Bouldering on the Great Plains

Earlier this month we released the latest episode in our “Off The Map” video series, which covered mountain biking in the Badlands of North Dakota on the infamous Maah Daah Hey Trail.

This week, the GearJunkie crew packed up a Subaru stationwagon and stacked bouldering pads atop a Yakima roof-top cargo basket in search of some of the most obscure rock climbing on the continent.

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The Odessa boulder, an immense granite erratic near the South Dakota border

The venue was the great plains of western Minnesota, a landscape of wheat fields, combines, old barns, and straight highways that fade at the horizon line. But peppered on this flat land are immense hunks of stone, eons-old blocks of granite dragged to their current resting spots via glaciers and an ice age that overtook the region 10,000 years ago.

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Zach Bramel contemplates a line

With five stout area climbers, GearJunkie’s editor Stephen Regenold, cameraman T.C. Worley, and intern Patrick Murphy visited three bouldering destinations during one, long 17-hour day.

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Action! T.C. Worley films a climber

Our forthcoming video, “Bouldering the Great Plains,” debuts on July 2. For now, check out our photos from the shoot here, a day of obscure yet surprisingly solid bouldering action on granite erratics and other small stones of the great plains.

—See GearJunkie’s ‘Off The Map’ series and full-screen video episodes, sponsored by Yakima, on the publication’s dedicated micro-site.

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Traverse on Odessa Boulder

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Pi Vongsavanthong resting between routes


Zach Bramel claws through a tough problem in Swede’s Forest

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Odessa Boulder

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Recording the action

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Intern Patrick Murphy and our vehicle support

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Liz Horn pulls down

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Good grip on coarse stone

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Layback on the arete


Richard Cargill tops out at the end of the day