide to shit on my plans and make the entire USA a snowy icebox.
It's been a week now since I last climbed (weird to go that long between climbing while on a climbing trip) and while I've left for warmer temps I can't help but wonder why people haven't climbed in that canyon. The boulders are super obvious with approaches that are laughably close. Only one hour from Grand Junction I don't see why boulders haven't been flocking there. I saw almost no signs of climbing and I later learned that what little chalk I did see was attributed to a friend (and kindred spirit) that lives 5 hours away (he was also dumbfounded by the lack of established bouldering). Seriously, Grand Junction boulders should drive past the choss in Unaweep and get to work. The rock is way better and there are gems of every grade sitting a stone's throw from the road.
Anyways, if I'm still around when the snow clears I'd love to head back. And I'd love to hear if anyone else has actually checked this place out. Amazes me that it is practically untouched.
On a side note, Saint George is covered in snow and it looks like we'll be heading to Vegas as it seems the only place with pleasant temps. Here are a few pictures from the "new" area.
Matty on the best problem we put up, a striking arete with a technical sequence. It took some time to work out the subtleties and we called this one Pimps Don't Cry
Matty on Pimps Don't Cry. It required almost no brushing.
We thought this one would be a moderate but we couldn't do the first two moves and decided to move on. Deceptively difficult.
A sweet problem on perfect rock. Matty got super close to this one. I called it Plain Sight.
I was hoping to go back to this one. Directly behind Plain Sight I wanted to clean the top with a rope before going for it but it's probably under a bunch of snow now. You can see how far the approach is.
Another roadside block. I managed to unlock a sequence using improbable holds but daylight ended the session. Would love to go back.