07 September 2011

Alpine Update from CO

Not sure if anyone else noticed, but the weather this past weekend was amazing in the alpine areas. I took advantage of the long weekend and got three days of great climbing in.

Upper Chaos (RMNP) > Area B (Evans) > Lincoln Lake (Evans)


Conditions were great all weekend and we took advantage. Had a great session at the Mirkwood cave in Upper Chaos, with a hang-on-for-dear-life last attempt that ended with a successful ascent of Mirkwood v10. Alex Kordick, Ivo Penchev and Mark Avery all put in good efforts with ascents of the stand also and followed with strong climbing on the sit. The sit, I Comb My Hair Like God v11, starts three moves lower than Mirkwood with toe hooks and slaps on bad holds ... very cool rock climb.

Sunday, I headed to Area B with Ivo Penchev to check out some climbs we hadn't seen before. With the weather close to perfect, we headed straight to an amazing CO test piece, Gorillas in the Mist v11. Unlike the infamous Dali boulder, Gorillas is almost perfectly smooth granite, with compression being the main way to unlock the movements. Ivo came stupid close to flashing the boulder, falling at the lip on the first effort. The boulder went unclimbed that day, no doubt we will head back there soon ...

Monday was third day on. 3rd day in the alpine!! I think I made it 6 days on at Lincoln once earlier this summer, safe to say not much was going down ... So Lincoln Lake seemed the obvious choice. A slow, relaxed start to the morning got us down to the boulders around 2pm and once again we headed in the direction of a few boulders I hadn't seen before.

We met up with Zack Sticcs and others from B-Town at an amazing boulder, Front Range on Fire v7/8 (FA : Greedy). After some warm-up attempts figuring out the beta, I climbed the boulder to the top. Another awesome boulder at Lincoln that I had known about for a while, but never seen. Connor Griffith added a lower start to the boulder; by starting on the right facing gaston and an undercling before pulling on and doing a move to the right start hold of the boulder. Nice one!

Connor Griffith climbing Front Range on Fire low v8
Ivo Penchev on the first move of F. R. O. F. v7/8
Next was a problem that had recently been established by Justin Jaeger and Ivo. Now dubbed Twisting the Knife, this one is in the upper talus field above Mote in God's Eye.

Twisting the Knife v8
 Starting on two underclings, the problem shoots right immediately with your feet staying near the starting holds the entire problem. After the third move, the body position is more or less horizontal and the last move is a flying, swinging move to a huge jug! Another brilliant line in the boulder field. GO DO IT !!

Although it is awesome beyond belief that I get to go climbing at areas like Mt Evans and RMNP, I am welcoming the cooler weather with open arms. Can't wait to get back to life on the front range. With the changing of seasons, new motivation builds to go to areas I haven't been in months. Just a few on the list are Poudre Canyon, Newlin Creek, EndoValley, Boulder Canyon, etc.... the list continues. Each of these areas are home to countless classic boulder problems with many more to be developed. Looking forward to hiking around in the mountains this fall / winter.... hopefully to find some nice new boulders !!

Until then ...