Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tour de Poison Ivy

I went out this morning to revisit the Dinosaur Eggs on the southern flank of Dinosaur Mountain. The routes to the summits of these rocks are 5.6 and I wasn't sure I wanted to solo them. I was just going to go give them a look.

I left NCAR at 6:30 a.m. and, following Roach's Flatirons Guidebook, tried to head up Bear Canyon from the Mesa Trail. This was a horrible, poison-ivy bushwhack and I eventually turned around. Not wanting to repeat the bushwhack on the descent, I finally broke out of the gully and headed up very steep dirt terrain to the Bear Canyon Trail above. I followed this for just a few minutes before descending once again into the canyon, but this time, right across it and up the other side towards the Southern Dinosaur Egg. The poison ivy was here as well, but slightly easier to avoid. 

I soloed up the first pitch of Hatch (5.6), through some very cool chimney climbing and stemming until I got to the large chockstone below the crux headwall. I switched to my climbing shoes here and very carefully and methodically climbed the vertical face to the summit. I tried to memorize all the moves for the descent. I didn't spend long on top, as I was afraid I'd forget all the moves on the descent. This was pretty intimidating for me as it is very steep and quite exposed, but the holds are good if you find the right ones and I took a lot of time to make sure I was 100% solid.

After changing my shoes I downclimbed to the west and then up a ramp, wrapping around the Southern Dinosaur Egg to the saddle between it and the Northern Dinosaur Egg. I carefully picked my way through more poison ivy past Bear Cave to the base of Rehatch (5.6). I was short on time at this point and decided to just head back. I traversed past the base of Der Freischutz and hiked up the gully between it and Dinosaur Rock to the Mallory Cave Trail. I trotted slowly, feeling tired and clumsy (my usual state these days), back to the car by 8:20 a.m.

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