Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 13

Mikey took off work this morning to climb Red Rocks with us. The weather, for once, was beautiful: bluebird skies, the warm sun, and a gentle, cooling breeze. We finally got a chance at climbing the canyon. Alex first lead Helios, a short 5 bolt 5.8. Mike and I followed with top-roped ascents to warm-up.
Alex, clipping a bolt on his first sport lead

I then lead a 5.10a/b named Tava (8-bolts), my hardest onsight lead to date.
Cruxing at a slopey layback section

We then ventured off the Solar Slab to the depths of the canyon. We got topless and found a 130 high climb named Ka-Ching(5.10d). Mike fought hard to lead it, a truly impressive climb as evidenced by the photos. Alex fell victim to the thin, delicate moves. I followed with a slightly sloppy top-roped ascent.
Body of a god. Rack of quickdraws gleaming.

Bodies of regular people, but we try to climb anyways. Also notice I'm belaying at the very end of my 60m rope. This climb was high

Mike about to work through a 15 foot crux section. He got it. The wall was nearly featureless and went to vertcal at the same time.

This is one of my favorite climbing areas I have ever encountered for moderate sport climbing! We parted with Mike as he had work but said said hello to another thunderstorm (we beat it this time though). We packed up all our stuff from Mike's condo (almost) before locking up the place. I then realized I forgot my Nalgenes in place, which were vital when heading west to the desert. I climbed up to his porch (super sketchy) to find the glass sliding door locked. I was stuck. Alex managed to pick the fornt door lock to solve all our problems, or so we thought. Apparently, a neighbor witnessed our breaking into the place and called the cops on us.
I snapped a photo as they were pulling away. We were free to go!

We smooth-talked our way out of some burglary charges and said goodbye to our badged friends. We were back on the road heading towards Aspen for the night. We passed through the collegiate peaks region and then through Independence pass. The scenery was magnificent.
Collegiate Peaks- I think Mt. Harvard

Some unnamed granite cliff. Plenty of those around.

Independence Pass/ Continental Divide- Snow still

We settled down at a comfy campsite just before dark and cooked up some spaghetti. It felt good to be in the belly of the woods (ghostly white aspen) again.

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