Courage cannot be approached with caution

Sunday, August 14, 2011

No Need For Alarm

Here are a few shots of Tim and I from a botched Diamond day.  After a not so good start, we drove from Boulder to Mt. Evans climbed Good Evans then dashed over to Empire to climb at the newly developed sport crag, Ra.

It was a somewhat strange and chaotic day but we still got some great climbing in and had a good time!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sublime Buttress

SJ leading pitch 1
Last weekend, deterred from climbing a Diamond route due to a poor weather forecast, Steve Johnson and I climbed the Sublime Buttress in Rocky Mountain National Park.  A relatively new route, it climbs the sheer south buttress of the expansive Cathedral Wall.  Its characterized by challenging route finding and runout climbing on steep yet positive rock.
With a quick approach, this seemed like a good objective considering the rainy weather cycle we have had in the Park.  Steve and I made quick work of the approach and were at the base of the wall in about 90 minutes.  We were climbing by 730am.  The first pitch starts with a weird move behind a tree then follows a sparsely protected slab for about 120ft to a tree belay.  Pitch 2 is the .11+ crux with pitch 1 being a poor warm-up for the steep roof climbing above.  The crux climbing consists of steep crack climbing capped by a flaring hands roof.  Its pumpy, well protected and fun.

Great belay ledge atop p6
Pitch 3 starts the more spicy climbing.  Steve took the lead on the 5.8X terrain that loomed above.  This pitch takes careful route finding a calm head, a trend that would need to continue for the rest of the climbing.  Pitch 4 was more of the same, steep runout face climbing off the belay on poor rock to steep blocky crack climbing.  The fifth pitch was great, a 20 foot runout directly off the belay to a juggy traverse followed by brilliant face climbing with minimal protection.  A fantastic pitch.  Pitch 6 required good route finding skills to piece together the weaknesses that offered protection oppurtunities.  After pulling a few roofs on kitty litter rock and traversing back and forth, I was at the 2 foot wide belay ledge with great exposure below.  This pitch turned out to be pretty good, certainly not the 5.10+ R that it was supposed to be, but more like 5.10a R.  SJ took the reigns on the final summit pitch.  More steep blocky crack climbing, with some of the worst rock on the route.  This pitch was physical 5.10 climbing that had a very "Black Canyon" feel as you pulled through the crux with a bush in your face.  All in all, a great climb.  We began descending into the Andrews Creek drainage as the storm clouds began to roll in.  Some loose downclimbing and a double rope rappel off jammed knots found us back to the valley floor. We packed our gear and hiked out as thunder crashed all around us.
SJ following the exposed p6