For the last several weeks I have been running around Colorado and Utah, with Adam Fisher. We managed to spend a few days in Indian Creek andMoab for the “Circle Up,” Along with the Sangre de Cristo Range in Colorado.
Adam Fisher and myself thought it would be a great idea to take a more direct and thus scenic route to Indian Creek, UT. Driving from Leadville, through Gunnison, Montrose, and Ridgeway. It was a beautiful drive, and could have been more enjoyable than I-70, except that we found the drive to be several hours longer than anticipated. We arrived in the Creek around 11pm. For Adam, this was his first visit to Indian Creek.
While around Indian Creek we managed to get a few classics in;
-South Six Shooter
-Key Hole Flakes
Following the good times in the Creek, we headed North to Moab, to meet up with some great Outward Bound friends for “The Circle Up.” For several days we shared ideas, participated in workshops, and ran the Moab Daily in a number of different rafts, kayaks, and canoes. In the end, it was a great experience that provided an opportunity for us to reconnect and “add new tools to the tool box.”
In the middle of all this, my brother, David and his girlfriend Logan visited. We had a fun two days. Climbing Turtle Rock in Buena Vist via the Flake route, and rappelling off the head of the turtle. The rest of the time we kicked in BV at K’s, the best milkshake and burger place in Colorado and around the Outward Bound base camp in Leadville.
Most recently, Adam and myself traveled a two hours south to the Sangre de Cristo Range. The range contains beautiful scenery and some of the best alpine routes in the state. Unlike most other craggy peaks in Colorado that are made of Granite, the peaks in the Sangres are mostly composed of Crestone Conglomerate. An amazing rock type to climb on. It provides for unique holds and run out gear placements.
We hiked into South Colony Lakes, from there we found an amazing camp site nestled at the base Crestone Needle in a boulder field. The boulders themselves provided some great problems (routes).
The next day we started early, traveling along “Friday the 13th” ridge line. A 3rd class ridge with fun scrambling and route finding. On the other end, we dropped down into Spanish Creek and headed to the base of “The Prow” on Kit Carson. Adam had been dreaming of climbing the route for several years, so I let him got on the first pitch. Aftwer which the climbing slowly eased up, providing amazing climbing. The route itself proved to require a keen eye for creative gear placements. We pitched out some parts and simul-climbed over easier 5th and 4th class sections. It was great to reach the summit of Kit Carson, especially via “The Prow,” one of the most aesthetic features I have seen in the alpine.
From the summit we had some millage and more vertical gain ahead of us to get back to our camp in South Colony. In the end, it was a full day; traveling off trail the entire time, navigating Friday the 13th ridge, climbing The Prow, and gaining 5000 vertical feet in elevation, and my all-time gear run out of 80′!
The next day we discussed our options for climbing the Ellingwood Ledges route on Crestone Needle. From the opposing ridge line the day before we had spotted ice in the headwall. We thought we might be able to climb around the ice itself, however, a cold front was moving in. With temperatures forecasted in the 20s and wind over 50mph, we decided to head back to Leadville. It snowed the following day.
On our drive back to Leadville we made a stop at the local multi-pitch crag in Buena Vista. Got in a great route up the Davis Face, the “Carter Classic.” Which, unlike the rest of the granite in Buena Vista, the granite composing the Davis Face is a smaller crystalline structure. Providing great climbing, and amazing views across the Arkansas Valley.
Over the next week, my summer season begins with Outward Bound. This weekend we begin our return staff training, which is six days long. After which my first summer course is scheduled to start the following week, a 22 day Rock Camp and Mountaineering Course.
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