“Does climbing ever get anything less than terrifying?” Asked Eric, a local who was doing Yellow Spur on follow for his first outdoor climb ever.
” I wish I could say it does, but isn’t that the sweet spot between abject terror, and fun/excitement? I dont go on the kiddy rides at the amusement park.” I offered.
“I do, ” said my belay sharer.
“Well, the Spinning Teacups are pretty bad-assed too” I mused.
That, and my vacation itinerary included some of the most astounding climbing I could have imagined. I hope all of Colorado climbing isn’t this sandbagged. I hope Lane and I did a half dozen of the most underrated(in terms of difficulty) climbs in the state!
Of course I have gotten used to the wild grade fluctuations in my hometown paradise crag called Index. I think that just because the Colorado and Index scene grew so fast and spectacularly in their respective histories, limits didn’t seem to apply. It was purely creative and subject to the artists own interpretation. Also, there were some incredible climbers back then, as there is now. They did the same terrifying stunts with shittier gear.
About half of our experiences felt like a scene in a movie starting right off the bat.
Friday 8-10-18 Arrive at Sea-tac just as a plane is hijacked and flown to its dark conclusion.
8-11-18 Arrive DIA at 4 am, sleep in car until too hot. Shop and drive to Estes Park
8-13-18 S.Face Petit Grepon 6p 5.8+ Deserving classic.
8-16 : 4am, Lanes back goes out while getting ready for the Diamond. Rest at high camp.
Things went bad for us several times during this climb, some not easy to talk about, as we are supposed to be a savvy, and experienced climbers. Lanes spinal issues improve, but near the top of the ice(at the wrong start), he slipped and went down about 80 feet before hitting the scree below. He lost large chunks of skin on his thumb, shredding his clothes, and beating himself up in general. I was shocked to find that he wanted to continue. I threw him a rope, and he mini-traxed himself up the rope. Another party came up on our off route line, and had a worse slide down than Lane!! They too were wanting to continue behind us(The wrong way up the Fields Chimney). I threw a rope to the traumatized moths headed to the next flame. I’ll let mt. project do the talking about the chimney experience that leads to the base of the Casual Route.
Perhaps the opposite of Casual, this steep, amazing line made me impressed with it’s climbing and all of the many parties that compete for its chains each day of the very short 6 week season. We got behind one party and barely in front of another. After enjoying the sweet climbing, we reached the last pitch just the lightning, rain and hail storm hit. I raced across the vertical traverse as it picked up, making it across just as water, and hail poured down the face. Poor Lane lost a few slings following, pulling a back rope through the fixed gear. His self preservation, and years of experience paying off again.
8-18-18 Cosmosis, Boulder Canyon 10a/d Stout, fun!!
8-19-18 Yellow Spur, Redgarden Wall, Eldorado 6p 5.9+/5.10c Some of the most amazing climbing I have done. Enjoy some pics, some are from Lane, thanks.