Rock Climbing – Vampire and Avalon Crags, Boulder Canyon

Barry on Wheel of Fortune (5.10b) Josie Climbing That's Weak (5.10a)

We had an adventurous day in Boulder Canyon. We navigated two Tyroleans, scrambled up mystery climbs, used “group think” to solve cruxes, and dropped off some shoes to RockNResoles (even though the sign said they were closed, they let me in and took my money…WOO-HOO!). Climbing gods were kind to us as we had great weather, no gear issues, no injuries, no safety problems, and no annoying babies or dog mishaps.

Josie Tyrolean Traversing Boulder Creek
Barry Helping Josie Dismount Tyrolean
First, we went across the creek at the wrong Tyrolean (who knew!) and ended up at the Black Widow crag.

Barry tried to climb “Phuck Ewe”, but was rejected. I told him it was a 5.7 because I’m a dorkus malorkus. Turns out it’s a 5.11 or something! Anyways, after wasting time/energy and flailing around, we decided to move crags.

We then ended up at Vampire Crag, although we might as well have been climbing in Timbuktu. Barry & Josie found the only 5.10 “warm-up” climb at the crag and immediately started climbing.

“That’s Weak”, turned into a group effort. We were all happy to finally be climbing something, after running around for an hour like headless chickens. I’d have “Whooped whooped”, but I didn’t think a headless chicken could produce noise.

Barry Working That's Weak (5.10a) Barry on That's Weak (5.10a) Barry High Steps That's Weak (5.10a)
Barry got most the draws up, see above pictures of him leading the bottom 2/3…but, then there was a strange crux section which had him perplexed.

Josie Leading That's Weak (5.10a)
The picture above, and at the start of the blog, show Josie on her way to sending That’s Weak. She was psyched to get her first lead in Colorado, and it was a 5.10. Sweet! I was very happy for her, she did a fantastic job.

Soon after we started working on That’s Weak, Thor and Athena (the Greek Gods of the Boulder Climbing Scene) approached us. Presumably on the way to charging up a series of 5.16 climbs…

I humbly cracked the guidebook open and begged them for beta. In stern and sobre tones, they informed us we were at Vampire Crag. Definitely NOT Avalon.


At this moment, I felt like Homer Simpson when he asked, “Doh, where’s the Any key?” in response to the computer’s instruction to “Press any key.”. How could we have gone across the wrong Tyrolean? How could there be more than one in a 1/4 mile? Triple DOH!!!

Barry Tyrolean Traverse to Avalon
Now that we knew where we were, the guidebook rapidly became useful again! We all scanned Vampire for other moderate options. Unfortunately, it was all above our commitment and fitness level, so we decided to go back out to the road and walk another 1/4 mile to the Avalon Tyrolean. Bummer.

Barry Clipping Bolts on The Tower (5.10a)

Barry Halfway Up The Tower (5.10a)
We arrived at Avalon just in time to hop on The Tower (5.10a) Uber Classic! I was so excited for Barry to give this one a whirl. I just knew he and Josie would enjoy it.

Barry Clipping Wheel of Fortune (5.10b)
Next up was Wheel of Fortune, 5.10b. Barry said this was his favorite one so far. I also enjoyed it, even though the bottom part was a little awkward.

Josie Smiling on Wheel of Fortune (5.10b)

Josie Climbing Wheel of Fortune (5.10b)
Josie enjoyed Wheel of Fortune too!

Wildflower and Bee at Avalon Crag
I found a pretty wildflower up on the Avalon tier, so I captured this picture…

Barry Ponders Lust (5.10c)
Finally, we ended the climbing day with Lust (5.10c), although I skipped it because my back was hurting. Maybe next time 8^)

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