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Soloing in Eldorado (1)

Last Spring and Summer I wrote a few short pieces related to climbing. Here’s the first one…

Lost in Transition
By Eli Powell

In the summer of 2007, I fulfilled a 5 year dream to move to Colorado. That was the dream- just to move. You see, I went to school in Nebraska, the Flatlands. Where every road trip is to higher ground, and internet climbing is the norm.
After settling in, a funny thing happened, the dream was gone. Colorado wasn’t as e
xpected; there was no campfire bullshitting, pizza eating, or pull up contests. My dream was hollow without the friends I loved.


I called my climbing mentor for guidance. He spat out a hundred routes he’d do if only he were in my position. I scribbled route names and started planning. Their dreams would be my reality.

I found a couple of climbing partners, but it wasn’t the same. No Wednesday night beers, no dirty jokes. But I kept ticking the routes, and sending updates back home.
Eventually I found some friends with whom to climb. Work started to slow, and my Flatlands To-Do list was complete.

On a crisp December day, I ducked out of work and drove to Eldo. The canyon was empty, the rock was dry. Hopping on a Wind Tower classic, I half joked, “You’d better be sure, 100 percent.” My constant partner stopped our conversation mid-pitch. I paused as Gravity tugged gently down, I was again living my dream as I floated up.

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