Boulder Canyon Cragging

Adam, grinning up Grins, 5.8, on the Happy Hour Crag.

Once upon a spring on Colorado’s Front Range, it was warm and sunny, then snowy and cold, then warm and sunny again. And while it was warm and sunny, the climbing bug bit me. Hard. So I put on my T-shirt and shorts, packed a bag, and went climbing in Boulder Canyon for the first time. I had heard plenty about the historically rich climbing area west of The People’s Republic, and I must say it lived up to its reputation: fast, easy access; quality rock; a lifetime of short-but-sweet trad and sport routes alike; and big time weekend crowds.

On Friday my friend Adam and I climbed on the Happy Hour Wall. We warmed up on a couple 5.7s on the climber’s left side of the wall: Are We Not Men and Are We Not Robots. Both were exceptional for their grade, and featured an exposed, juggy mini-roof to pull over. Gear was thin but possible on top, but would feel pretty darn run out for a beginning leader. A fall on the roof would be bad news as your last pro is at our feet above [Read More]

Time flies when you’re having fun…

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity: bouldering, sport climbing, trad climbing, ice climbing, and ski touring. Ah, the Front Range with its mild climate, sunny crags, Cabernet powder (?), and dripping ice… Oh yeah, sometimes it just all comes together for a brief fleeting momement of multi-sport bliss. But anyways, today it’s bitter cold (though sunny), and that Wyoming wind is rolling through town, rattling windows. I’m hunkered down in a cozy coffee shop, sipping an Americano, savoring a blackberry muffin, and studying up for first quarter exams which are quickly approaching. My thoughts drift to wind, spindrift, and plastic ice. The Park is calling. I haven’t been climbing enough ice… The relatively warm sunny weather was a nice dream of the coming spring, but looking outside I realize it’s early February and that we’re still in the midst of winter. [Read More]

Skyland Boulders: Highballs, sunshine, sorority girls, footwear and French accents. Wanna ride bikes?

The pragmatically pointless pursuit of holding onto tiny things and getting a good scare from gravity illuminates a certain freedom to me – the freedom growing out of the notion that maybe life is one big Cosmic Joke and somewhere Buddha and Jesus are laughing a big-bellied laugh, and play and fun are the key to the lock. And in the light of that freedom, humor just spills out of and all over everything. [Read More]