Rock Climbing, Clear Creek Canyon, CO

**************Special Note****************
This is my 100th climbing blog entry. Just an FYI.

Clare, Barry, & Aika at Wall of the 90s

On May 31st, Barry, Aika, and I climbed at Wall of the 90s in Clear Creek Canyon. After a day of spectacular climbing in Eldo, we were ready to experience the bolt clipping frenzy of Clear Creek!

We wound through Clear Creek Canyon, searching for the right pullout, sipping coffee and yakking about routes. On the way, we saw caution tape and the police. We found out later, from some locals, there was a drowning. Rumor had it that they discovered a dead body floating down the creek. I don’t know if it was true…but it sure was an ominous start to our day!

Clare & Aika Scoping Out Wall of the 90s

Barry Belaying at Wall of the 90s, Clear Creek

Wall of the 90s - Left Side of Crag

Barry & Aika Leave Wall of the 90s

The Wall of the 90s is an easy hike from the car, up a steep enbankment, and just off of Clear Creek. I liked the location because it was shady in the morning and sunny in the afternoon, since it was a bit chilly out, the sun was nice in the pm.

We climbed the following routes:

Little Kitten, 5.10c

Aika Chalks Up on Little Kitten (5.10c)

Clare Reaching Sharp Teeth of Little Kitten (5.10c)

Centerfold, 5.10a (2 pitches)

Barry Starting Centerfold (5.10a)

Barry Stemming on Centerfold (5.10a)

Barry on 2nd Pitch of Centerfold (5.10a)

Clare Pitch 1 of Centerfold (5.10a)

Refer Madness, 5.11a

Aika on Reefer Madness (5.11a)

Curvaceous, 5.11c

Aika on Curvaceous (5.11c)

Vixen, 5.11a

Barry Traversing Over to Vixen (5.11a)

Aika Dominates Vixen (5.11a)

Aika Conquers Vixen (5.11a)

Clare Enchanted by Vixen (5.11a)

I did not lead any of these climbs. Furthermore, the top of Curvaceous and 2nd pitch of Centerfold both thwarted me, so I didn’t finish the last 10 feet. I was happy to get Little Kitten, Vixen, & Reefer Madness clean on top rope. So, maybe next time, I’ll give those a whirl on the sharp end!

Please note the following three issues with the second pitch of Centerfold:

1. The anchors were not where indicated in the guidebook. As such, Barry was really confused way up high. He ended up aiding his way through a move and went to the anchors of what we think is another climb…some 5.12 climb to the right of Centerfold. We now think the anchors were the ones to the left, instead of straight up.

2. The second pitch so rarely gets done, the holds were extremely dirty, and it was not obvious where the intended route is supposed to be…So be ready for a bit of adventure at the top.

3. When Aika was leading the last bit, she pulled off a huge chunk of rock the size of a large cooler. It exploded, about 2 feet to my right. I very nearly got smashed to bits. Upon impact, it actually sparked, and we all smelled a pungent smoky smell. Apparently, the rock was covered in Bat Guano, so there was an extra scented spice aroma lingering in the air. Lucky for me (and everybody around the base), nobody got hurt.

Towards the end of the day, a dog was running up the embankment and lost it’s footing. It toppled head over paws, for a good 60 feet down the hill before recovering. At first I chuckled, because I’ve never seen a dog so clumsy. But, then I was worried. I was shouting, “There’s a dog that fell, whose dog is it?”. Nobody seemed to care, but I was belaying so I couldn’t exactly run down there.

Finally, the owner was alerted to the fact that their dog had a near death experience, and went scurring down the hillside to the (late) rescue. The poor dog was shaking off and licking it’s wounds. I don’t think it broke anything, but I’m sure it was terrified!

What a crazy day we had in Clear Creek! A drowned body, dislodging a guano coated boulder, and a dog accident.

I was happy when we left, because I was wondering, WHAT NEXT?

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