The weather has been warm, beautiful and dry for months. Our soil is drying up and blowing away on the Front Range. The water managers are starting to wake up at night screaming about the snowpack. And Mark and I were able to get in spring climbing at Vedauwoo a full month earlier than usual.
We pulled out all of the reslung cams on Friday night. The week before, we invested in a new pair of double ropes (Mammut Genesis 8.5mm) to use on Lumpy and in the Park this summer. I also even bought a new Petzl Reverso 3 when I discovered last week that the edge on one side of my old one was worn to a razor sharp edge. So, all kinds of exciting new gear to play with this weekend too!
There are very few climbs in Vedauwoo that you can reasonably do with double ropes. The subset of these that are south facing is an even smaller number of climbs. Luckily, Ed’s Crack fits all of our criteria. It’s two pitches run straight up a beautiful hand crack to a short off-width roof. A double rope rappel gets you right back down to where you started.
Mark was so excited on Saturday morning that he taped up before we left the house. As we pulled out of the driveway, our neighbor stopped us to talk, and exclaimed “Mark! What happened to your hands!?!” We looked at the medical/athletic tape covering the backs of his hands and laughed. “Nothing, yet.”
The main area was still closed when we arrived, so we parked (for free) outside of the gate. There was snow back in the trees, but the road, the base of the climb, the crack and the top of the rocks were all completely snow-free. The sun was shining on us all morning, right up until we set up the rap for the trip down.
We ate lunch as the clouds and wind rolled in. Our ambition to climb more was eroded faster than the dusty topsoil in my garden. We hung out with a cool guy named Chris who was out ropesoloing 4th of July crack that morning. We hiked around the base of the main area and checked out Mainstreet (10a) and Fallout (9), both of which look like they’d definitely go.
It was a warm and mellow day. Shocking weather for Vedauwoo in mid-March. Though, two days later, the weather in Vedauwoo looked like this…
We might not be back for a week or two.