I have a habit and a history of taking the great, motivational achievements of the world's top climbers and dumbing them down to my level. This thinking was the inspiration for the Poor Man's Linkup, where my buddy John Black and I invented our own way of linking El Cap to Half Dome. We climbed the East Buttress on El Cap (13 pitches, 10b) and then did Snake Dike (5.7). I freed them both as well - before Dean Potter freed them both! :-)
Jonny Copp and Kelly Cordes did the awesome Triple Lindy in RMNP and I, with my buddy Tom Karpeichik, countered with the Crescent Arete on Pagoda to the North Ridge of Spearhead to the North Ridge of Chiefshead to the Hourglass Ridge (it was supposed to be the East Face, but I had to dumb it down even further due to lots of verglas on our climbs) of Mt. Alice.
Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright (no relation, obviously) did two incredible suffer-fests where they biked and climbed California 14ers and then did desert towers in Utah. I like biking. Charlie and I are planning to bike to Longs Peak next week and climb Kiener's Route as month seven of the Longs Peak Project, so I need to start riding a bit. Two days ago I rode 15 miles. I didn't want to overtrain or anything, but I figured I needed another ride.
This isn't even the first time I've done this link-up of climbs. Tom and I did this one last year. But we stopped for a burrito in town before I rode home, so the roundtrip was a lot greater. This time I wanted to do it a bit more continuously. The idea was to link up climbs in Eldorado Canyon, the Flatirons, Flagstaff Mountain, and Boulder Canyon, by bike if Alex and Cedar did this, they'd have chosen the Naked Edge, Death and Transfiguration, some V10 on Flagstaff, and Country Club Crack. But this is me, remember. It's all about getting down to my level...
I rode from my house out to Eldo and rode right across the bridge to the base of the Wind Tower. I had two bottles on my bike, a couple of Honey Stinger Chew packets, my climbing shoes in my jersey pockets, and my scrambling shoes bungy-ed on underneath my seat. I also had a lock wrapped around my seat post.
|The Wind Tower. The Wind Ridge is the left skyline|
|Selfie on top of the First Flatiron|
I passed a party of two on the third pitch. They were carrying sizable packs. Of course they looked way cooler than I did, for I was stuck in my nifty lycra outfit for this outing. They let me cruise on by. I found three older dudes talking about corporate intrigue or some such topic at the Route Junction Knob. It's a nice place to relax, but all I could think about was how much hotter the upper face was getting. I passed another team of two just as I hit the North Ridge.
|Looking down on Chautauqua Park and Boulder from the summit of the First.|
I switched to my climbing shoes and this route is why climbing shoes are necessary for this link-up, at least for me, though I wore them on the Wind Ridge and appreciated them there as well. I was hot, very sweaty, and tired. Thankfully the Monkey was completely in the shade still. If it wasn't, I wouldn't have stood a chance.
|My favorite boulder problem: the Monkey Traverse. Mainly because is is the only one I can do.|
|Halfway up the East Slab on the Dome|
Back on the bike, I descended clear down to the Boulder Creek bike path and took that west up Boulder Canyon to the Dome. This one is cruiser and I did it in my approach shoes. It took me five minutes to hike up there. Five minutes to climb the route. And five minutes to descend back to my bike.
|Doesn't this look like the Salathe Headwall? This is the crack splitting the East Slab on the Dome|