Saturday, August 2, 2008

Chaos at Night

I spent last week in Estes Park attending the Rocky Mountain Nature Association Teacher Field Seminar. Class went from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm everyday, there was an evening dinner, and a Ranger program to attend. I enjoyed it all, but it didn't leave much time for climbing. I managed to get out after class on Wednesday for a session at Chaos. I worked on Gang Bang, but I can't catch the swing on the first move. A very strong Japanese climber was working Aslan. When he does the first move, he swings out and swings back. When I do the first move, I swing out and just keep going. After using up most of my power, I tried Taurus which is just behind Gang Bang. It looks like it should be easy, but the direction of the holds makes it harder than it appears. It's a good one move wonder. I was coming very close on it, but it got dark. I climbed until the holds were hard to see. I didn't have a headlamp with me. The hike down by starlight by myself was fun and a little scary at the same time. It took a lot of attention to stay on trail and not trip on rocks. A squirrel ran around me, at one point, chirping and I couldn't see it at all. I had the irrational fear that three Japanese climbers, who started hiking down a few minutes before me, might hide beside the trail and scream at me when I passed. If that had happened, I would have screamed too. Probably at an embarrassingly high pitch.

One afternoon, I got into the Estes Park library and spent fifteen minutes on the internet. The FRB messageboard was very busy last week discussing guidebook opinions. I didn't have time to get involved, but it got me thinking a lot about the influence bouldering guidebooks have had on my life, access issues I've been involved with, and what direction bouldering should head in. The posts, along with a lot of new information from my class about Rocky Mountain National Park lead to many ideas. I'm still working it all out, but I've got a lot to write about when I get a chance. Till then, here are a couple things I saw during the class. Bear claw marks on an aspen near Cub Lake, and a line of rocks archaeologists believe were part of a wall, used to herd elk towards an ambush, built by humans living in the area three to four thousand years ago.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Totally fascinating- I lived in Estes for about 10 years, and spent a heap of time doing off-trail running days on "rest days" from bouldering/climbing. I saw many, many of these lines of rocks, and had no idea what they were. Thanks for the info.