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.

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.

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.

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.

Traverse on Odessa Boulder

Pi Vongsavanthong resting between routes

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

Odessa Boulder

Recording the action

Intern Patrick Murphy and our vehicle support

Liz Horn pulls down

Good grip on coarse stone

Layback on the arete

Richard Cargill tops out at the end of the day

By

Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.