Climbing Batman and Robin

July 25, 2009 at 8:56 pm

No, not climbing AS Batman and Robin (which would be awesome) or climbing WITH Batman and Robin (even awesomer!) Batman and Robin is a classic little moderate on the Batman Pinnacle in Lumpy Ridge. When Mark and I were talking about moving to Colorado, five years ago, I looked up “local” climbing for Fort Collins, and found the ClimbingBoulder (yes, I’m old) page for Lumpy Ridge. I was in awe. And the first climb I wanted to do was Batman and Robin.

It took us five years to get around to it.

Looking out at Lumpy Ridge, Batman Rock and Batman Pinnacle

There’s more photos from the day in the gallery.

Its been a little bit of a different summer for Mark and I. He hasn’t been feeling as strong, so we’re not climbing hard trad or pushing our limits on long routes. It’s nearly the end of July, and we haven’t stepped foot on Lumpy yet this year. We wanted to go back, but didn’t feel up to an epic day. What to do? How about a 4 pitch 5.6 that used to inspire you? Once upon a time…

We got up relatively early, in hopes of avoiding crowds and weather. The sky was intermittently filled with clouds and blue sky. When we parked, a cold wind blew across the hills, and the dark sky rumbled; we didn’t think we’d get a climb in. But we hiked up the steep hill, and by the time we were wandering lost along the ridge, the sun was shining on us once more.

The continental divide in the morning

Yes, wandering lost along the ridge. Just for a little bit. This rock is in an area we have never explored, so, of course, we spent some time staring up at a rock wall, trying to figure out if this was where we wanted to be climbing. It wasn’t. We had found Checkerboard Rock first, and Batman Pinnacle was further up the hill.

The route itself was quite a lot of fun. The pitches were short, the route finding was pretty easy, and the cracks were very pretty and very fun to climb.

The fantastic handcrack on the third pitch

As we buzzed our way up the four moderate pitches, the sky darkened again. This time, real storms formed to our south, obscuring Long’s Peak. As we topped out on the lovely little summit, the sky was filled with heavy grey clouds and thunder rolled out of the blackness to our south.

Kate on the summit of the pinnacle

So, we didn’t get to spend much time on top of the pinnacle. Which is too bad, because, really, why else climb a detached pillar of rock than to jump around and take fun pictures on the tiny summit? I took a few shots of the valley and then rain started, so we set up our rappel and headed down.

On Batman Pinnacle

The rap off of Batman Pinnacle was short. We actually rapped too far down the hill, and had to scramble back up quite a ways to find the trail that goes along the bottom of Batman Rock. For others interested in climbing this route, just rap to the base of the big tree, then walk off to the east.

In the end, it was a quintessential fun Lumpy Ridge adventure. We had a long, hard, uphill hike. Got a little lost. Eventually found the climb. Four easy, fun, pitches of climbing. Got a little lost on the descent. Eventually found our way down, and hiked out in the rain. We’ve done it before, and we’ll happily do it again.

Darker skies, thicker clouds