Eldorado Canyon – Swanson’s Arete (5.7)

Clare at Top of Swanson's Arete
View Looking South from Summit of Swanson's Arete

On September 7th, I met with Eckhard & Galen at Eckhards groovy pad for a day of climbing. We headed out at a respectable hour to tackle some climbs up in Eldo.

Goofball Spotting ICU and UCI

When we got there, it was a madhouse. There were climbers everywhere! Galen bought a guidebook from the Rangers’ Station, and we were on our way.

Deliberation #2
The wooden ladder...ah-ha!
We spent about 2 hours looking for an available climb, and found Swanson’s Arete (5.7).

Dale & David 40th Anniversary Climb

We met Dave & Dale who were celebrating their 40th anniversary of the climb Dirty Deed. These guys were nice, and so I took their picture!

Galen took a whack at the first pitch, opting for an alternative start (the Rewritten). This was more like a 5.8+, but he shimmied on up no problem.

Galen Making Crux Move

Next, it was my turn up. I trailed a rope for Eckhard, and dutifully unclipped/reclipped gear for him. I got up to the anchor and Galen was waiting all smiles. It was such a pretty day! Eckhard was soon at the anchor with us, and then it was Galen’s turn to go.

Eckhard Attacks First Pitch
Galen Charging off for 2nd pitch

By now, there was a pretty heinous cluster phukk at the big ledge. I remember seeing at one time 4 separate ropes crossing 4 separate direction! We waited for what seemed like eternity.

Finally, Galen launched onward. He placed one lone piece off the anchor, and then skooched along the ledge for about 60 feet before the next piece. It was easy terrain-but with all those people, I thought maybe one piece in between would have been better. Also considering what a horrible whipper it would be for either Eckhard or myself, should something happen.

View from Last Belay of Swanson's Arete

Obligatory Foot Shot Swanson's Arete

Once we all got passed the chaos of the ledge, we quickly finished the climb. I was psyched at the views from the top, and also happy to find that Galen places more gear when it gets harder in grade 8^)

Our Downclimb to the Rappel Gully-Nervy

Eckhard Ready to Rap off

Galen & Eckhard Rope Management
I was quite happy we had two ropes, as it made the rappel move faster. But, we got one of the ropes caught in a crack. Lucky for us, we have the brave Galen with us-who essentially soloed up to the kink and came back down with the rope!

I was 2 hours late – so I missed our neighborhood BBQ (oh well!). We got back to the car just as the sun was setting and I called Dennis about 1 hour before he was set to call search & rescue.

Not quite a rewarding day in terms of volume, but the quality was worth it. I had a great time hanging out with Galen & also Eckhard. Since I was in the middle, I was always visiting with one or the other. Both have happy dispositions, and are willing to Goof Off with me when hundreds of feet off the deck.

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One Response to “Eldorado Canyon – Swanson’s Arete (5.7)”

  1. ek says:

    OMG I was there I was there I was there!!!!!!!