Sandstone, Gneiss and Granite

The past few weeks I’ve been trying to get out climbing in Eldo or Boulder Canyon since the weather has been nice. Most days are t-shirt weather but when the sun goes down or the wind picks up, you’d better have another layer! My tick list on Mountain Project is getting bigger and my todos are slowly shrinking, although I seem to keep adding more climbs to do as I explore the area more. I can tell the end of the season is coming soon because the days are definitely getting shorter, and I can only get two or three pitches in after work. The good news is that ice season is quickly approaching!

Your Basic Lieback Dihedral Deugan Belays On the Wall

Second Pitch Washington Irving Tigger Tigger

Fall

The leaves are turning, cooler temperatures are here and the days are getting shorter.  It’s perfect weather for climbing and hiking, and we’ve been doing some of both in the past few weeks.  I have been trying to push myself leading trad, and last week led my first 5.8+ route – Huston Crack.  Boulder Canyon has many great granite cracks that I can’t wait to climb.  Monika, the boys and I have also been hiking around the area and trying to see different areas of CO that we haven’t before.  We always take our camera and seem to get some pretty good shots of the kids now and then.

Button Rock Preserve Benjamin Button Rock Preserve Samuel's Seat Samuel Samuel and Benjamin

Summer Update

Monika, the kids and I decided to drive through South Dakota on our way back from our visit with family in Ohio. We drove for three days, visited Wall Drug, the Badlands, Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial all in one day. The southwest corner of South Dakota seems to be the happening place in that state, the rest of the drive was highlighted by billboard ads for Wall Drug and the Mystery Spot.

Mt. Rushmore Mt. Rushmore Mt. Rushmore

Monika and I climbed Torreys Peak (14,267ft) today, it was her first fourteener and she did great. We went up Kelso Ridge, this was my second time up the route and today we had great weather for it. The crux of the climb was a bit more exposed because all the snow in Dead Dog Couloir had melted earlier this summer. Five hours up, two and a half down with a total ascent of 2946ft at an average of 14ft per minute. Thank you, Mr. Altimeter Watch.

Heading Up Kelso Ridge Monika's First 14er Finishing Kelso Ridge Kelso Ridge Monika and Mark on Torreys Monika Descends Torreys

Quandary Peak

Just a quick post to show some pictures I took on Quandary Peak last month. I climbed Quandary with a visiting friend from Ohio, we did the West Ridge and on the way down saw a herd of mountain goats. They looked pretty ragged, shedding their wool for the summer. There were a few young goats (goatlings?) in the herd, but they weren’t shy at all. I’m sure if they felt threatened a good headbutting would have been dealt to the offender.

Columbine on Quandary Quandary West Ridge on Quandary Goat Family on Quandary Baby Goats on Quandary Goats on Quandary

Fourteeners

Over the past few weekends I’ve been able to hike a few 14ers here in Colorado. Last week I hiked Torreys and Greys via the Kelso Ridge route on Torreys. My brother-in-law Fred went with me, along with two of his friends that live in Ft. Collins. Kelso Ridge has some 3rd class scrambling and some great views, and I was able to take some decent pictures. This weekend I drove up to hike Bierstadt and Evans, linking the two together with the Sawtooth ridge route. Descending Evans down to Guanella pass was interesting because it was a bushwack, but I had the opportunity to take some pictures of the wildflowers and even saw some Rocky Mountain Columbine on the descent.

View from Bierstadt Sawtooth Ridge Guanella Pass Bierstadt and Sawtooth Wildflowers Columbine and Bierstadt

Greys and Torreys Torreys Water Near Torreys Kelso Ridge Kelso Ridge Kelso Ridge

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