Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Week in the Rockies

My girlfriend, Sarah Hart, and I just spent a week climbing out in the Rockies, enjoying perfect late-summer weather. Mostly we climbed at the Back of the Lake, which is I think one of the highest-quality crags I've ever climbed at (right up there with the Lower Town Wall at Index, and the Motherlode at the Red River Gorge). I did spend two days up in the mountains though - one climbing the Greenwood-Jones on Mt. Temple with Rockies badass Jon Walsh, and one climbing the "Cardiac Arete" on the Grand Sentinel with Sarah. The Greenwood-Jones was a perfect intro for me to alpine rock climbing in the Rockies, and although there were sections of choss, the upper pitches were on very high quality limestone. The Cardiac Arete, a four pitch alpine sport climb, is very fun climbing on very high quality rock - highly recommended!

Jon at Lake Annette, below the north face of Mt. Temple:

Colin simul-soloing low on the Greenwood-Jones. Photo by Jon Walsh:

Jon following our second roped pitch:

Jon heading up our third roped pitch:

Colin back on simul-soloing terrain. Photo by Jon Walsh:

Colin simul-soloing higher on the Greenwood-Jones. Photo by Jon Walsh:

With the rope on again, Jon heading up a funky little roof:

Jon coming up the last chossy pitch:

Colin following the second-to-last pitch, an excellent corner system on good limestone. Photo by Jon Walsh:

Nice views from the north face of Mt. Temple:

Jon finishing the last 5th-class pitch of the Greenwood-Jones:

Colin on the upper East Ridge of Mt. Temple - a nice snow arete, which makes for a classy finish to the route. Photo by Jon Walsh:

Simul summit photo-taking:

A raven joined us on the summit. Deltaform Peak behind:

A view of the Grand Sentinel (the quartzite rock tower) from Sentinel Pass:

Sarah nearing the base of the Grand Sentinel:

Steep, juggy climbing on the Cardiac Arete:

Sarah following the second pitch of the Cardiac Arete:

Nice exposure on the last pitch of the Cardiac Arete:

Pretty damn nice scenery - Larch Valley, and the Valley of the Ten Peaks behind:

Larch trees with fine, fall colors: