Archive for the 'Climbing' Category

Alpine Rock

Climbing, climbing, climbing.  This past month has seen some vertical action and I finally got up into the  Park to do some alpine rock.  I had been climbing a lot in Boulder Canyon mostly to take advantage of the cooler weather there, but also to climb some more sport routes on granite.  If you find a shady area in the upper section of the canyon, it can be quite comfortable even when the temperatures in Boulder hit the 90s.  I did get to Eldorado Canyon once this month to climb Rewritten with Fabio, still one of my favorite routes there.

Mike and I went up to the Park on Wednesday evening to start BivyFest ‘08.  We had planned on bivying for three nights and climbing three alpine rock routes, but the weather was not cooperative.  We were able to bivy below and climb Spearhead, but bailed on the trip after that climb due to weather.  It’s gonna snow up there today!  We got a bit wet on the hike out, but luckily we were able to avoid the worst of it.

Animation 4th Pitch Belay Rewritten Spearhead Bivy Spearhead Spearhead

On our hike out from Spearhead, we saw a small herd of elk grazing above Black Lake.  After seeing several smaller elk, we spotted the big daddy of the group – right in the middle of the trail!  We snapped some pictures and waited for a while (as we were being eaten alive by mosquitoes), but he stood his ground in the middle of the trail.  Finally we made enough noise that he moved off to the side and we were able to quickly pass.  His horns looked sharp!

Bull Elk and Black Lake Roadblock Big Daddy

Rock, Snow and… Ice?

This month has been good for climbing, June is the ideal time of year to get in some alpine routes in avy-safe conditions while still being able to rock climb in the shade.  I ticked off a climb I’ve been wanting to do for a while, the Yellow Spur in Eldorado CanyonDan took the direct start and bolt ladder pitch, and I climbed everything in the middle of the route.  Later that evening Dan, Monika and I went to the Dosage V premiere in Boulder and got to be humbled by the sheer pool of climbing talent that was on screen and in the audience.

The Yellow Spur The Yellow Spur The Yellow Spur

This weekend my friends Matt, Gregory and I climbed the route Martha on Mount Lady Washington in the Park.  This year we’ve seen record snowfall and cold temperatures, and we thought the route might be in a bit longer than usual.  It was fairly melted out and we ended up climbing the difficult sections with our bare hands instead of our ice tools.  Even though the conditions weren’t ideal, we had a great day up above treeline.

Chasm Lake Trail Starting up Martha Martha Mount Meeker and Longs Peak The Diamond from MLW Descending Mount Lady Washington

Summer Activities

Summer is now in full swing in Colorado, time for cookouts, hiking, climbing and enjoying the warm temperatures! Where to begin? Mike Wysuph and I climbed four routes in Eldorado Canyon in a day: 13 pitches and a boulder problem to total 100 points (grade of the climb x number of pitches, 5.8 x 5 = 40 points). A 100 point day has been a goal of mine for a while, to me it represents a full day of climbing on great rock in a good setting with a fun partner. Recently I’ve been climbing more sport climbs in Boulder Canyon, Animal World and Tonnere Tower are two fun crags with a variety of good routes.

Samuel and Benjamin are growing up every day, they both love to go swimming and dive into the water with their swim goggles. Benjamin is especially fearless, Monika and I have to constantly keep an eye on him because he’s always diving underwater. As brothers, they alternate between war and peace, one moment they will be playing nicely and the next fighting over a shared toy. I finished building a loft bed for Samuel, and now Benjamin and Samuel share a room.

Indian Peaks from Gambit Gambit Arete I Don't Wanna Go! Chillin' New Sheriff in Town Erie Balloon Festival 2008

Spring Already?

Last weekend was cool but bearable, and climbing in Boulder Canyon was enjoyable and uncrowded. This weekend, with the temperatures in Boulder reaching a high of 75, every climber in the area seemed to be out enjoying the nice weather. Matt and I got up early on Saturday to score the pole position on Icarus, a romp up Tower One in Eldorado Canyon. We climbed the first pitch of The Great Zot and shivered at the windy belay, topped out in the sun and sweated our way down the rappels. Every route in Eldo had a party already on it, so we bailed for Boulder Canyon and a newly developed area that wouldn’t have the traffic. All in all a fantastic day!

Tower One The Great Zot Jam It The Boulderado Flatirons Hike


The yearly trip to Ouray to go ice climbing went very well this year. I got to lead some easy, long ice and try telemark skiing for the first time (boy, my thighs are still tired). Midway through the trip Dave Ruel and I decided we were just getting too much snowfall to pass up Telluride and made the jaunt over to partake in the powder. The ice park was great, but every night we’d get more snow and the first person up a route would have to shovel their way to the top. My mom and the boys headed out with me again to see the sights and play for a bit in the snow. Good food, hot springs and some beautiful scenery always make for a good visit.

Ouray Ouray Welcome Sign Benjamin and Papa Placing a Screw Schoolroom Lead Topping Out

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