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By Mark Dickey
From Croton-on-Hudson, New York
Apr 30, 2014
Ice Climbing at Devil's Kitchen
Greetings!

I'll be coming to Colorado from NY where I usually climb in the Gunks (NY) for two weeks starting on May 11th! Most of that time will be taken up with cave rescue training with the National Cave Rescue Commission (caves.org/commission/ncrc/nati... but from May 11th in the afternoon till May 15th I'll be free to fill my time with climbing!

Any suggestions on how I should handle this? I want to try and figure out:

- Climbing Partner!

Nobody was free to come fly over with me, and I haven't yet found a connection through networking to get a local climbing partner. I'd really hate to be stuck working with a really expensive guiding service....is there any good place to get connected with climbing partners? Maybe someone who would be willing to show me around for a beer? If not, I so want to get climbing, so I'd jump even at someone who just wants a reasonable appreciation for their time. Any thoughts?

- Local Climbing/Activity Beta!

If it turns out that I can't get anyone to climb with, I'd still like to try and explore as much as I possibly can. Any suggestions on what to experience to really get the most out of Boulder/CO?

- Hiking!

I would also like to get at least one really good high peak in while in CO. I'm not really able to fit all my mountaineering gear along with the normal vacation stuff, plus caving gear. So a true technical ascent is not on the agenda unless I rent stuff for it -- but I'm sure there have to be great day-trips that can be done without crampons/tools. Maybe I'm envisioning the peaks as all snow-capped and awesome; but I'm from the northeast -- Mount Washington at 6,288ft is what I have over here. lol

- Anything else I should think about?

I'll keep researching and looking into everything; but I'd love thoughts on what I should google!

Thanks so much to anyone who takes the time to answer. And I really hope to see someone out there climbing. :D (Oh, and I'm comfortable on-sight leading 5.9s in the gunks. I'm nothing spectacular, but good enough that I shouldn't be too boring for anyone.)

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By Eric Thomas
From Colorado
May 1, 2014
Second flatiron solo
It's a big state, but if you're staying in the front range, there's plenty to do. You shouldn't have a problem finding a partner. I'd be happy to take you climbing one of the days if you have time.

For Boulder -- definitely check out the eclectic Pearl Street, visit one of the many, many breweries, and enjoy the lovely spring weather. The creeks are flowing now and come May, the wildflowers will be blooming.

There's tons of great hikes. If you're looking for strenuous, I think Bear Peak takes the cake. Nothing technical, just 3000 feet elevation gain. Otherwise, I would say Mt. Sanitas has the best ratio for view vs amount of effort. Soloing up the second flatiron is also another good choice. The first 30 feet has some decent exposure, but it gets a little less heady after that.

The proximity of climbing is unreal and there's a lifetime abundance of it.

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By Greg D
From Here
May 1, 2014
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
Happy to help you out. Pm sent

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By Mark Dickey
From Croton-on-Hudson, New York
May 1, 2014
Ice Climbing at Devil's Kitchen
Thanks Eric!

Someone was kind enough to coordinate climbing on the 12th with me in Eldo; and I hope to climb the rest of the days too! I'm totally open to scheduling something right now, or holding off till it gets closer and see how things look for you. While there will be so much to do while visiting, there is always time to climb!

I'll definitely check out Pearl Street -- is nighttime okay for this, or is it more of a daytime area? I hope I'll see the wildflowers while hiking, or out in a climbing spot. I love running water too; so creeks, streams, waterfalls, and especially cascading water over lots of bare rock. Cross my fingers I get to the right places. :)

For hiking, it's tough as everyone has different capabilities and expectations. The more challenging, and technical, and rock-covered, and climbingesque it is, the better! Anything that can be done without rope, with a safe descent afterwards!

For myself when I tried looking into it initially, I immediately looked up the highest peak in Colorado (Mount Elbert near Leadville) and added it to the list. But then I saw the descriptions of it and while it's the tallest, I don't think it to be the most exciting. I then found Crestone Peak, which looks to be a lot of fun, while still only Class 3/4 climbing on the north face. Since I have to be in Divide, CO on the 16th, I was thinking to take a run down that way and summit on the 15th. (Unless climbing instead)

For the local hike in Boulder, think I could look at Bear Peak or Mt. Sanitas as a night-hike after climbing during the day? I don't yet know the night-time dangers of the area, but I feel like with such a close proximity to Boulder, I might not have much to worry about in the way of large predators. Need to start looking that up!

And soloing the flatirons has always been my backup plan! I hate to admit it, but I'm no stranger to that experience, including solidly exposed routes. Nothing over a 5.6 so far, but I believe the flatirons has tons to offer in that grade. My biggest concern wasn't the climbing, but the downclimbing. I was thinking if that was the direction things went, I would ascend with a rope to be able to rap down?

Which segues into a quick question -- I generally work single-rope in the gunks. Is all the climbing in Colorado done as dual rope? Do you need the dual 70s to get from rap station to rap station? Next week is looking sunny here; maybe I should run out and buy duals to practice. (The only part that worries me is managing the dual ropes while on a hanging belay.)

Anyway! I already appreciate your input; don't feel any obligation to write as much as I did. I type quickly and generally for way too long! lol

Have a great day!

Mark

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By Greg D
From Here
May 1, 2014
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
A single 60 m rope is all you you need for a majority of the rock routes. A sinle 70 is useful on some routes. I wouldn't worry about double ropes.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Well lions and bears. But as long as you can out run your partner you're fine.

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By Mark Dickey
From Croton-on-Hudson, New York
May 1, 2014
Ice Climbing at Devil's Kitchen
Greg,

I must say, so many people are really awesome out in Colorado on Mountain Project! I'd love to get climbing, but I can't seem to find the PM yet. First time I've gotten one. lol I'll keep looking, sure it's just a few clicks away.

I always head out with a bi-color 70m since a number of years ago. The extra length isn't that much of a headache to manage, and it's useful often enough that I like it.

Well, maybe not outrun, but the rope is great for tying them up first. lol Any worries at night when I'm alone? Or they will avoid me just as I'll avoid them?

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By Greg D
From Here
May 1, 2014
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
Pm's go to the email address you used to set up your account.

Lions are rarely an issue. Extra caution should be considered with children and pets in some areas. Bears are generally not an issue if you are careful with your food. No food or food smells in your tent. Put food in a stuff sac. Attach some cord. Toss it over a high branch where bears can't reach or climb to. Some areas require bear canisters for your food.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
May 1, 2014
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
Bicolor 70M and a basic rack are the way to go if choosing. But frankly, in your shoes I'd try to travel light and bring only basic gear and offer to buy beer in exchange for using your partner's rope. Most people would have one and not mind using it in those circumstances. Bring shoes/harness/nut tool/belay device... all the stuff you think is not part of a lead rack and people will not necessarily have an extra of.
I'm on injured reserve at the moment (knee surgery again), but if you like you can call if you want some local beta. If so, you can PM me for a phone # once you get your Email figured out. That is contained in your 'personal page.'

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By Mark Dickey
From Croton-on-Hudson, New York
May 1, 2014
Ice Climbing at Devil's Kitchen
Thanks for the insight. I have a bear canister already, but I'd rather not fly with it, so I'll stick with minimal food. Sounds like it's the same as the northeast in bear country.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
May 1, 2014
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
As for a bear canister- after climbing in Boulder since the 1980's and living here for about 20 years and climbing, I have never used or felt the need to use a bear canister. Don't bother.

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By doligo
May 1, 2014
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
Mark Dickey wrote:
I'll definitely check out Pearl Street -- is nighttime okay for this, or is it more of a daytime area?


Coming from NY, I doubt you'll be impressed with Pearl Street. Just your typical overpriced tourist shopping plaza with a pedestrian mall. I'd go to Southern Sun - good beer, food and atmosphere despite a weird strip mall location. I also liked the dive that Tony B holds gatherings at.

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By SlowTrad
From St Paul, MN
May 1, 2014
Isn't Southern Sun right next to Neptune Mountaineering? Used to be a good place to find local guidebooks, and fill holes in your rack etc.

Get well soon Tony B, you have provided so many great pictures and route descriptions here(w/Joseffa et al.), you deserve kudo's for that, as does everybody that contributes.

To the original poster: try and climb at least a day in Eldorado, there isn't really any other place like it. There are a TON of classic climbs there(in my opinion). The place has a lot of history.

Lumpy Ridge is also a fabulous place for visiting climbers, hard to get lost there if you stick to the classics.

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By Jon Cabrera
May 1, 2014
Hey Mark,

I'll be bumming my way around Boulder between the 7th and the 14th, I'd definitely be down to get out climbing in Eldo or the Flatirons the 11th-14th. I'll most likely have a basic trad rack, but no rope.

PM me and we can discuss!

Jon

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
May 1, 2014
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
doligo wrote:
I also liked the dive that Tony B holds gatherings at.

The Dark Horse.
They've always been good to the climbing crew.
I don't organize those anymore though - someone else should take that on.
More than once a newcomer has grabbed the reins and organized and that has worked just fine. No reason for that to not happen now with Mark. Just look up and old Boulder Beer Night Dark Horse post and mimic that.

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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
May 1, 2014
At the BRC
Mark Dickey wrote:
I then found Crestone Peak, which looks to be a lot of fun, while still only Class 3/4 climbing on the north face. Since I have to be in Divide, CO on the 16th, I was thinking to take a run down that way and summit on the 15th. Mark


Here's a trip report from last June for the regular route up Crestone Peak (on the south side.)
14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport....
It may be pretty snowy on the north side in May, especially given our excellent winter.

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By Mark Dickey
From Croton-on-Hudson, New York
May 4, 2014
Ice Climbing at Devil's Kitchen
Greg: I never did get that PM -- I think it got caught by the spam filter or something. I've found other messages in my e-mail, but yours never arrived. I'll send a message to you and see what you have in mind! A week from now I'll be in Colorado! :D

Tony B: Thanks for the advice. That's right in line with my hopes. I'll go for it, and cross my fingers for the best. I'm sure it will all work out. Good luck with your recovery! I'll look into the Dark Horse, and if there happens to be a larger gathering one night, that'd be awesome. I've got nothing planned for my evenings right now; just the daytime. Any other local beta on night-time activities would be appreciated. :)

Doligo: I always like to see a place, irrespective of being from NY. While I can go to the city, and do once or twice a month, I live in a smaller town in the suburbs. I'll swing by Pearl Street and Southern Sun (And The Dark Horse) and see what I think unless something else comes up for the nights. lol

SlowTrad: I'm already scheduled with a generous soul on the 12th for Eldorado! So far Lumpy Ridge isn't on the calendar, but if anyone will go with me, I'm down for it. If I've got a down day, I'll go to the flatirons from past recommendations. Anything easy enough to free-solo in Lumpy Ridge?

Jon Cabrera: That sounds great. If I don't bring a rope, that'll be a bit tough. Lets talk and see what can be done. I'll PM you.

Mark E Dixon: Ah! That's a perfect trip report for this. I can easily fit microspikes into my suitcase, and there's a chance I could even go for my mountaineering axe. Similarly I guess I could do my ice tools; but I just hadn't really been planning on that plus my crampons. Then the boots with welts. Ugh. I think my limit will be anything I can do with a mountaineering axe and microspikes. Any suggestions?

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By fossana
From Bishop, CA
May 4, 2014
downclimb off the First Flatiron photo by TooTallT...
I work weekdays, but would be happy to set up a Dark Horse night that week; the Sun would also be an option with a smaller crowd.

The Flatirons would be a better place to solo than Lumpy. Rocky Mt Nat'l Park still has a fair amount of snow and peak bagging gear needs will depend on temps. You can rent snowshoes in town if you need them.
Loch Vale trail as of 1 May 2014.
Loch Vale trail as of 1 May 2014.

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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
May 4, 2014
At the BRC
Mark Dickey wrote:
Mark E Dixon: Ah! That's a perfect trip report for this. I can easily fit microspikes into my suitcase, and there's a chance I could even go for my mountaineering axe. Similarly I guess I could do my ice tools; but I just hadn't really been planning on that plus my crampons. Then the boots with welts. Ugh. I think my limit will be anything I can do with a mountaineering axe and microspikes. Any suggestions?


How about hiking up to Chasm Lake? Great view of the snowy Diamond. There's usually a pretty good bootpack so spikes should be plenty. Maybe Mt Lady Washington would be bare enough to do with hiking boots, somebody else would know better than me.

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By Mark Dickey
From Croton-on-Hudson, New York
May 11, 2014
Ice Climbing at Devil's Kitchen
I'm leaving in 6 hours for the airport!

Thanks for all the help and advice!

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
May 11, 2014
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
Mark Dickey wrote:
I'm leaving in 6 hours for the airport! Thanks for all the help and advice!

Either you or the weather picked a hell of a time...

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By Mark Dickey
From Croton-on-Hudson, New York
May 11, 2014
Ice Climbing at Devil's Kitchen
Seriously! I'm out here for the cave rescue commission weeklong training, so it wasn't my chive, though I did choose to add some extra days in. Talk about bad timing!

I'm trying to figure out what to do!

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By dan zika
From jax wy
May 11, 2014
tower fever
It may not look good now or tomorrow but when the sun does come out tuesday. Table will be climbing well by 3oclock for sure. The sun is mighty here.

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By Fyah Dragon
From Lajas, Puerto Rico
May 14, 2014
Estes Park.
Hi I'm a climber from PR looking for a partner now that the weather is getting better. I'll be here till the 25th. Let me know if u still looking for partners
Estes Park.
Estes Park.

FLAG


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