Sunday in Eldorado Canyon

March 27, 2007 at 7:35 pm

Last Sunday we had another great day of climbing with a fun, big group. I’ve got a couple of nice photos up in the gallery, check them out!

The morning started late, as the area we wanted to climb at gets afternoon sun. We arrived at our parking places in the canyon around 11:30p. The first adventure of the day was fording the creek running through the canyon. These mountain streams are so unpredictable. It’s still early for the snow melt to make crossing too serious to attempt, but the full two days of rain that we recently received made it really darn exciting.

Dylan took such a great video that I’m going to post it here. That’s me leading the pack across the butt-deep water in blue jeans!

The hike up to the climbs felt really, really long. I guess it’s just early in the season! After over half an hour of stiff hiking brings us to the area with the climbs. There are groups climbing some of the other climbs, but we are able to get on our moderates.

Here’s a quick run down of the climbs from the day.

Duh Dihedral (5.6) – This climb was kind of the purpose for the whole hike. Mark lead it first, Rachel seconded and cleaned the gear out of the wall. JD cleaned his first climb of the season and did a great job. Dylan then lead up the climb again, and the rest of group enjoyed the climb. Many people commented that the corner climb with a juggy off-width was amazingly just like a gym climb.

River of Darkness (5.8) – A heck of a lead for Dylan. There was loose rock shuffed off this climb all day long. When I got up there, I was massively creeped out by the amount of large loose flakes covering the bottom of the dihedral. The fat offwidth looked really intimidating, until I jammed a foot in the hand crack next to it. Cool!

Fine Line (5.9) – We dropped a rope down this climb and everybody enjoyed it. I didn’t climb past the shelf in the middle because I had my nice camera with me, and the guy next to me was standing on my holds. Ah well, that’s what I get for climbing in a crowded area.

Hand Crack (5.10b) – Mark sets up a top rope on this one late in the day. Sometime while he was on top of the cliff, we all figured out that it was past 5pm and various dogs needed to be let out and people needed to get home. So Dylan and Mark climbed this one and enjoyed it. I should have spoken up and got a turn, but I guess I’ll just wait until we’re in the area again. Looked like a great climb!

Again, we had a fun day. I didn’t get to lead anything as I was hoping, but then, there really wasn’t much leading that needed to be done. It was nice to get back to crack climbing after all of the sport that we’ve been doing. Bring on that TRAD!!

Mark Rappelling the West Ridge