Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Colorado Rock

So not a Scottish Adventure as I imagined I would be doing....... but I headed out to the states with Ben for some climbing. We'd not realised it was labour day weekend when we arrived so it was pretty busy initially but wow how much rock do they have!?

Just saw this great (scary) postcard in a coffee shop!

Ben escaping the crack on Castle Rock, Boulder Canyon
The first part of the week was great fun hanging around the Boulder area, climbing granite routes in Boulder Canyon (1000's of routes I imagine) and based around Nederland, which is a cool low key alpine type town nestled in the Rockies foothills at 2000m. 

Very foreshortened view of the Bastille (Ben gearing up for  Bastille Crack)

Me on the first pitch (of 5)
The town had a real buzz about it, with locals, cowboys, hippies, us and techies from Boulder all mixing together in the couple of coffee shops in the early mornings waiting for the rock to warm up (which didn't take long). 

So much rock in Eldorado Canyon

An early highlight of the trip was chatting to the town sheriff who tried to convince us that he was originally from the UK. He was great and deputised us before wishing us well and going off to chase down some 'scum bags'!

Another view of the Bastille and our route (can you spot the 2 teams of climbers?)

Sorry another view of the Bastille after we'd finished our route (I loved it!)
Oh, I digress we'd gone to climb! On the granite the best routes we found were on Castle Rock, particularly 'Cussin Crack', a tricky 5.7, that would have got HVS 5a in the UK, and yes I did 'cuss' in the tricky corner/crack!

View from camp up in Nedville!

Cussin Crack 5.7, a slippy hard corner system 
Even better than the granite (for me) was the sandstone climbing in Eldorado Canyon. Big wows for this place. A tight canyon with dirt road running through it, with masses of climbing from 1 - 8 pitch routes (probably 1000's of routes here too). We only did 3 routes (the best being Bastille Crack a fantastic 5 pitch 5.8), but I fell in love with the climbing here. Just fantastic cracks on red ochre cliffs.

Another day in Eldorado (on wind ridge I think)
Deputised in Nederland (its not a kids badge - honest)
After 4 days of great climbing, coffee and camping we headed onward to Bears Ridge (aka Devils Tower) in Wyoming (tune in when I sort the other photos)!  

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