Right now I'm sitting passenger, on our way back eastward to climb after a nice rest day with friends old and new in Sun Valley. I've been through Idaho a number of times over the years, but I've only spent a few days actually hanging out or climbing here. It's a unique state, offering a diverse scene and it's stocked with quite a few motivated people. Sun Valley has a distinct mountain resort town vibe, except that it seemed more family oriented than most - there are a lot of lifers there - it's not just second homes. We saw some free live music last night and enjoyed the company of the Ketchum community. There's great restaurants and bars. It's very much alive in the summer despite its primary reputation as a ski town. It's a pretty cool spot for sure.
Just a short drive south and you're back into rural, country style Idaho. Huge, irrigated farm lands and miles of sage brush fill the middle of the state. A thick haze floats over the horizon from some severe fires in the area, making the expanse feel a little more desolate. Just around the corner to the east is small mountain range that features a series of dramatic fins of limestone rising up from the hillside. This area, called 'The Fins', has been on my mind for several years - since I first visited a few years back. I didn't have as much of an eye (or drive) for development back then, but even so, I knew that the Fins were something special and offered quite a bit of potential. Well, I'm glad the place stuck with me, because over the last couple days of dropping in on these huge walls, exploring the area and talking with locals-- I'm convinced that the Fins have a lot more to offer. This place is amazing.
I think the Fins has the potential to make a serious impact on climbing in the states. The style may not exactly be en vogue, but with areas like Ten Sleep Canyon and Smith Rock getting increased attention recently - I expect that the Fins could be next on the list of must visit zones in this category. Very tall, uninterrupted walls, incredible stone quality, great hang and killer movement... it's a gem. There are many more routes to go in - especially hard ones. There's much more to add, but for now I've got to sign off... we're almost there, and I've got tons of work to do!