Jacob Dolence

There is something special about climbing at Vedauwoo.  I've been all over the country climbing and it still remains my favorite area.  It doesn't have the long multipitch routes of other areas.  It has rock that rips your flesh off and it has stiff ratings.  Although there aren't crowds of people waiting in line for routes.  There aren't many bolts, and if you're willing to hike for a while you can get away from it all.  I started climbing there and am lucky to have made it through the learning years without getting seriously hurt.  I'm very thankful that I didn't learn how to climb in a gym, and that I had to earn my way through the grades.  I've lost count of how many 5.5-5.7 routes I led, and how many days I spent walking around the Nautilis with my secondhand set of cams putting gear in and weighting it, before I moved on to harder grades.  It seems that today the new generation of gym rat climbers progress through the grades so quickly that when they make it outside they hop on hard routes where rookie mistakes are often less forgiving than on the 5.5 chimneys and hand-cracks I made the same mistakes on. It was through my scary, and sometime ignorant mistakes that I learned how to get myself out of trouble if need be.  

I am humbled every time I return to Vedauwoo.  I have great memories of the summer I worked my way through the beginner offwidth circuit.  This summer started with many many takes and being completely exhausted on top of upper slot.   I hadn't reflected on those skills until this last Thanksgiving at Indian Creek when I felt just as solid on offwidth as handcrack.

I love my memories of setting out in the morning with a list of climbs for the day and coming back humbled with shredded hands/arms.

But it's not just the climbs that make it great, its the people whom I've been lucky enough to climb with.  The conversations that were had while hiking through the sagebrush or aspen groves and the beers with friends and the end of the day was what has made my time at Vedauwoo truly memorable.

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    Jacob wants to climb and save the world if there is leftover time.


    March 2009



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Jacob Dolence