Saturday: Clear Creek Canyon

Saturday was a big day, because we found ourselves a new home in Manitou Springs, a very fun little town next to Colorado Springs. We are going to live at the foot of Pikes Peak in a cozy little house. Awesome!  Our day couldn’t start any better and happily we drove to Clear Creek Canyon for a nice day of climbing.

I had searched for a 5.13b in the guidebook because I’ve still my goal to climb my first 8a in April…. (eight days left, I don’t think it’s going to happen anymore 😦 ). I found out there were two at Primo Area that seemed really fun, so we went there. First we had to cross the river by a tyrolean traverse. That was terrible! I didn’t know how to do that and hadn’t the right technique at all! Pumped in my biceps with abrasions on my knees and ankles before I made it to the other side of the river. I didn’t like the idea at all that I had to do that again on the way back. But first climbing!

Tyrolean traverse over the river

There were some nice warm-ups at the same wall and the style of climbing was bouldery on big jugs. Pretty funny. Then I climbed a very special route called Mirthmobile! Of course that was an amazing route :D.

Mirthe in Mirthmobile

After that I started to try Squeeze Play (5.13b/c). After figuring out some moves I came half way but didn’t find the confidence to lead the next part. Pascal had the same problem at that point and aided his way up and hung out a toprope. By that time the wind was freezing cold and so were my hands. When I attempted the route toprope, it didn’t feel nice at all and I couldn’t figure out the crux passage where I had struggled before. I noticed that this wouldn’t be the route to redpoint. Not my style, not nice enough (maybe even chipped on some places?) and to difficult.
This was my second attempt in a route of this grade. While everybody says I am capable of doing it and I started to believe in that myself, I think that two factors are keeping me back from actually do it. My lack of experience with outdoor climbing and working a project while leading. So maybe I just have to put the goal out of my head and just start to get experience in lower grades on outdoor rock for now. 

Sunday: Shelf Road

Yesterday we were thinking about what to do. The sun was shining and the choice was easy: go climbing. Where? Shelf Road. Long bands of yellow/red limestone just one hour driving from our home: that’s Shelf Road! An amazing sportsclimbing area here in Colorado. We went there on our preview trip one year ago and experienced the super nice style of climbing and great views that Shelf has to offer. 

Shelf Road, the limestone band on the background
We arrived pretty late. Imminent clouds where hanging above the area and a cold breeze was blowing. We went to one of the closest sectors to the parking: The Bank: North Side. I wanted to try a route called Surreal Estate (5.12c) after I had seen a great picture of it in the guidebook. Unfortunately it turned out that this was the only route with bad, old bolts… So we climbed the other three routes with pretty funny names for this day: Stormy Weather, Heavy Weather and Unusual Weather. The last one describes the weather best, because after a couple of raindrops the evening sun was coming through and it was a beautiful evening to climb. 

I screwed up the warm-up route (5.11a) which made me a little bit insecure. The first three meters were extremely hard, but later we found out that I had to start far more left :). The second route (5.11c) gave me confidence again, because that one felt much easier then the first. The last route (5.12a) was super pumpy so I was very happy that I finished it on-sight. Especially when I found out that the consensus about this route is 5.12a/b.

Can not wait to go back and explore all the other climbing areas here!!!!!!!!

We stopped on the way back to take this awesome picture!

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