Friday, May 17, 2013

Getting Homie's Climbing Legs Back

When I say "Homie's climbing legs" I mean his technical climbing legs. We know that dude is a climbing machine while hiking/scrambling, but he hasn't done much technical climbing lately and he is joining me in Europe to climb the Eiger and the Cima Grande in July, so he wanted to prepare. My hope is that we'll visit of lot of the classic climbing routes he either did a long time ago or still has yet to do.

We started our training at the Dome in Boulder Canyon. This is basically where I learned to climb, back in 1980 when I was a freshman at CU. I have such fond memories of the climbs there. Even the smell of the place hark back to those days. We met at 6 a.m. and were at the base of the East Slab (5.5) around 6:25. I led this climb as one long pitch. In the earlier days, this was three short pitches... It's better as three short pitches. You to set up belays, re-group on ledges, scope the next pitch while belaying the second up. It's more adventure. Alas, it is also not very long and these days I tend to want to more quicker. Plus it there was a cold, strong wind blowing. Homie cruised up behind me, cleaning a booty stopper from the crux along the way.

We descended and immediately started up Cozyhang (5.7). This is a tricky, slick route. It climbs like a series of boulder problems. Once again I strung pitches, putting the first two together, which ends up traversing more than it ascends. I led up to the crux bulge, put in a bomber piece at my head, and cranked the move, which still felt a bit challenging all these years later. I moved up under the huge overhang and then traversed down and left, being careful to place good gear to protect Homie.

I got to the belay ledge and Homie followed, looking smoother than I did. He's a natural climber, but has elected to pursue other areas in the mountains, like marathon 14er-bagging and ultra-running. I did the last pitch up to the top, passing through the very bizarre, contortionist roof problem. This was a good test of my right shoulder and it help up. The key with this final problem is not getting your head stuck below the lip. Aware of this, I was careful about that. Homie took a couple of tries to get this right, but was soon on top with me. We decided that was a good introduction and called it a morning and headed to work, getting there around 8:15 a.m. Our plan is to get out once a week for some climbing. Maybe we'll rotate through the three classic areas of Boulder climbing: Boulder Canyon, Flatirons, and Eldorado Canyon.

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