Each year the water flowing from the Magic Reservoir into the Big Wood river just south of town here is cut off, draining the river and leaving behind a dizzying channel of water grooved basalt. This year, rumor is that the entire reservoir will be drained so that they can work on the dam. Over the last 2 weeks the water in the channel has been slowly disappearing, leaving pools full of fish (best fishing odds ever) in the low spots and exposing the eery sculpting of millions of gallons of water and grinding gravel. What’s left is a Dr. Seuss land of scoops, cracks and blobs that would please even the most creative boulderer.
Since the boulders are under water for half of the year, cleaning and brushing is the name of the game. Yesterday I stopped at Kings and armed myself with brushes, and we borrowed a rake from Dave to smooth out some gravel bar landings. Each season the gravel changes the shape of the problems as well as the height of the gravel bar. With no chalk, grades or guides, we are free to walk the gravel bars and clean and climb what motivates us. If you are ever in the area and are looking for a truly unique area to explore look no further, the channel seems to have endless opportunity and seemingly everything we brush turns out to be an awesome problem!