Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 12

Another day in Colorado Springs meant another day of erratic, violent storms filled the skies. We attempted to rock climb at Red Rocks Canyon again in the morning but were welcomed with rain as soon as we stepped out of the car. Our plans were foiled but always resilient we drove to the Garden of the Gods while the storm passed to secure some photos of the impressive landscape with its stained red rocky spires. This area was open for climbing with a permit but was minimally a 3 pitch climb requiring more gear and skill than we packed back in PA. We hiked and photographed much of the park's rock while the sun dried the area.

The strange "pot-hole" formation of GOG sandstone

An old aid line for ascending this blank face

One of only two white rock formations in the park. Standing proudly

A look down the park of all the spires standing single file

Welcome to the sceneYeah, they're Ashbury

We headed back to Red Rocks Canyon to finally just a shot at a lead of Electric Swimming Pool (5.9). Alex, all jazzed up about onsighting the route, clipped the first bolt. One move up the rock farther brought a cascade of water from the clouds to the cliff and ended with a temporary waterfall down onto the belay station. Colorado springs are very temperamental, apparently.
Pouting after another soaking failed climb

It rained off and on for the remainder of the day, but when Mike returned from work he suggested we go to a boulder cave that could still be dry. After a light dinner, we traveled across the city to a suburban park called Ute Canyon. By this time it was pitch black, so we arrived at the rocks by the grace of our headlamps. Boulder problems galore, and they were all bone dry on account of their overhung nature. We warmed up with a couple of climbs before sessioning a 5 move overhung crack and then moving to a highball problem with a campus deadpoint (no footed lunging move) on Warm-up wall (V2). It was by no means a warm-up for us. We tried it's bug juggy moves for nearly an hour before I finally stuck it to the top out. Mike finished it with a slight variation making it arguably much easier (jk Mike) and we moved onto another highball boulder problem (15 feet?) on a V3 climb named Wedgie. We all but got it as well but were too scared for the sloper top-out deadpoint.
Alex cruxing. Me spotting (in a silk blouse)

Yea. Mike is that lanky. One hell of a climber.

I'm reaching for some weird hold. It never worked, but I did get the climb.

We left this hidden climbing gem to stop at Sonics all over town to get our free root-beer floats the company so promised on all their commercials. Oh yea, I forgot to mention up to now that I was dressed like a gay pirate, Alex in one-piece pajamas, and Mike in God-knows-what frilly stuff. It was zany to say the least. Our waitress didn't match her socks, so we felt she was wild enough to take a picture with us.

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