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Front Range Highlights

Before and after experiencing the Yosemite soul of American climbing, I’ve been deep in the heart of the Front Range. From Eldo’s legendary Jules Vern to the gymnastic Power Bulge in the Flatirons, across the range to the classic namesake Bitty Buttress in Boulder Canyon, we’ve had a blast enjoying the variety our home has to offer.

Ian cruising on Ichiban Arete (5.10a)

Enjoy some photos and short stories from the last month of climbing adventure.

Jim cruxing on Bitty Buttress

Before heading to Yosemite, we wandered back to the Dinosaur Rock area in the Central Flatirons and I was thrilled to send Power Bulge (5.12c). I had one-fallen the short but intense race to the chains four times before finally putting it to rest.

Power Bulge

I’ve had success on the 5.12 test pieces in the Dinosaur Rock area, Discipline, The Shaft and Power Bulge. Now that these climbs are in the books I feel like I’m ready to step to the plate on the beautiful 5.13a enduro-lines Milk Bone and Ultrasaurus. Stay tuned.

A giant cocoon inhabited by a crowd of caterpillers on the way to Dinosaur Rock

Of course, we’ve been loving life in Eldo. Most of our efforts have been on the “semi-obscure” tour. Many fantastic lines like Prince of Darkness (5.11a) and Parting Shot (5.11b) sit unchalked and ready for the next adventurous soul to make the effort. Redpointing The Formula (5.12a) along The West Ridge was a recent highlight. Ian and I shared beta and made quick work of the bizarre and bouldery line that requires crunchy pressing off of crimps on an arete in order to establish in a finger lock in a dihedral. No kidding.

The tricky Prince of Darkness (5.11a)

The Untitled (5.12a) is one of these beautiful routes. The 80 foot thin face/slab line sits undisturbed at the remote Cadillac Crag. The continuous line, protected by a sparse 6 bolts, will fray your nerves and hone your senses. The last crux includes a sidepull mono and a high foot. Ian and I both one-fell the line and are looking forward to going back soon.

Ian warming up on The Grand Course (5.10a)

Of course, we’ve still been traveling the more popular classics as well. Ian and I completed the amazing linkup Jules Verne to Lene’s Dream. The 5.11a crux of Jules Vern felt harder than the 5.11c Lene’s Dream. Regardless, they were both great climbs. We rapped down to the base of the Naked Edge and I was thrilled to onsight the controversial Genius Loci (5.11d). The bolted line sits between the first pitch of The Naked Edge and the third pitch of Jules Vern. Many consider it a travesty that a sport climb could inhabit the sacred ground between two of the most legendary trad routes in the country. I definitely sympathize with those feelings. However, the line has been established since 1988, the climbing itself is fantastic and though I may not have put it up myself, there is no arguing that it’s a quality climb.

Lizz and I have enjoyed a few days on moderate multipitch trad lines in Boulder Canyon and Eldo. We recently had a blast scaling Bitty Buttress (5.9), a phenomenal 3-pitch namesake line just East of Boulder Falls. If you’re in the area, do this route.

Lizz searching desperatly for a stem on Bitty Buttress

We also completed a great linkup on the West face of the Bastille, West Arete to Hair City. Lizz got the 5.9 roof of Hair City clean with a struggle and then enjoyed the sandstone face climbing to the summit. Nice work, Lizz.

Bluebells along the Redgarden trail

In the meantime, I’ve started another “mini-project,” The Buzz (5.12d) at Bitty Buttress. I’ve now climbed the line three times, falling 3, 2 and 1 times on attempts 1, 2 and 3. Check back for a few photos of this stellar line soon.

Tyler - Great photos – The Buzz is haard, it’s going to be a great send. Nice work on the rock, Lizz!June 9, 2011 – 11:14 pm

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