Monday, October 11, 2010

It May Be Over

Snow and Wind, Lake Haiyaha October 2010
On Saturday, despite the RMNP webcam showing high winds and snow, I, and as it turned out a surprising number of others, decided to give the Park a try. Even though it was obviously not great weather above 10,000 feet, the parking lot at Bear Lake was almost totally full. I met up with Ryan Young on the trail and we set a fairly brisk pace up to the Autobot Boulder. A stiff breeze was blowing across the boulders, accompanied by regular snow showers, which made warming up considerably difficult. After a few cursory turns on the easier problems there, I decided to get out of the wind and see if European Human Being was at all feasible to try. Amazingly the problem was tucked away sufficiently from the relentless wind, and though it was cold, I was able to get warmed up reasonably well. While I would have liked to have been able to report a successful send of this problem, the humidity level alone was prohibitive and in fact not long after I started packing up, water started running down the wall. I was however able to hit the second crimp from the start and complete the other moves quickly. While I am not necessarily the hardest of the hardcore when it comes to climbing in bad conditions, this session was certainly one of the toughest I have had recently. I am still remaining optimistic for one more good session on it.

Autobot V4 Ryan Young October 9 2010

While there may in fact be a few days left for the truly dedicated, for most it may be time to declare the season over, especially above treeline. Jamie Emerson gives the official wrap-up for Lincoln Lake while Chad Greedy's more impressionistic version is here. While the consensus about Lincoln is still settling, there is no doubt that this summer represents one of the most active seasons in Colorado bouldering since the first wave of bouldering in RMNP roughly 10 years ago.

For the Park, it was a relatively uneventful season, consisting primarily of repeats,such as Dan Beall, Jimmy Webb, et. al. on Jade. The interesting new developments have come from Jon Glassberg and Co. heading up to Upper Upper Chaos and really digging around to find new problems. I am confident that Upper and Super Chaos have many possibilities remaining. Sadly the hike is far more epic than Lincoln, which will keep many away.

For me it has been an education in many ways, encountering the weather, trying to be persistent in the face of time pressures, working on hard problems, often solo, usually getting frustrated, yet always enjoying the incredible sense of freedom that comes from hiking and climbing up in the high mountains of Colorado.

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