Sunday, June 22, 2014

Linking Classic Climbs Around Boulder via Bike

On the Monkey Traverse

This year I'm concentrating on climbing and cycling. At least I have been since the Bolder Boulder. I'm sure enjoying both the climbing and the cycling, but probably not quite as much as the not running. After watching Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright link-up desert towers in Utah I got the idea to link up some climbs around Boulder, but instead of 5.12 offwidths, I'd climb 5.6 slabs.

Tom decided to join me and I was on my bike at 6:50, headed for Eldo. Tom was already there when I arrived. He'd do all the approaches in his mountain biking shoes, though he was riding a road bike, like me, his pedals are the same. I had to switch to my approach shoes for the short hike up to the Wind Ridge (3 pitches, 5.6). This is one of my favorite climbs. It holds a special status in my mind since it was my very first rock climb, back in September, 1980.

We did the cool roof at the start of the third pitch and topped out. We traversed to the rappel descent and down-climbed back to the trail. We were back on the bikes thirty minutes after we left them - about the same time it takes to climb the Naked Edge.

We rode into Boulder and then up to the Gregory Trailhead, hiking the bikes past some of the road damage. It had been threatening to rain on us and we thought it might shut down our First Flatiron ascent. Instead the sun appeared and we worked up a good sweat on the Direct East Face. We were soloing all the routes, of course.
On the First Flatiron

We downclimbed the Southwest Face and hiked back down to our bikes. Next up was the Monkey Traverse (V4) on Flagstaff. We rode up there and switched back into our climbing shoes. A party of four were at the problem with a bunch of pads, but they let us climb through. We both sent the entire traverse. This was by far the most difficult climbing of the morning and also, by far, the safest climbing.

We descended to Eben G. Fine park and then up Boulder Canyon a bit to the Dome. After switching footwear and locking the bikes we hiked up to the East Slab route (5.5) and soloed this one-pitch route. This was also one of the first climbs I ever did.
Finishing up on the summit of the Dome

We were back down at the bikes a little after 11 a.m. and had time to hit Big City Burritos before going to watch Derek crush his opponent, 6-1,6-1, in the third round of the MOJO tennis tournament. Afterwards I rode home to complete the 45-mile climbing/cycling loop.

This was so fun that I'll probably do this at least once a year.


SteelMonkey said...

Very cool. Sounds like an awesome day! And you're sending V4!!!!

SteelMonkey said...

Very cool. Sounds like an awesome day! And you're sending V4!!!!