The summer was getting late, and Doug and Liz wanted one last weekend romp through the rocks and woods of Vedauwoo. Doug drove up early on Friday morning to grab the best campsite in the area: a huge area of cleared ground below tall lodgepole pines just south of the Beehive Buttress.
Mark, Liz and I arrived late on Friday night, to find Sean and Doug enjoying a roaring fire and the quiet of a Vedauwoo night. Liz had filled our heads with stories of coyotes, bears, and deadly moose in Vedauwoo. Our night was spent looking anxiously out into the darkness around us.
Saturday morning, we moved slowly, waiting for more friends to arrive and watching van after van of climbers arrive and head out to the Beehive. When we finally arrived ourselves, a CMS school was practicing leading on one side, and a boyscout troupe had set top-ropes all over the other.
We had never seen the buttress so busy! Often, we are the only group there.
On Saturday, I led an easy route with one awkward move, and Mark and Doug both led a pair of burlier routes in the middle of the wall. We all got in trips on each route, and then packed up as the crowds grew larger.
The rest of the day was spent playing cards, playing with fire, snacking, and hanging out at camp as people came and left. In the evening, we waited until the other climbers left for the day, and then made another run at the Beehive.
Clouds had blown in, and a bitterly cold wind scoured the granite buttress. I led an interesting route up the far right side, racing Doug’s lead just to my left, and the chilly wind. A couple brave people climbed our routes on TR, but complained of cold rock and numb hands.
A mist filled in as the climbers were working up the routes. The white clouds billowed by below and around them, making the view from the belay weird and ethereal. I have never seen anything like that before, or again.
Saturday night was chilly and misty. Rain drizzled and the fire roared. Liv dashed off into the darkness after some animal, which made an eerie and unearthly squeal. Eventually, Liv came back and we spotted the big fox, watching us from just beyond the firelight.
On Sunday morning, Liz made blueberry pancakes for the whole camp, and we hung our tents and flys between trees, waiting for everything to dry out in the sun. It seemed the mountains of Vedauwoo had risen above the clouds into the sun that morning. As we drove home, we watched the clouds washing up on the Front Range, and slowly descended back into the fog of the real world.