Rock Climbing – Boulder Canyon

On Sunday, I met Jen in Boulder Canyon and we climbed at Happy Hour Crag. It was my first time there, and Jen’s second. We climbed from about 1pm to about 5:30pm. The pullout had 5 cars when we arrived, but folks were scattered about, so it didn’t feel too crowded.

We did 4 routes. Jen put up her first non-bolted climb “I…Robot” (5.7), right on! Next up, Astroman!

There were 4 parties climbing at Happy Hour, and we generally had a good time interacting with them. There was a young guy and his newbie partner (who I’m told managed to drop everthing but the kitchen sink whilest climbing).

There was the considerate & funny climber dude, Pat – with a rad Iron Maiden “custom” chalk bag…and his partner a guy who admitted to having the “shove too big of cams into too small of cracks syndrome”.

There was a super friendly one-armed dude named Pete, and his quiet but encouraging older partner with a twinkle in his eye…who both work at Neptune in Boulder.

There was a couple who kept to themselves, and had a dog.

And, finally, there was Jen & I…who had to have been the entertainers at the crag. We had a jolly good time all day long. Cracking jokes, and laughing. What a great half day of climbing.

Our first climb was “Are We Not Men” (5.7). It has a fun, easily surmountable roof, but then is quite runout unless you jaunt on over to the crack above the Twofers roof. This is what I decided to do, because I didn’t like the idea of going 20 feet between reliable pieces. It’s also possible that I missed something or took the most direct line up from the roof. Maybe I was supposed to go left after the roof? Who knows. It was a fun climb, anyways.

Second up was “I…Robot” (5.7). When I got to the crux, Pat (the Iron Maiden dude) caught up with me on the climb to my left. He was nice enough to point out a key foot pebble, and then wait while I did the one tricky move on the climb. The glaring sun made it difficult to spot the small indentations in the granite…Which reminds me, next time I go to Happy Hour, I’m bringing a tee-shirt. It was warm!

Third Climb was “Twofers Bypass” (5.8). I was especially challenged putting this one up. It has a very enjoyable crux. Well protected, and thrilling. It reminded me of the Overhang Bypass route of J-Tree, except a little harder and without the hundred feet of space below the feet. It is a hand traverse of sorts, with a bit of smearing. I protected it with huge #2 & #3 cams. Bomber! I was also able to protect the end of the traverse for Jen, by plugging in a green alien in a small seam after the thrilling part was over.

After this, we ran over to set up a TR on Nightcap (5.9). The sun had set behind the canyon walls, and it was starting to get dark. We had just enough time for one more climb. We both TR’d this route clean, and then we packed our bags. We were tempted to run up Cheers Aka Thrill of the Chase, which Pete & Buddy offered to us, but the darkness was ever present, and both our stomachs were growling for dinner…or at least mine was 8^)

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