Monday, October 13, 2008

Climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Climbing has never been my strong point but i love it. I continue to push myself and am getting stronger, and more comfortable with my abilities on the rock. My boyfriend and i returned again this fall to climb in one of the most beautiful mountain settings around. 
After some rain storms the day we arrived it cleared up and we headed in to our first objective, Direct South Ridge III 5.9  9 pitches,Notchtop Mt.
We did not get as early of a start as we maybe should have but we felt good on the approach and climbed the first 4 moderate pitches fast. I am not yet leading on trad climbs so i follow with a small pack and sometimes find it difficult on certain types of climbing, such as tight dihedrals, chimneys, and roofs.When we got to the start of the 6th pitch the description was very vague and hard to distinguish the right line. Brian started up and after 30 ft realized he was not on route. After some down-climbing and some talking we figured out the correct line. This took about an hour though and put us way behind for a timely ascent. 
We cruised the remaining pitches and summited at 5:30pm. Knowing it would get dark at 7 pm and that we still had 6 rappels and a two hour walk out to the trailhead we started our descent. We finished the rappels and retrieved our packs at the base and made it to the main trail before it got dark but we had both forgotten our headlamps and had to suffer the remainder of the walk in total darkness.

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