Yeah the title may sound a bit weird but close your eyes and think real hard about what I am likely to write about. If you thought “climbing and camping” you are correct!! This time we headed to God’s Crag on Engineer Pass near Lake City, CO. This was new territory for Robyn and I and a bit of a hefty 5 hour drive from Golden but daaaaang was it worth it. We had the crag to ourselves, great temps, stunning scenery and even saw our first little taste of fall.
Nate has been talking up this crag for a while, and as it turns out for a lot of things, he is always right. This place was amazing to say the least. The rock was reminiscent of both The Fins and Ten Sleep but I gotta say, the Creamy Salmon Wall on which we spent the majority of our time, was one of the best walls of pocket pulling I have ever had the pleasure to tie in under.
Robyn and I are both feeling strong and I am stoked that we are now past the first phase of our third cycle through the Rock Climber’s Training Manual (RCTM). We plan to do an abbreviated cycle this go around so that we can reach our peak again in late October and November. Our hangboarding weights are heavier than ever, but we are also making sure to get out and keep up our endurance a bit more on real rock. Robyn had a great couple efforts on Bone Machine (5.12a/b) and nearly sent. I know this route would have gone down had she got on it a day earlier but we simply ran out of time and needed to head out to start our long drive home.
I had a great couple days on the Creamy Salmon Wall and ultimately was able to tick it left to right. Day one we warmed up on The Bone (5.10d) a slabby and runout not-so-warm-up. Moving along from there I got Wishbone (5.11c) second go, flashed Bone Flex (5.12a/b) and sent Zootie Head (5.12d/13a) on my second go. This wall was perfectly my style and I knew I would have a good shot at flashing Zootie Head. Turns out there is a pumpy and sequential sequence right below the chains and while I was down climbing back to a rest to think it over some more I slipped and my dreams were dashed. Regardless I was super happy to put the route away on my second go with way better beta. The rest of the wall went on day 2 with a flash of both Bone Machine (5.12a/b) and Black Velvet (5.12b) as well as a second-go send of the ultra-cool Sterling Coach (5.12a/b).
Ever since I first saw a few of my climbing partners wielding Bosh hammer drills I knew new-routing and bolt/anchor replacement would be in my future. In a way I am surprised how long it took but I believe several years of climbing has now conditioned me to care more for and to appreciate the incredible efforts of those that have created the climbs that I enjoy. One of those people is Nate, and on this day I got a lesson in bolting and anchor replacement as we installed new anchors on Black Velvet and Sterling Coach. It was a great feeling to clip into a new bomber anchor and lower to the ground, especially since the anchor I got to install was on the most classic route at the wall. Thanks Nate, and thanks American Safe Climbing Association for the time and hardware!