Saturday, May 25, 2013

Late Spring in RMNP

Since the semester ended I have been trying to get up to speed for summer season in the Park. For most of the local bouldering cadre, Wild Basin is the place to be, and I am sure I will visit soon. However more often than not, I like to seek out solitude and especially like locations closer to treeline and the Continental Divide. Lots of snow came late to the Front Range so the high peaks are still deeply covered including of course the boulders in Lower and Upper Chaos. That said, some problems are totally melted out and despite a long slow and tiring approach I have been making real progress on Element of Surprise and the right exit version.
In the coming weeks, a number of problems should be coming into shape, or will need minimal digging. The Centaur boulder is melting out quickly and Tommy's is climbable right now. I would not be surprised if a number of boulders in Upper are ready with in a few weeks but I have not been up there yet to confirm. I have used snowshoes for my last two visits as the snow fields have been pretty soft and the trail has been very post-hole prone.

I have also put in a few visits to Elkland, trying Afrika Bambaataa, a classic V12 crimp problem with a very frustrating first move. It's just around the corner from Bridge of Ashes and a very short walk from the road. The main issue with this problem is that it's getting too warm to deal with the very small holds. By the way, during a recent session I cleaned a potential right exit that heads out to the arete which could add some difficulty.

On my most recent visit, I found a little gem of a problem that I am calling Two Claws (V8). It takes an overhung dihedral and then surfs out right to top out. Good landing, technical moves and a nice line, all close to the road.

All in all I am feeling motivated and ready to take down some longstanding projects after shedding the sloth of winter!

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