Saturday, June 12, 2010

A sporting climb...

For about 2 years now, two of my coworkers at ESRI and I have discussed rock climbing and the plethora of routes "near" the office.  As I've advanced my mountaineering and rock climbing skills through CMC classes and am now an assistant instructor for Basic Mountaineering School, my rock skills are slowly getting more solid.  And I'm getting more comfortable with exposure as well.

Earlier this week, Kevin Hodson approached me and asked if I was interested in some rock climbing before work on Thursday morning.  Seeing how my week has been chaotic at best with beta testing of updated course materials for ArcGIS 10, I was ready to get something in this week.  My running has been sidelined - mostly due to schedule and summer activities - so I said YES!

The plan - be at the base of High Wire Crag in Clear Creek Canyon by 5:45 AM to have a 2-2.5 hours to climb.  The routes we were looking to do was "Stone Cold Moderate"  (difficulty 5.7) and "Ace in the Hole" (difficulty 5.10a).  As these were sport climbs (bolts placed in the rock every 8-10' for protection), we did not have to worry about bring trad gear (cams, nuts, etc.) to place our protection.  Kevin has done some leading in this canyon before so I belayed him on both routes so he could set the top rope for my climbs up/down.

The first route, Stone Cold Moderate, was an enjoyable climb to warm up on.  The route follows a crack to chains 100' above the belay station.  We both climbed this route twice playing around with different handholds and footholds.  The second route, Ace in the Hole, was much more of a challenge both in rating and smaller handhold/footholds.  Kevin led this route again and it pushed his leading skills.  When I lowered him down to the belay station, he was pumped about doing the route and at the same time, glad to be down.  My turn now...this route was one of the harder routes that I've climbed this year but I was looking forward to it.  The handholds/footholds are a bit smaller and you have to look around for them but they are there.  It took me about 10-15 minutes to climb the 100' to the top but what a climb!  After being lowered, we packed the gear and drove the office to begin the work day.

This weekend was supposed to be our BMS Grad Climb to Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park but heavy rains/snow in the northern and central mountains as well as the Front Range, has put the kibosh on our plans.  Currently, the instructor team is quickly planning a day trip for Sunday morning but nothing solid as of yet.  Regardless, the weekend is here and for that I'm happy!

Next weekend, heading down to ABQ to see my girl and enjoy the warm New Mexico desert!  Climb On my friends!

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