Archive for April, 2013

Basic Rock Climbing School – Instructor

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Basic Rock Climbing School Spring 2013
Pictured above: David, Slava (Assistant Instructor), Wendy, Roger (Assistant Instructor), Kimberly, Zack, myself, James, and TeeJay

This spring, I volunteered to be the Senior Instructor for the Colorado Mountain Club Boulder Section’s Basic Rock Climbing School. This means, I was in charge of picking our field trips, ensuring everybody was safe, selecting assistant instructors, and teaching the techniques, theory, and application of course material.

It was quite the undertaking, but by having Slava and Roger as my assistants, I felt much more confident we would have success. Roger is the Chair of the Boulder CMC Council and has been one of the knot testers for the club in past years. Slava is a serious mountain man and somebody I definitely trust at the other end of my rope!


Rock Climbing – Turkey Rocks

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

This weekend, when we disappear into the Banana Belt, we decide to take our gear! For the third weekend in a row, we head to where it’s warmest. Escaping the still chilly air of Denver and heading for the areas south of Pine is a sure way to catch some rays!

Turkey Rocks Road
It had been 5 years since my last trip to Turkey Rocks, so I was excited to return. The last time I was there, it was super hot and totally overrun with climbers.

This time, we would only ever see 4 other people. One couple, we saw at the parking lot, disappeared to climb a different crag (we were headed to Turkey Perch). Later in the day a pair of dudes showed up and they mostly flailed around on some of the harder climbs on Turkey Perch.

Clare Setting Anchors at Turkey Rocks

In any event, we set up top ropes on Left Handed Jew and Honky Jam Ass Crack. Setting up the top ropes was a bit tricky because I forgot how wide the crack was up there. I placed a #4 and a #3, but the #3 was a bit wobbly. Next time, I will bring my #6!

Erin Mock Leading at Turkey Rocks

Our goal for the day was to have Erin practice placing gear on TR and I would come along and check her placements. We did each route a couple of times and then it was time to head home. It was a nice day for climbing and we both had a lot of fun.

Pike's Peak in Side Mirror
View of Pike’s Peak in Side Mirror

All Photo’s courtesy of Erin as I forgot my camera.

Hiking – Segment 1 of Colorado Trail

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Segment 1 of CO Trail is Fabulous!

Erin Enjoying Mild Spring Weather on CO Trail

It was miserably cold and windy in Denver. Erin and I wanted to feel some sunshine, so we drove to the end of segment 1 of the Colorado Trail and hiked back towards Denver. We had her dog, Sappho, with us, so we went for as long as the dog wanted and then turned around. Which turns out to be about 10 miles total.

Some parts of the trail were dusted with snow and we could see various animal prints. Other dogs, humans, some kind of mouse/rat, and rabbit. Everybody loves the Colorado Trail!

Hiking – Douglas County High Point, Thunder Butte (9,836 ft)

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Mountain Gals Ready to Bag Another Peak
Georgia, Linda, Myself, and Erin. Our Target, Thunder Butte, in the background.

Summit of Thunder Butte
On Top of Thunder Butte! Pike’s Peak in the Background.

Linda and Georgia were going to hike up Thunder Butte, the high point of Douglas County, and invited Erin and I to join them. I thought it sounded like a fun and easily attainable summit.

Thunder Butte Topo
Our Destination!

I was looking forward to hiking a non-snow covered trail. It was the first big hike I had done since my ultra, so I wasn’t sure how my feet would feel. Both my big toenails had blisters underneath them, so I figured there would be a small element of pain. Tape goes a long way towards helping, but I also wore a thicker pair of socks.


Rock Climbing – The Spy

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Erin Preps to Lead The Spy Climbergirls Ready to Climb The Spy
Pictures Courtesy of Erin Thompson

The days are longer and spring is upon us, so I decide to join Erin for an afternoon of climbing The Spy. Unfortunately, we miss the proper start and she ends up creating her own line. She veers back on route, but by then, it’s too late to finish the climb.

We are cheered by the discovery of an orange metolius cam which is wedged in a horizontal crack. It looks a bit worn but still new enough to make a recovery effort worthwhile. She works on it a little bit, then I do, then we give up.

Meanwhile two dudes who are soloing come along and give it a whirl. They can’t get it out either, so as sun is setting, we get our nut tool back from them and retreat to the comforts of Boulder.

“Mmmmm, beer!” ~Homer Simpson