Dan volunteered to join me on an exploratory hike. Our goal was to hike eleven miles in, check out the boulders, and hike back out by 4 pm. We left the trailhead at 6:30 am, and got to Photographer's Point while the sun was still low in the sky. We were making good time.
The second one looked even better!
The photo doesn't do this face justice. It's about fourteen feet tall, the lower five feet are obscured by willows in this shot.
The entire area was filled with wildflowers.
I went on the family trip to Telluride, and two days later I was hiking into the Winds with the crew of boulderers I had recruited.
Including Jesse F.
We hiked in on a nice, cool, cloudy day and set up camp.
We hung our food from a boulder because we couldn't find any trees that were tall enough. It wasn't an ideal situation. Whether a bear could have gotten to them is debatable, but we didn't see any sign of bears during the trip. To get them back down I'd shoe up and climb a tall slab I named "Breakfast of Champions." This shot is from the sunny second evening.
We awoke to our first climbing day in the Winds, and it was gorgeous, with very few mosquitoes.
Jesse warming up on the Lester Arete V0.
Jesse couldn't resist doing a nice approach shoe problem.
This might clean up nice.
And the boulder I'm sitting under had some lines on it. Just average problems, but check out the view!
It's hard to communicate just how many flowers there were, and the way they seemed arranged into perfect little gardens. The beauty of everything was somewhat overwhelming at times, and I ended up stepping from rock to rock quite a bit because I didn't want to crush flowers.
I started cleaning and chalking up holds on the face obscured by willows shown in a photo earlier in this post. The line looked great so I called Jesse down. He climbed "Surrender" V5/6 from a stand start, and I repeated it. But it was the SDS that really stood out. We estimated it to be about V10. Jesse was getting close, but it seemed wise to save it for another day. It started to get dark, we were hungry. I didn't take the time to get any photos of the line, but I wish that I had.
A shot of our campfire that night.
We found some together.
And I saw some blocks that looked fun too.
My last photo was of some ducks near camp. I didn't get out the camera again, because I didn't want it to get wet.
Different people are looking for different things, and Mt. Lester doesn't have everything. The large boulders are quite spread out, and there isn't a ton of dramatically overhung rock. The area does have a lot of potential in the ten to fourteen foot tall range, on vertical to slightly overhanging rock. Most boulders there are outside of talus fields with meadow landings. The rock quality ranges from good to amazing. V0-V7 problems seem to be the most common, with harder lines appearing occasionally. And it's one of the few alpine areas where you don't feel like a lot of people or pads are necessary to get the best lines done. The ambiance of the place draws me as much as anything else.
In conclusion, I definitely got the chance to explore, converse, and connect with it all. We didn't boulder nearly as much as we wanted to, but I learned enough to have an even better bouldering trip next time. Thanks to Jesse, Diane and Sierra for all of your efforts, and helping to make it a great trip!
It was good. It was memorable. And I'm hoping to get my whole family up there next summer...