Tuesday, July 13, 2010

So Much Climbing

The 17th International Climbers Festival was this week, and I've never climbed, watched climbing, or hung out with climbers as much as I have lately. Three days of Wild Iris sport climbing, a session at the Cabin Boulders, two climbing slideshows, four International Climbers' Festival competitions, a tour of the Source, a windy session at Motown, and an 18 mile boulder scouting hike into the mountains crammed into 7 days. Too many things to write about them all. I'll let the photos tell the stories.

Brian lives in Ft. Collins, but we first met him bouldering in Sinks Canyon last spring. He came up for the climbers' festival, and climbed with us at the Remuda.

Lupine at Wild Iris.

Brian on "Coyote Vacuum."

Brian took this photo of Ashley on "Coyote Vacuum." It's a fun bouldery route.

We did some bouldering at the Cabin boulders too. The temps were cool, but the holds still felt slippery. I think we'll save the Cabin boulders for after school sessions this fall.

Brian on "Mr. Bigglesworth"

Sierra on a perfect crack problem for kids.

We spent Friday at City Park, watching and participating in the various Climber's Festival competitions.

This dog was perfectly content to walk around like this.

We want a dog that is this laid back, so the next time we get one, we're planning to give it the banana test.

I was the first contestant in the Bat Hang competition, and fell off immediately, but Brian had a respectable time.

I did well in the crate stacking competition with 16 crates.

I think the winner stacked 21.

Yesterday Davin, Bryan, Ethan and I went on a long hike to look at alpine boulders in the Wind River Mountains. One more step forward in a plan I've been thinking about for the last year, and that has been in Davin's mind for many years now.

A scenic and calm river encountered early in the hike with the mountains still far in the distance.

To get to the boulder field we had to cross this river five times. To get back out we had to cross it five more times. It was usually waist deep, and sometimes flowing fast. For six crossings I had to take off my pants, and cross in my boxers. For two crossings Davin and Bryan needed to block the current and give me a hand so I didn't get swept away.

There are bears in the Winds, and we saw this one.

After eight miles of hiking through the forest, past large round and mostly featureless boulders, we entered a landscape of big walls and big clean fractured boulders.

Bryan takes it all in.

Is that El Cap? Davin consults the map.

I've never seen boulders so large. The largest block in this photo was measured using Google Earth. It's 300 feet wide! A boulder that could cover a football field.

The boulders in this field are of a more appropriate size, and are well featured.

The majority of the rock in the area is very similar to what is found on Mt. Evans. If you took this area and made the cliffs much shorter, removed the gigantic peaks, and took out 90 percent of the boulders it would be just like Mt. Evans.

To be fair, we didn't find a "Dali" boulder, at least not yet, but we found plenty of classic boulders that are screaming to be climbed on.

It's time to get ready for an expedition.

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