Thursday, May 16, 2013

closing time

Winter finished very abrupt on me a couple of weeks ago on my last ski outing with Scott and Raphael on Mt. Sparrowhawk. April 30th marked the earliest ski touring end in years, what promised to become a super ski spring turned into SCHMUHH with a rather unusual heat wave in the Rockies. I have to admit though that I could have stretched it a little longer with some real early starts and get up high, but rock climbing took over. After missing out on most of the spring time rock climbing last year due to the Mt. Logan expedition, I enjoyed inhaling as much limestone smell as possible above town.
Furthermore, I was convinced that it was appropriate to finish such a great Winter on a powdery note.

Scott on the summit ridge, who can spot Raph?

last run of the year in perfect powder

Besides the Coliseum we spent a couple days reviving the routes at the almost forgotten and seldom visited Echo Cave. For some reason this little gem gets neglected by most climbers hiking up to the Lookout. Only 10 min up the Hideaway with a southern exposure, this cliff is ideal for the spring and fall. From the overhanging jug fest to technical crimping and pocket puzzles, a solid 5.12 climber will find the perfect fit for his style. 
The current Routes from left to right:
Project (deep in steep cave)
Morpheus, 5.12b
Echo, 5.13a
Glueless, 5.13b
Destination Unknown, 5.12d
Take a Minute, 5.12a
Lost and Found, 5.12c 
Derek on his first go red point of "Echo"
Derek entering the powerful crux on "Glueless"
Greg Toss on the way to red point "Glueless",
the route he created a few years prior.
Derek on sighting "Morpheus"
the wonderful grey streak of the 33m long "Lost and found"
photo Derek Galloway
"Destination unknown"
would blend in perfectly with the best routes at the lower wall of Acephale
Destination Unknown

Matt Pieterson returning to the Rockies from almost a year of absence...
"Morpheus" with Matt's former home turf, the Coliseum in the background.
photo Derek Galloway

trying to beat the pump clock to the anchors of "Morpheus"
photo Derek Galloway