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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Feb 15, 2013
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

Peter Franzen wrote:
It's slightly hilarious to move from Oregon to Colorado and then hear everyone proclaiming that they live in "the West" though. You have to go pretty far east from the Pacific ocean to hear people talk about how western they are.


Perhaps we need our own designation. But, having grown up in the true midwest, I can happily say that CO has very little in common with the midwest.


FLAG
By JCM
From Henderson, NV
Feb 15, 2013

Crag Dweller wrote:
Perhaps we need our own designation. But, having grown up in the true midwest, I can happily say that CO has very little in common with the midwest.


Come on people, no need to reinvent the wheel here. There are plenty of well thought out geographic designations that have been in play for a long time.

If dividing the country simply in "West" and "East", the 100th meridian is a customary divider. Aside from being a nicely round number, this is the line that represents the westernmost extent of humid air coming off of the Gulf; it is the line that seperates the humid east from the arid west. With the notable exception of the PNW, the single defining characteristic of the West is not mountains, but aridity. Every aspect of Western history, landscape, and culture has been defined by the scarcity of water in the majority of the region. Camhead would be the best-informed on this forum to lay down some knowledge and elaborate here.

Denver is basically semi-desert, ergo it is in the arid West. The "Midwest" is humid and green, ergo it is part of the East.

There was a comment upthread related to Oregon being the West. While the West Coast is certainly a part of the West, those who live there sometimes arrogantly thinkt hat the west Coast is the sum total of the West, which clearly isn't true. The western US can be fairly neatly divided into clearly-defined regions based on physical geography. These include the western Plains (yes, even those are a part of the West; anyone who denies that West Texas is in the West is not too well informed about the history of such a region), the Rockies, the Great Basin and Desert Southwest, and finally the West Coast.


FLAG
By Leo Paik
Administrator
From Westminster, Colorado
Feb 15, 2013

Okay, Mid-West is a historical term that dates from back when folks from the East Coast thought they went pretty far west when they got to the Great Lakes region or so. They really had no idea how big the West was. In reality, many of the earlier Americans were immigrants from the small-sized countries of Europe.

More modern America is probably divided into East Coast, Appalachias, Mid-West, Great Plains, The Mountain West, the Desert Southwest, and the Pacific Coast/West Coast. I have lived in the Mid-West, East Coast, Mountain West, and Pacific Coast/West Coast. Colorado is definitely not Mid-West.

As far as Eldo 5.X goes, as Tony says, the climbing in Eldo is a bit different...generally less sustained but often tricky cruxes. In addition to the historical avoidance of wanting to rate routes above 5.9 back in the day, the bolting ban (which morphed into the Fixed Hardware Review Committee of the Action Committe for Eldorado) caused a good number of the routes in Eldo to require a different kind of commitment compared to similar bolted routes in areas with less restrictions on fixed hardware. So, net-net, don't go into Eldo expecting the same sort of commitment to climb a route of the same grade from Clear Creek, Boulder Canyon, N. Table Mt. That being said, S. Platte and Lumpy routes may feel even stiffer for the grade.


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By Ian Cavanaugh
Feb 17, 2013

I like that the comment about the arid differentiation of topography. That is something I had not considered. I really just brought that up to see what others thought. I knew that anyone that lived here would not admit this area is in the midwest, but something I thought would bring up a good discussion.
As for the 'sandbagging' in Eldo, I still have yet to see it. It is a very different style of climbing, but one that is easy to understand is you are a well versed climber. They are generally short cruxes separated by good rest and moderate climbing. The gear can be interesting and difficult to place from time to time, but does not make a route any more difficult. If you think placing gear adds to the difficulty, you need to work on your endurance. That is something that is just part of the game.
Thanks for all the feed back and the overall general agreement about the unique climbing style and environment I have recently moved to.


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By VARMENT
From Boulder, Colorado
Feb 20, 2013
base of castelton

Eldo is often a bit spicy. I'd agree that the grades there are not "sandbagged" it's more like BoulderCanyon/ClearCreekCanyon are easier types of rock to read with typically shorter routes.
The "5.X" might refer to the safety rating system in which an X suggest that you might die if you fall at a particular part of the route.


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