Last weekend, a good weather window and work-free schedules allowed us a quick trip to our favorite choss-pile, Dierkes Lake. Our good friend, Nate, and new pup, Iris, also joined us for the day.

Despite the thick layer of humidity, canyon rim gun shots and bumper-to-bumper traffic, it was the perfect weekend getaway. Spring-like temperatures, singing song birds and families of ground hogs greeted us at every turn. Overcast skies and a slight breeze added to the experience. It was my first day out on real rock for the season and it couldn’t have been more delightful.

Photo of the Roman Wall and the newest routes. Photo: Shawn Willsey

Facebook told us a few days earlier that two new moderate routes were developed on the Roman Wall, Wasn’t Built in a Day and Julius Squeezer.  We decided to warmup on these routes before walking over to The Alcove for the afternoon. The climbs at Roman Wall, though shorter in height, offer a variety of moderate pitches on quality rock. Both routes had neat movement, tricky sequences and were, surprisingly, steep.

Nate climbing Citation (5.11c).

Ethan on Magma (5.12a).

At The Alcove, Nate navigated his way through puddles on Citation (5.11c) and then, through the tricky sequences of Pink Slip (5.12b). Ethan sailed up and had fine sends of Magma (5.12a) and Snack Pack (5.12a).  I continued to climb more moderate pitches, focusing primarily on outdoor mileage and my mental stamina.

Chossy loves Dierkes too.

Though not the most beautiful, serene or highest quality of rock, Dierkes Lake is a special place; a climbing area that will remain in our arsenal for early spring, late fall and winter climbing. It’s subtle beauty, three-dimensional rock and ample pigeon poop are just a few excuses for us to return each year.