Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day climbing (but mostly just hiking)

Monday was supposed to be our "epic climb" as Bryce kept calling it. After deciding I didn't want to do the long hike to The Petit Grepon, we settled on our still exciting backup climb up Kor's Flake at Lumpy Ridge on the Sundance Buttress. We got up at 6am, drove an hour to the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park and started hiking the 3 miles to the base of the climb. The altitude shouldn't have been a problem for me since it was just about the same as a Brighton hike, but for some reason it was and I quickly started showing the signs of mild altitude sickness. Bryce was a great big brother and by the end of the hike he was carry all the gear including the rope. I made it to the base of the rock to climb but all I really wanted to do was lay on the ground and sleep but my heart wouldn't stop racing. I never felt so week or confused but I really wanted to do the climb, especially after already doing the hike in. When I started to get sick to my stomach we decided it was better to turn back now then have something worse happen 1000ft off the ground. It was really disappointing but probably the best decision. Besides, it's not going anywhere so I can always come back and climb it later.
Me at the base of the climb with a view of Estes Park below. This was as far as we got which is at the top of the tree line in the picture below. I managed to force a week smile for this picture after deciding to give up.
This is Bryce on the trail to the Sundance Buttress, the big granite dome in the distance... our intended climb.
Bryce with a view the other direction
After we got back to the car and had a sandwich I was feeling normal again so we turned to our second backup plan and headed down to The Monastery for some really great sport climbing. It's a terrible mile hike to get there but the formations were really cool, the rock is weird, and all the climbs are super high with great views. Too bad we didn't go strait there since there's enough routes to spend a few days climbing on. We got in 3 really good ones before the rain came in and we had to leave. Not quite the epic adventure we were hoping for but still really fun climbing and almost 8 miles of hiking to boot. Now I have some new goals for next year and a reason to get into better hiking shape.
Me climbing up La Maudite
Bryce on The Steeple. You can almost see the entire soles of his shoes!
Looking down at Bryce from the top of Pandora's Pebble Pinching Party Palace. It was almost as fun to climb it as it was to say it. Each of these climbs ran out our whole rope.
View from the top, Rocky Mountain National Park...and some rain clouds. Looks like it's time to go home.
Hiking back through some of the weird rock formations. There were routes going up the insides of these slots.
On our way out we saw this group climbing up this one called Tabula Rasa and it made for some cool pictures.
We also saw some big horn sheep on our hike back! Two of them stood there and watched us for a long time but it was hard to hold the camera still enough for a clear shot. I'd never seen any before and I thought they were way more exciting than all the elk the day before.

1 comment:

Winters Family said...

Sounds like a blast... well, except for the sickness part. You look like a hottie in the top photo~ so skinny!