Alright, here is the trip report (TR) of my week long hiking/climbing trip. I wrote this originally on my blog so apologies for the stupid explanations on stuff that you guys probably already know.
We left on Saturday *with the plan of heading to Moab. Most of our travel plans were pretty unstructured and we were planning on playing it by ear. There were three of us (me, Dave, and Josh). We are all sport climbers with little trad experience. We were borrowing my friend's CRV and had a friend's tent.
So we drove to Denver (8 hours) and ate lunch at sushi. It was pretty good and one of the last lunches we would enjoy for the rest of the trip.
Basic map of Colorado for reference:
We stopped for a short stint and climbed in Golden, a small town outside of Boulder. We climbed there for only a few hours, finding little success. The routes were tough and we were forced to ditch a beaner.
First night was a bit of fail. We tried camping in Nederland, a small town outside of Boulder, only to find it closed for the season. We were forced to sleep in our car like hobos and it was quite uncomfortable.
Next day we climbed in Boulder Canyon for a short bit. I'm familiar with the area, having been there a few times. We had a tough time navigating through though and we climbed a 5.9. I actually was able to finish the route on lead, which was pretty cool.
We drove through to Moab and realized that our tent poles were not there. So another night in the car. We pulled all of our stuff out of the back this time though and were able to lay down a bit better. It was still quite uncomfortable though.
Now that the trip had started, we stuck with a routine: Every morning we'd wake up around 7-8am. We'd usually travel into town (Moab or some small CO town) to eat breakfast/put contacts/brush teeth. We ate pretty heartily (Mcds or BK) because we wouldn't eat any meaningful lunch. Lunch usually consisted of trail mix, jerky, granola and protein bars (and lots of water).
So the first day we decided to check out some climbing in Moab. Unfortunately we didn't do a ton of research before we went. Though we suspected Moab was primarily long and traditional crack climbing, we were hoping to find some sport.
For those confused with this terminology, sport climbing=there are already bolts in the wall. So the only equipment you need are quick draws and some webbing (and a few other clips). Traditional climbing=there are no bolts in the rock and you place all of your own protection such as this:
So anyways, we went to this long crack and wanted to do the first pitch of it. Because we didn't have any trad gear, we were forced to sling rocks for our protection. It was a bit sketchy due to the rock being sandstone but it worked out...sorta. We slung our way up a 5.8 and hoped to use the anchors for a 5.10. Turns out our rope wasn't long enough and we wasted several hours. So a bit of fail there.
So yeah, talk about fail for the first half of the day. Live and learn though, part of the experience. We went to another area (the name escapes me) for the next part. The scenery reminded me alot of Vedauwoo, WY, and it was pretty cool. The climbing there wasn't the best (fairly slabby for the most part, meaning it was about balance and high stepping more so than big moves).
So yeah...good finish. Unfortunately our tire popped on the way there and we had to change that out the next morning. We were planning on just hiking the next day, at Arches National Park. The scenery was obviously incredible and I'll just post some of the pictures from there:
The hiking overall was fantastic and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys that type of stuff. We did maybe 12 miles all in all.
The next day we drove all day back to Colorado. We were planning on checking out Rifle, a park that is home to some of the hardest climbs in Colorado. The weather sucked though and we weren't able to go. We stopped in Colorado Springs, with the plan to climb in Shelf Road the next two nights. Shelf is home to many sport routes.
Shelf was a great time. The rock was sharp and I cut myself, which sucked...but overall, very fun. I'll definitely be going back someday.
So yeah, that's it. I know people don't really like reading long posts (I know I don't). So yeah. Public link to some of the photos that might not have been posted here (on facebook)-