The weekends are a welcome relief for me right now. I’ve been putting in 14 hour days here at the College, and it’s nice to be able to just go home and relax. But I didn’t want to spend the whole weekend napping! (Ok, I did, but I knew I’d regret it later) So, Sunday, Mark and I got a slow start and headed out to Golden, CO, in the hope of getting a little sport climbing done on the basalt crags of North Table Mountain. There are pictures from the day in the gallery.
When Mark and I finally got to the climbing area at around 10a, the lower parking lot was completely full, and the upper lot was rapidly filling as well. The sun was coming and going between high clouds, but that hadn’t stopped the huge crowd of people who had already shown up. We hiked up the hill, and saw the crowds filling the base of the crags. Rather than go left, Mark and I headed right to see what climbs might be off in less developed territory. We ended up on the upper tier of the Child-free zone.
Skin Deep? (5.9+) – I have no idea exactly which climbs we were on. The first one climbed up a sharp arrete to the left of a line of bolts. Once we got to an upper ledge, the climb forced us out on to the face, where we climbed a thin crack to the anchors. It felt like a regular NTM 5.9+. But we both worked hard on the climb. Mark came down with sore hands, and I had a pump so strong it was difficult to keep my hands closed over some of the upper holds.
Unknown (5.10-) – Mark led this one beautifully. He climbed to the high first bolt, then swung across a big fun flake like a trapeze artist, and climbed a thin overhanging crack to the ledge above. The face at the top of the climb was awesome, full of cool crimps and delicate edging that I love. But by the time I got there, my hands were so exhausted I could not keep them closed on the holds. I slowly worked my way up the face, doing one move and then resting and shaking out my hands until I reached the anchors.
By the time I had cleaned this climb, the sun had begun to wink in and out behind a deep, dark cloud bank over the mountains to our west. My hands were soo sore, and Mark was feeling embarrassingly pumped as well. It was 3p in the afternoon, and there was still a conga line of climbers hiking up to the crag. The parking lots were both jammed full, with people parking along the roads up and in the middle of the lot. We decided to pack up for the day and head out. We spent the afternoon with my little brother in Denver, and had a great BBQ dinner before Mark headed home to the Fort and I headed back south to the Springs.