Saturday, May 1, 2010

No class, going solo

I don't have classes thursday, and decided to go solo climbing in Eldorado Canyon. I got to wake up at 8:30, an hour later then my normal schedule, ate a quick breakfast, and I was ready for a beautiful day of climbing. I hopped on my fixed gear bike, and was on my way. For those of you that don't know what a fixed gear bike is, it's a bike with one gear that is constantly spinning and doesn't allow you to coast. There are no brakes, so you slow yourself down by creating resistance with your legs against the spinning pedals. It's around 7 miles from the CU campus to eldo.

I warmed up by soloing wind Ridge (5.8) on the wind tower. The temps were perfect, and I was feeling really solid. The whole time I was thinking about how much longer it takes to do the climb with ropes, even if you are leading quickly not placing much gear. People started gearing up for various climbs and I figured I should get out of there way. A party graciously let me climb up calypso (5.6) just before they were about to climb it. I'm going to have to disagree with those ratings... I definitely feel like wind ridge is much easier than calypso. I then down climbed half of tigger, and then down the rest of recon.

My ultimate goal of the day was to solo the bastille crack, an ultra classic 350 foot climb. I was going to see how I felt after soloing the previous routes, and let that determine if I was going to do it or not. I felt super solid, and was psyched. I made it through traversing from the flake into the greasy crack with ease, which was one of the parts that I have felt insecure the previous times I climbed the route. I was still a little nervous about the 3rd pitch where it gets steeper, this was the crux for me. I made the moves flawlessly and ran up the rest of the route.

That was so cool! I started up just before a party of two started climbing the same route, and by the time I had climbed the entire thing and got back to the base of the rock, they were still only half way up the first pitch.. And by the first pitch, I mean the anchor that nobody belays at 60 feet off the deck. I've only seen people link the first two pitches, which still is only 150 feet.

I was done with all the climbs I had planned on doing, and it only took me an hour.. taking my time. I then decided to ride my bike back up to chautauqua park and solo the direct route on the first flatiron. I have climbed the first flatiron 30 times so it wasn't any big deal. It's still awesome every time! Even though it's not as exciting as it used to be.

So, it totaled up to be 20 pitches by the guide book, including the down climbs, and 15 miles riding my bike. I got back to my dorm early afternoon, and had plenty of time for my passion other than climbing.. homework.

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