Sunday, December 2, 2012


I love climbing.
Central Park this fall
I enjoy moving in the mountains for hours at a time.  
I love a good glass of wine and laughter filling the room.  
I love falling in love, playing the piano, learning, teaching, and a full breathe filling my lungs.
The list could go on.    

This fall was filled with some unbelievably good times along with some heartbreaking ridiculousness.  
I haven't slept in the same bed for more than 3 nights since September 1st.  This in part to--too much travel, a break-up turned sour, and two residential moves.   

2nd Meat Wall -Indian Creek (Photo Nathan Welton)
We have had two fires in the town of Estes Park.  The first one, in June, saw KMAC evacuated and the boys running around to save Harry's house and property.  As I write, the Fern Lake fire continues to smoulder over Eagle Cliff --closing in on the 66 corridor.    

Top Sirloin -- Nathan Welton
In early November, I took a 25 foot fall in Zion, thinking I broke my hand and my femur.  Fortunately, my helmet-less-ego-hurt body faced only minor injuries considering the rock broke, my blue Alien popped and I fell upside-down below my belayer and the ledge he was standing on.  Andrew caught me abruptly.  The only other piece I had placed was a .03 Black Diamond Cam and it was only 4 feet above our belay.  I limped noticeably for 2 weeks with a giant softball muscle wad in my left thigh and a purple thumb/palm that still refuses to hold a plate or zip my fly without pain.  

We also elected, as a Nation, to keep our current president.  I am happy about that.  I had an amazing 80's prom themed birthday party and I have made some moves towards forwarding my company Dovetail Mountain Endeavors.

Lightening Bolt Crack-North Sixth Shooter (Nathan Welton)
All of these events have thrust me into a whirlwind of thoughts and actions.  Learning to trust myself, my instincts.  More importantly, to ask for help and take it when it is given selflessly. 
I am learning to place less value on the things in my life.  I am thankful for the people within the moments and the moments as they happen--good or bad.    
The gang atop the N.Sixth Shooter-- Nathan, Quinn, Dustin, Prairie, and Matty.  

I continue to climb because it is ingrained in my soul to move, to explore with a sweaty brow, to push through my fears with tears welled in the corner of my eyes.

I continue to teach, to learn, to grow.  I feel a little slow in my attempts towards integration...but better than not at all....Right?

Taking in the vast Canyonlands vista

"Think of the state of mind you were in before you began reading.  It was a fresh mind.  With no ideas, you came with a fresh mind to look at this book (blog).  If we can maintain that state in our daily lives, that is known as integration.  To be fully integrated means to integrate oneself totally from the body to the self and also to live in integration with one's neighbours and surroundings..... In this way we remain ever fresh, ever peaceful, and with ever growing intelligence."

BKS Iyengar--The Tree of Yoga

Lungs filled, hearts sighing.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eternal Fall

Following the first pitch on The Prow

Wow.  I had a busy little October.

Climbed the Nose in a Day again with some friends...."Keeping it casual!"  I was only in the Valley for 3 days.  Man I love that place!

10 days later I found myself giving a slideshow on speed climbing the Nose at Metro Rock in Boston, This even was a fund-raiser for Paradox Sports.  The show went well and I thank Trango and Stonewear for providing swag for the give-aways.  Also a big thanks to my brother for organizing and helping to promote the event!

During my short stay in Boston, my brother and I stole away for a day of climbing at Cathedral Ledges.  We climbed The Prow.  A proud line I would like to go back and free.  The route was intimidating and seeping wet, we did a mixed bag of aiding/ climbing two of the soggy pitches but were able to free the rest.
My brother and I....where is the wine bar?

Tuesday Oct. 23, I boarded the plane in Boston at 6 am.  Landed in Denver, 9am.  Hopped a bus to Boulder, grabbed "Randy" (my trusty Subaru Forester), and drove to Estes.  Had a quick bloody mary at Ed's Cantina with a friend, unpacked, re-packed, then drove to the Black Canyon.

I arrived around midnight, chucked my sleeping bag on the ground next to AB and zonked out.  I had been up for almost 24 hours and was cross-eyed from playing a game of frogger with deer and elk on the road!!!

Rappelling off of Medicine Man
The pink sky poked gently at my eyelids.  Jes quietly rustled through kitchen supplies as Andrew watched the sun do its magic at the rim.  After a dreary stretch, I was soon standing aside the picnic table drinking coffee and catching up with my NIAD partner, her current road trip partner, Bo, and my favorite person, Andrew Barnes.  Jes and Bo had been climbing in the Black for a few days and were leaving, while Andrew and I had just arrived.  After a leisurely breakfast, Andrew and I moseyed into the gneiss abyss and crawled our way out via the Checkerboard Wall.  What a lovely route.  A little heads up but overall a grand time....I even found a guidebook at the base!!

Our plan was to climb Southern Arete the following day--evening putting some names down on the white board---not our real names of course--- but snow began to flurry about us at camp.  Colorado National Monument and Medicine Man were on my list, so we departed the Black earlier than desired. Our mission was to chase an eternal fall...snow was not appropriate!

Otto's Route, Colorado National Monument
Opening the car doors at Sentinal Spire, in Grand Junction, 30 degree temps and a brain freeze wind greeted us.  Wine bars, distillery's and visiting with Heather, my best girlfriend Prairie's sister, sounded much more enticing.   Medicine Man was rescheduled for the following day and what a gorgeous day it turned out to be.

Medicine Man
Fifty degree temps, light breeze, southern exposure, splitter hand crack, and a surprise photographer at a view point who emailed photos of us rappelling. Unfortunately the route we climbed is on the opposite side of the tower, but Otto's Route is in the background!!

We departed the next day for Indian Creek, popping off for a quick visit to friends in Paradox Valley, Colorado.

The car now brimming with potatoes, dill, and laughter we rolled into Indian Creek.  After a quick deciphering of Maren and Adam's message, we headed up for a half day of cragging at Scarface Wall with the family.

Day 2 the gang piled up at Way Rambo area.  I tried Way Rambo as my first climb of the day, but was unsuccessful.  I am terrible at green Camelot sizes.  Knowing this, I decided to hop on Slice and Dice.  Yet another failed attempt---well I broke it into 5 pitches!  I did finally started feeling a little more confident though.  Green Camelots I will learn to love!!  Andrew crushed Layaway Plan.

Day 3 in Indian Creek was Halloween.  Andrew, Brennan, and I danced to a little "Thriller" from the car as breakfast potatoes simmered.   We racked up for a Vision Quest.  Climbing in costumes that were reminiscent to Saved by the Bell's,  Zach, Kelly, and Slater.....that swimsuit top thing Kelly was
sporting is not ideal for off-widths!!!

Atop the Bridger Jacks, we could see the cottonwoods twinkling yellow, red sandstone spires and walls reaching up towards a piercing blue sky.  The Vision Quest was being fulfilled. The golden light of fall had found a way to hang on!!

Oh an Eternal Fall

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Visuals

Mary Marmorstone, my co-instructor!  Mazama, WA.

North Cascades Basecamp.  Site of 2012 Mindful Movment Retreat

First day of climbing...ever for Leslie!

Sunday morning church session.

Aspen in Aspen

Colorado Fall
Dan Gambino Photo.  RMNP
Climbing on Gollums Arch, RMNP

Wedding in Aspen with Kelly and Rohan!

HOME!!  On my flight home from Yosemite- Oct 4, 2012
Luke on Conads, RMNP.  Dan Gambino Photograph.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Summit Dance Parties

“You got to cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising your voice.”

This quote from U2 song, Running to Stand Still,  reminds me that we should be mindful of how we project ourselves.  Actions speak louder than words.  

This past week the Nose Record on El Capitan was broken.  While I am cognizant of the theory behind setting records--- they motivate others to break them, my ego struggles.  I can’t quite place it, but I feel a small twinge of jealousy or perhaps regret of not trying hard enough. 
Mayan-Gobat Smith and Chantel Astorga atop the Nose.
I know for a fact I feel pressure both internally and externally to attempt the Nose again.  

My friend Timmy (coincidentally, a former Nose record holder), consoled me, “You know Quinn, I think it is important to keep moving forward.”  

Move forward? 
Move forward!

I feel I am at a tipping point.  I am a long time climber and wilderness enthusiast, just now seeking sponsorships.  These sponsorships help fuel the adventures-- supplementing necessary gear and travel costs.  What a fantastic advantage to testing and using new gear and clothing, allowing me to continue exploring the joys of climbing!!!  Thank you, my current sponsors Trango, Stonewear, and Alpine Aire!

Equally important though, is my personal desire to give back my community.  Climbing is inherently selfish.  I spend so much of my time enjoying personal adventures in the wilderness, I feel the need to support and advocate, ensuring that these beautiful places exist for future generations and others adventures.  
I keep busy doing this by teaching, volunteering, giving slideshows, fundraising, and grant writing.  
It is my hope that my profound passion for mental and physical experiences will not only inspire others to get out and play, but raise money for organizations that support wilderness adventures also!  
My main support avenue at the moment is Paradox Sports (

Coincidently, the weekend of the new Nose Record, was the Mindful Movement Retreat in Mazama, Washington.  My company, Dovetail Mountain Endeavors ( worked in collaboration with Mary Marmorstone (  

Check out a video of our retreat, put together by Lilly Mongeau

We guided 12 women through meditation, yoga, and rock climbing.  Our intention was to open a dialogue concerning thought limiting behavior, fears, and how to access the mind-body connection for use in positive ways.

Overall, we focused on our actions and how we should all be mindful of our place --both internally and externally--in this world!

The timing of these events was just was a wonderful reminder for me to explore inward for a moment. Marrying the adventures around me with the churning river inside, settle the sand a little.  Helping me to stretch the corners of my mouth up towards my ears and enjoy a summit dance party!  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tenaya Ra's

I spoke briefly last time about using some new rock climbing shoes.  Well here they are!  Tenaya Ra's.

Ra's have an excellent sharp edge with a barely noticeable downturned toe.  Aggressive for a single pitch sport climb, but comfy enough for a few pitch trad route.  The toe box is a little narrow, but I don't have narrow feet and they fit just great!  The shoes are soled with Vibram rubber.  They hold well when standing on little granite nubbins, edges and heel hooking.  

They smear alright, but do feel a little stiff underfoot.  Perhaps I should blame my use of 10 year old re-re-re-re-soled climbing shoes. 

The velcro and stitching seem to be well manufactured, and there seems to be minimal, if any, stretch so far.  I have had problems with other manufacturers climbing shoe's with durablity etc.  So far, my Tenaya's are killing it!
 Check them out at

Sunday, August 26, 2012

20-12's in 2012

Plus one 5.13!

After the June trip to Yosemite I needed an obtainable/fun goal to occupy my mind.

Chris Trimble confused by the summer choices!
What to do?  What to do?

Summer in Estes is filled with too much work, a lot of play, and minimal amounts of sleep.  I rallied friends and co-workers, "let's all try to climb twenty 5.12's in the year 2012!"  Some agreed to the challenge and currently we are all working towards completing the 20.  Adam Sanders, Trango Rep. and climbing madman set this goal in 2011, trying to climb 20 5.12's before 2012 arrived.  I stole his idea! :)

So far, I have climbed 8 sport climbs and one traditional climb.  (It seems I have time for a sport wanking outing about once a week).  My one full day off each week is spent wandering the Rocky Mountains alpine splitters!

The list is ongoing....and I have updated as I have climbed!

So far

1.  Mistrel in the Gallery, 5.12, The Gallery, Red Rocks
Justin Dubois Photo
2.  Blisters in the Sun, 5.12a Queen Creek, Arizona
3.  Days of Future Past- 5.12a, Animal World--Boulder Canyon
4.  Free Fall -5.12a, Avalon--Boulder Canyon
5.  Furious Howard Brown 5.12 a/b, Surprising Crag--Boulder Canyon
6. Threshold of a Dream 5.12-, Animal World--Boulder Canyon
7.  Wet Denim Day Dream 5.12-, Wall of the 90's--Clear Creek (Onsight)
8.  Red Neck Hero 5.12, River Wall---Button Rock Reservoir.  
9. The Wasp 5.13-, Rock of Ages --- Rocky Mountain National Park (3rd try on lead, trad climb)
10. Rise and Shine 5.12-, Bitty Butress -- Boulder Canyon
11.  The Gate Keepr 5.12a, Wizards Gate --- The Crags, RMNP
12. All Too Obvious 5.12, Spearhead---RMNP (onsight) (traditional)
13. Medicine Man 5.12b, Colorado National Monument (onsight) (traditional)
14.  Jolt Cola 5.12a, Blob Rock, Boulder Canyon
15.  Aoxamoxoa, 5.12b, The Bank, Shelf Road
16. Pick Pocket 5.12a, Cactus Cliff, Shelf Road
17. Blade Runner 5.12a, Cactus Cliff, Shelf Road

My most exciting lead to date, The Wasp, occurred Wednesday July something or other.  Tuesday, I hiked out with Bronson to top rope and suss out some gear.  Previously, I had one top-rope lap on The Wasp this summer in late June.  I also have had some miserable burns on it a few summers back.  This June was the first time I top-roped it with no falls and no extreme pump.  I had to work at noon, so although I felt strong and was tempted for a lead go, I didn't have time.

Wednesday, my girlfriend Kelly Cramer, returned with me.  Through a small debate on the hike up, WE decided that there would be no more top-roping.  I would walk up to the climb and lead the darn thing.  I fell entering the crux traverse.  BOO.  I was fully pumped.

I rested for a while, then tried again.  Feeling solid I reached the "jug" at the end of the traverse left, but had placed a piece in the way.  I shuffled around trying to jam my hand under the cam, but in my flurry ended up just grabbing it.  Double BOO.  I definitely hollered a few F-Bombs.  Irritated at my lack of mental control!!!!

 I was also worried I wouldn't have the energy for another full effort.  I rested 20 minutes or so, then headed up for the 3rd time.  Through the traverse, I placed the cam in a better location, moved through, and stood up for a rest.  One more reachy move puts you on a "smile-evoking-foot-holds-surprise-hand-rail-of-joy"traverse right.  I placed another piece but was short a runner.  I clipped it directly and began climbing upwards towards the piton.
The Wasp, Photo taken from Mountain Project

WHEN DID THE SMALL CHILD JUMP ON MY BACK, I thought?  I just sand-bagged myself with an extreme lightening zag of rope drag.  I thought about down-climbing and taking the piece out but thought I would waste to much energy.  In hindsight, I wasted just as much energy climbing upwards with the rope drag, Elvis clipping and such.  Even with the little extra epic I created for myself, I clipped the piton, moved through the last few crimps to the jug at the lip with just enough energy!  YAHOO!!!!!!!!!

Heel hooking in the Ra's in Boulder Canyon!  

Thanks Kelly and Bronson for hiking out there with me!

Recently, Trango has picked up Tenaya shoes, and have been testing a few.  I have always been partial to climbing with Muira's, but am finding Tenaya's Ra to be quite comparable.  Great rubber, stiff and comfortable.  The Masai's are a less aggressive shoe that I am climbing in a size bigger than usual, but am loving them for long days.  They still have a great toe box and edge, but more flexibility.  My Off-width shoes of choice!!

Give these shoes a try!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thirty seven.

Lumpy Ridge is my home crag here in Estes Park, Colorado!  Thousands of routes varying from 5.2-5.13.  Most routes are slightly less then vertical containing splitter cracks, flared seams, and demand a consciousness towards footwork and gear placements.  I love it!!!  Generally the cliffs are south facing and the rock quality is superb.  Sometimes the winds are heinous as are the little RP placements, but its all in good fun!

A rare steep wall on Lumpy Ridge

Justin Dubios and I have been scheming a long day at lumpy for a while.  He has been itching to solo 50 pitches on Lumpy, but was unsure of the feasibility---especially if you are not to repeat a route.  I love long days running around climbing moderates and being an enduro freak...I signed up immediately!!!!  Justin previously has climbed a route on almost every formation at Lumpy in a day!

Thursday Aug 16th, we were off in hopes of climbing 50, by the book pitches, on Lumpy.  Our plan was to solo some and simul-climb others.  All the while, trying to keep the difficulty 5.10 or under.  We didn't want to proper pitch much of anything out, allowing us to move faster  We had the 5.10 climbs figured just right, so the leader could get a proper belay during the crux sections, but neither would be in the thick of it while simul-climbing.  We also did not fix any lines to rappel, descending each formation many many times via their standard descent routes.  (Except the Bookmark Pinnacle and the Bookmark which include standard rappel decent).  This is some crazy endeavor in down climbing that we overlooked in the planning stages.  Not a big deal, but it is quite time consuming.

Bronson crimping on Lumpy Flare and Crystals

We started climbing at 8:15 am, albeit with a little murky weather.  Low clouds and the haze from distant fires made it look a little less promising of a day.  Eventually it started to clear, and thankfully for temperature control,  a little cloud cover remained.   (Our routes and how he climbed are listed below.)

We stopped climbing at about 5:15 after waiting out one brief rainstorm, and as sprinkles began to fall for a second time.  We were both feeling a little fatigued but willing to continue with plenty of food, water, and energy.  Because of the time, the pending second bout of rain, and both having evening engagements we hoped not to miss, we decided to call it a day.  Thirty-seven pitches according to the book.

We will return and finish the Lumpy 50 pitches-in-a day, SOON!  GREAT DAY!  Thanks Justin!

Femp - 5.9 with the Hurly Traverse Exit 5.7 (simul-climb 1 pitch - Justin's)
Loose Ends - 5.9 with the Cave Exit 5.7 (simul-climb 1 pitch - Quinn's)
Pear Buttress - 5.8 (1 pitch - Justin's)
Cheap Date 5.10b to Outlander's last pitch - 5.10c (1 pitch - Quinn's)
Osiris - 5.7 (Solo)
Bookmark Pinnacle - 5.8 (simul-climb 1 pitch - Justin's)
Melvins Wheel - 5.8 (simul-cimb 1 pitch - Quinn's)
White Whale - 5.7 (Solo)
RAINSTORM hit finishing the last 10 feet of the climb---waited it out
Hiatus 5.7 (simul-climb 1 pitch - Justin's)  Rock still a little moist so used rope...happy to have it
The Cottontail 5.6 (Solo)
Zingando 5.5 (Solo)

Climbs we were too lazy to finish on and ones we will add to the list.......
Batman and Robin (will add in next time)
Summer Breeze (will add in next time)
The Dog and Manifest Destiny (these routes are sort of the same-ish feel so left out)
The Great Dihedral (too lazy)
Climb of the Ancient Mariner (peaced out)
Magical Chrome Plated (if we need to)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Old Fall River Road


I ran fall river road Friday before work.  Thanks to Wes Thompson, who was my drop off, pick up, and follow along car.  I didn't leave early enough, as bed is always too nice.  I started running a little after 7am and was hoping to run the entire 9 mile uphill run in an hour and half.  When Wes drove past me at 8:30, I contemplated just stopping and hopping in the car, but I only had 2 miles to go.  I put my head down, took a deep breath and kept on running.  I reached the Alpine Visitor Center in 1:44.  Fourteen minutes slower than I had hoped and 55 minutes before I needed to be to work.

Wes drove as a I stretched and rehydrated back to Estes Park.  The record (set by Bill Raiter in 2003) is 1:09.  That seems so crazy to me!!!

Old Fall River Road in the last mile or two. Alpine Visitor Center on horizon.  
I will try it again soon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Walk in the Park

Wes enjoying Thatchtop-Powell Ridge

Rainstorms at 9pm are not the usual where we live.  Monday the afternoon rainstorm came, but didn't leave.  Dark clouds lingered and thunder began to roll a second time.  Wes and I had plans to hike up to the Diamond Monday night and bivy for two nights.  We thought about it, and decided to cut it down a night.  We would leave in the morning along with our friends, Andrew and Buster.  They also had plans to climb the Diamond on Tuesday.  After some discussion and listening to the continuous moisture falling on the ground, Wes and I made a late night switch.  

Longs, Pagoda, and part of Chiefshead.  Spearhead in Middle

D7 was moist a few weeks ago and with our two friends vying for it as well, we moved to plan B.  "A Walk in the Park."  This has been on my tick list for a few years.  Justin Dubois did it in 2009 and ever since that eye opening day, I have been inspired and slowly convincing anyone that they should do it with me.  It involves a solo traverse of the Glacier Gorge in its' entirety.  Thatchtop, Powell, McHenry's, Chiefshead, Pagoada, and Longs.  Storm Mountain and Half Mountain can also be included.  Monday night my friend Wes finally agreed! 

I slept in a little longer than usual as my lower back has a pinched something or other.  Just laying in bed I could feel it, so motivating for a big day was a little overwhelming.  Thank goodness for too much ice cream.  I don't have a freezer so was 'forced' to finish almost a whole carton.  Gross.  That was one of the motivating factors at 5 am, burn off the half gallon of snickers ice cream.  :)

Wes--Thatchtop to Powell

The timer started at 6:45 am at the Glacier Gorge parking lot.  We hiked quickly uphill, jogged the flats or the gradual up hills, with Wes in the front.  I was lagging a little.  Thoughts of the ginormous day and a little bit of back twinge kept me from pushing it from the start.  We arrived to Mills lake in 27 minutes.  Not too terrible.  
The Shelf/Solitude cut-off, although slightly strewn with blown down trees and very muddy, proved easy to find.  I hiked first up the hill with Wes breathing down my neck, "I'm psyched!" he exclaimed!!!

One hour and 59 minutes Wes reached the summit of Thatchtop, "34, 35, 36 seconds, come on Quinn," he hollered at me.  Our goal was to reach the top in under 2 hours.  I double timed the last few steps making it just under the wire.
"Lets recover on the downhill," I panted, no time for a summit register--we kept moving.  

Our next goal was 4 hours to McHenry's Peak, I don't know where these time marks came from.  The night before, I think, I just translated some previous landmarks and times.  It takes about 2 hours to get to the base of Spearhead.  Thatchtop is closer but much more steep, so two hours would be mean we were going pretty fast.   

From thereafter I think I just estimated an hour to each summit?  McHenry's is summit number 3.  
Wes Thompson and I in McHenry's Notch

We booked along from Thatchtop, getting some fabulous ridge climbing and exposure along the way.  We summited Powell in 2:45.  Because we were eating along the way (or sucking on cliff bars since I couldn't breathe enough to actually chew), we didn't stop much.  

From the top of Powell through the Keyboard of the Winds, was new terrain for both Wes and I.  We descended Powell with one slight cliff-out error.  We reached the Notch at 3 hours.  Leaving our approach shoes on (North Face running shoes from a thrift store for Wes and Nike running shoes for me) we scrambled up the Notch.  This didn't feel exposed or much of fifth class.  Pretty mellow.  We reached the summit of McHenry's in 3:20, yahoo ahead of our made-up schedule.  We stopped here for a photo, a snack and a brief breather, less than 5 minutes.
 Stoneman Pass--find Quinn!

Chiefshead looked like a long slog in the distance.  No climbing, just a scree pile at 45 degrees.  Yuck.  Stoneman pass, though, is an amazing landmark.  The gradual ascent behind is a granite sidewalk.  Pretty awesome.  The trudge up to to top of Chiefshead was tiring, but I felt like I finally was in cruise mode.  I think we were on top at about 4:30.  

Pagoda ridge was next, the crux of the solo.  A baby Sierra California ridge traverse.  Gorgeous!  I can't remember our time on the summit of Pagoda, but we quickly descended again, picking the straightest line possible to the Southwest Ridge of Long's Peak.  Wes was sipping on water pooled on top of boulders at this point, having only brought one liter.  He drank one before Thatchtop, refilled at shelf/solitude, and had been slowly consuming the refilled liter.  I brought my camelback with 2 liters.

Cool feature on Pagoda Ridge
Arriving at the junction of the Narrow's and the Trough of Long's Peak, the Southwest Ridge plunges skyward.  We stood a top Longs Peak at almost 7 hours exactly from our start time.  With clouds looming and both of us long out of water, we opted for a descent of the North Face instead of Keyhole Ridge.  The North Face often has water running down it and we were hoping to fill up another liter or so for our descent.  Dry year, the North Face was the only place on the entire route that we were able to catch a drip that would actually fill a water bottle in under 30 minutes.  Both of us collected a liter, and pushed on down to the Boulder Field.

Pagoda's glorious Ridge
After a brief discussion, we decided to forgo Storm Mountain (which neither of us could remember if it was "required").  There are a few trip reports of people doing the Walk, or the Arrowhead traverse where they take the Storm Pass trail out.  Which means they avoid both Storm and Half Mountain.  Wes and I wanted to avoid that lengthy switchback trail that doesn't return you at your car.  We opted to stay near the ridge, just skirting the summit of Storm.  We jogged a little of this alpine tundra but with our tiredness and boulder dodging, a sprained ankle was inevitable.  We were tired, there was thunder, the ice cream had worn off, bla bla bla.  


In hindsight we should have nabbed Storm, as we ended up on top of Half Mountain anyway in a hail storm.  Ops.  Wes spotted a descent route down off of Half Mountain that returned us to the shores of Mills Lake.  Turns out this is the same way Rossiter descended, although descending straight north off of Half Mountain would be the straightest line!!  It would probably cut off a little more time. 

From the shores of Mills, Wes readjusted his fashionable fanny pack, and we were off running again the whole way back to the car.

Total time, 10:13!    

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Diamonds and Fives

This week was probably one of my most favorite!

Monday-  I woke up and headed to the local bouldering cave in Estes for a 730am session.  National Public Radio was my only choice of sound, aside from silence of the morning.  At 9 am I headed to the High School track, meeting Maren Bosely and Karla Dubois for a quick sprint work-out.  Afterwards, Maren and I both headed to work at Ed's at 10.
After work I returned to KMAC to find my boys testing a zip line that Wes had put up.  I watched them on the innagural run as I finished my slideshow for the following evening in a camp chair.  The Dubois had invited Wes and I to dinner, so zip line activities ended quickly and he, I, and our friend Matt headed over for some homemade Naan and Jerk Chicken Sandwiches.  Delicious!

Approach up to Arrowhead
ApTuesday- I returned to Karla's house for a 6:30 am egg sandwich.  After a quick bite, we headed up to the Glacier Gorge Parking lot, in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Our destination was Arrowhead Peak.  Niether of us had stood on the summit yet of this fantastic little peak that lies off of the Contintental Divide.  We danced on the summit about 3 hours from the car and we were back home in time to shower and present a slideshow.  At 630 pm, I arrived at Ed's Cantina, Jes and I gave a little run-down on our Nose in a Day Women's Speed Record.  A great turn-out with a fantastic crowd.  Thank you to all who came!!!
Quinn, Justin, and Jared--All Ed's Employees
Wednesday - The sound of the alarm floated through my ears after a short nights sleep.  Justin Dubios and I were eating egg sandwiches again at 4 am, this time our destination was up the Black Dagger on the Diamond of Long's Peak.  The Diamond is an amazing east facing sheer cliff stacked with splitter cracks, located at 14,000 feet.  We were climbing the North Chimney a little later than normal, due to our slacker start time, but still not bad at 2 hours from starting time.  The pitch before Crossover ledge was a bit moist.  After I arrived at the ledge and set up the belay, Justin opted to continue up D7 hoping that it would be dry, as Black Dagger is notoriously wet up high.  His pitch was also wet.  He took a fantastic whipper, aided up the rest of it just as thunder began resonating throughout the cirque.  I followed the pitch in grappel, led another 50 pitch over foreign terrain to reach the nearest escape route.  We descended one pitch shy of table ledge in rain/sleet and some very near lightening.

Thursday-  I worked at Ed's from 10am to 10pm.

Bluebird!  Who is this guy?
Friday- I motivated for another Diamond day with a little coaxing.  Weather was splitter, Wesley was going (we haven't climbed alpine together in a year) and Justin had a partner....Wes friend Matt was in town.  We decided to leave a little earlier than our Wednesday start, as I had to work at 4pm.  Our plan was to meet at the Long's Peak trailhead at 3am.  We met alright, but in our grogginess forgot to bring the double ropes.  Luckily, Justin had thrown in an extra 60 in his van the night before.  We were committed to top as two parties of two and were forced to rap together.  WHAT A DAY!  To the north chimney and climbing in two hours from the start, Wes and I reached Yellow Wall Bivy Ledge at 7:45 having climbed 2 pitches.  We waited and I tried to convince him that we should climb to the top and rap Chasm view.  It would have been a push to summit Long's proper but man it would have be awesome.  We simul-rappelled as a party of 4, reaching our packs at 11:15 am.  Wes and I hiked out, napped, and I was off to work!
Keeping it Casual
Saturday -  Alarm was set for 6:45 pm.  Ops.  My wake up call was a ringing phone and an, "are you coming, slut?"  Erin J, a fellow Ed's gal, was waking me.  I was late for a 7:15 am meeting time for Team Ed's 5k race in Allenspark.  I grabbed my running shoes, a bottle of water and speed down the hill.  Five Ed's employees piled into Karla's 1967 VW bus, headed to Allenspark.  We registered, lollygagged around the elk statue and lined up for the 5k run.  I was tired, but suprisingly not sore.  I mentioned to Karla that she should keep me on a 8 minute mile pace, and she laughed saying she was running nines.  I shrugged and tried to keep the competitiveness out of my head.  I already had had a huge week, no need to go balls to the wall.  The gun sounded, I was off.  Bronson was by my side for the first 3 minutes.  The first hill I couldn't help myself, I pulled away and just kept going.  I ran across the finish line confused.  There were 4 sweaty looking dudes wandering around, but no chics.  "I won?" I thought to myself?  NO WAY.
Wes and I on Yellow Wall bivy ledge
Yes way.  I had one the 5k.  I turned around to see Karla sprinting towards the finish barely behind another young chic.  Bronson right behind her, and Maren a mere 30 seconds further.  Ed's girls just finished 1,3,4,5 in this little 5k.  WTF!  Hilarious!

I had plans to meet another Ed's employee at Suzuki boulder after the race and Bronson and Maren decided to join.  We warmed up quickly, having only an hour or so before we all had to be to work.  I climbed my 'project' and almost sent it first try.  I did it with some funky, unfamiliar beta but it felt pretty good so I decided to give it another rip.  Second try fell.  Third try send,  I think its a V5!  Thanks Bronson for inspiring me after all these years!

Bronson and I, this is how we start our races!

That was the week.  The rest ended in work, and more work!