Brotherly Visit

My brother Luke came to visit me a few weeks ago and we did quite a bit of climbing while he was here.  He visited to sample the best of Front Range climbing and I think we did a pretty good job of getting around and climbing a lot of different classic routes.  We began the day he flew into DIA with a trip to Eldorado Canyon and a jaunt up Wind Ridge and then the Bastille Crack, two classic routes at a moderate grade with short approaches.  The next day challenged our legs a bit more with ascents of the First and Third Flatirons, simulclimbing as much as possible.  We rounded out the climbing the next day with some sport climbing in Boulder Canyon at Avalon.

Wind Tower Descent Redgarden from the Bastille First Flatiron First Flatiron Lunch Ledge First Flatiron Runout

The ultimate goal of Luke’s trip was an ascent of the Petit Grepon, an alpine rock spire in Rocky Mountain National Park that is on the list of the 50 classic climbs of North America.  Looking at the weather and noticing that later in the visit the chances of rain increased, we made the decision to go for the climb early.  We got a nice alpine start and motored on up to Sky Pond, at the base of the Petit.  Making good time, we climbed well and topped out just after noon, then rappelled back down to the base of the climb.  On the last rappel, the skies opened up and the rain started.  I dove into a bivy cave while Luke pulled the ropes in the rain, and we waited out the storm in the small cave.

Loch Vale from the Petit Taylor Glacier from the Petit Looking For a Belay Snack Thatchtop from the Petit Step Carefully

Sky Pond from the Petit Top of the Petit Petit Grepon Summit Cramped Bivy

After the rains stopped, we were able to hike back to the car in dry conditions and celebrate the ascent at Ed’s Cantina.  The last weekend of Luke’s trip was spent driving to Steamboat, camping out there and taking a much-deserved soak in the Strawberry Hot Springs.  A short side trip to Breckenridge and we were on our way back home.  Super fun visit and a good amount of climbing made this a memorable trip.