After several weeks of hiking into Evans Area A, I was getting the approach dialed but getting less and less climbing actually done as the temperatures on the Front Range crept higher. The webcam at RMNP seemed to show that the snow was beginning to recede in earnest so I began heading to the Park instead. The snow was mostly gone where it mattered but a huge mini-glacier obscured most of the boulders east of the Gobot sector. Thus the Warm-up Boulders, The Centaur Boulder, Bush Pilot and European Human Being were completely buried in many feet of snow last week.
My first visit I focused on relearning the beta for Element of Surprise. I managed to get the moves back in order despite a constant onslaught of showers, hail and lightning. I really look forward to finding the right day and conditions for this crimpy and technical boulder problem. While the thin sharp edges are relatively positive, the south-facing aspect of the problem is a real drawback at the crux especially.
|Sizing up the exit on Hi Fi|
The next two visits I went to investigate the problems around the Large Boulder, across the canyon from Whispers and The Kind Traverse. I was especially interested in a problem called Hi Fi, a V11 put up in 2004 by Harry Robertson, a low-key boulderer who has always had an eye for good crimpy lines. My first visit was unsuccessful as I did not figure out the start correctly but I could see that if I got the first two moves in hand, the rest would be relatively straightforward. The next visit, after watching some video to ascertain start positions, I did the first move quickly and climbed the entire problem third try from the start.
As has the been the case most of the summer so far, I was alone most of the time. Whether the popularity of Lincoln Lake is the reason or just plain luck, the experience of roaming the extraordinary landscape of the Park in relative solitude has been fantastic.