Sunday, February 1, 2009
Lost in the Elegant Infinite: The 100th Post
We had big plans for yesterday. It's my birthday weekend, and I wanted to see some new problems at Eldo. Modump posted video of two problems last week called "Lost" and "The Elegant Infinite." Despite having hard ratings they looked fun. I got directions, and the weather forecast looked perfect. We spent a couple days getting the girls mentally prepped for a long hike. I let friends know our plans, and we headed out. We planned to warm up at the Musical Boulders, and the guidebook told us to take the Eldorado Canyon Trail to get there. Hiking at a three year old's pace, in gusty wind, the switchbacks seemed like they were never going to end. After suffering a while, we crested. The trail started going downhill, and the wind wasn't bad after we entered some forest. Our daughter Autumn had a new burst of energy and was trotting ahead of us with her hands in her pockets when she tripped, and her head landed on a sharp rock. Ashley got to her first and picked her up. She was crying, and blood was streaming down her face. I grabbed a tissue, and applied direct pressure while Ashley got out the first aid kit we bring bouldering. After Autumn calmed down, I took off the tissue. The cut was only a quarter inch long, but it was also a quarter inch deep and gaping open. It looked like it needed stitches. We had some steri-strips left over from when Sierra needed stitches from slipping in a swimming pool. We taped Autumn's skin together with them, and covered it all with a band-aid. I could see the Musical boulders on the ridge ahead of us, and thought we could probably get to our car the fastest by hiking to them, and taking the social trail down. I put Autumn on my shoulders and took a social trail that headed toward the boulders. It turned out we had cut off early, but the trail took us past the Sinus boulder, and we headed down from there. In ten minutes we were at the Keg boulders. In what seemed like no time, were down what had taken almost an hour to walk up. If you're heading to the Musical Boulders, take the bouldering trail. It's much shorter.
The Keg boulders were out of the wind, the temps were nice, and the girls wanted lunch. So we got out lunch, and sat under Ron's Keg.
I was disappointed with how the day was going, but I came up with a plan. I thought we might as well get a workout on the Keg boulders before we got Autumn to a hospital. I didn't feel like working a gym day into the weekend schedule. Autumn wasn't crying anymore. She was in a good mood in fact, and wasn't acting any weirder than is normal for a three year old.
Ashley agreed we could try to get a quick work out. I wanted to finish off "Ron's Keg Traverse" so I suggested that Ashley should try to do it backwards, and then forwards without resting. We were warming up, when Ricky and his friend John showed up. They were on their way to meet us at "The Elegant Universe," but they heard the girls and found us at the Keg boulders.
We ended up having a really fun bouldering session. I got "Ron's Keg Traverse" which is tied with "Pinch Overhang" as the hardest V5 I've ever done. Ashley didn't quite link it both ways, but she came close and got the work out she wanted. At the end of the day I repeated Chip's Arete so Ashley and Ricky had to do it too. I got my camera out, and took some shots I really like.
John is just getting into climbing, but he kept at it despite the sharp rock. It was fun watching him try really hard, and make quick progress on problems that pushed him. He has the right mindset for the sport.
After climbing, we left Eldo, got cell phone reception, and called climbing friends with medical experience. They felt that if we could wash out Autumn's wound, and hold it together with steri-strips and liquid band-aid, she wouldn't need stitches. When we got home we fixed her right up. It's a good thing we didn't rush to the hospital right away.
Ricky has a funny post about the day from his point of view, including some shots of a bald eagle we watched. The eagle was soaring up and down the canyon on updrafts. It explored the whole canyon with just a few flaps of it's wings. I felt envious of the eagle. I've added Ricky's blog and Modump to my links list. Check them out.
It amazes me that this is post 100. The blog is now as long as a novel.