Desert Solitaire

I am currently back in Denver following a whirlwind of too much driving and too much wind (and just the perfect amount of whirl).

Without much to write or ruminate on, here are some pictures and videos from the last couple of weeks of my life.

The famous Bastille in Eldorado Canyon

As one can tell, approaches here in Colorado are monstrous.

Apart from applying for jobs, I found myself thoroughly distracted today when Kelly Cordes at the American Alpine Journal released this month's Alpine Briefs which is a fun and entertaining digest of news release that they have begun creating. I found it to be snugly, comfortable, and similar to these Lowe- alpine briefs, if somewhat less itchy. It was altogether preferable to the third type of alpine briefs which Kelly had tried to flash me while stemming out the crux of our route in Eldorado Canyon the week before.

The dispatch from the AAJ also featured a couple of cool videos produced by friends and acquaintences, including Nico Favresse, Sean Villanueva, and Mason Earle highlighting the Patagonian winds and their musical inclinations. Those guys bring their instruments with them all over the world and up big-walls, and they were happy to indulge us while I taught them the art of baking Empanadas.

I also noticed a pretty picture of Cedar Wright 'bouldering' or soloing a 5.11c sport climb near El Chalten, which was posted on his trip blog.

It's really impressive to watch someone climb tha well. In February I posted a couple photos of my friend falling on this route, and he routinely gets 5.12 climbs onsight. It took me several tries to redpoint the route, and it had my friend Paul resorting to full-on aid shenanigans to make it to the top.

My last couple weeks of climbing have been in Red Rock (where I taught at the Red Rock Rendezvous for two days with Outdoor Research) and a couple days of climbing in Indian Creek on the way back.

The first day I went climbing with Christian Folk from OR.

Here are Casey and Justin from Trango getting the royal treatment on Prince of Darkness.

And Christian and I, messing around on the Black Velvet wall.

Following the event, I climbed 5 days in Red Rock with some of the folks from the American Alpine Institute, including my friend Alasdair Turner, with whom I did Levitation 29 and Cloud Tower.

Myself and Alasdair on Levitation:

The results of new shoes! Lunch time atop the Eagle Wall.

To round out our day, we thoroughly enjoyed the Edward Abbey-esque canyon on the walk down.

We climbed cloud tower as 2 groups of 2, which was a lot of fun and meant neither team had to bring an extra rope for the descent. Alasdair and myself were accompanied by Viren Perumal and Aiden Loher, also American Alpine Institute guides.

Aiden on Pitch1

Cloud Tower pitch 3 - This route is amazing

Here's Alasdair working the crux on pitch 4

The final pitch

No pictures from Indian Creek (who wants to see splitters and sunsets time after time?) but my friend from Seattle is flying down this week, so unless weather improves soon, we might be off to the desert once more...

1 comment:

  1. Nice Blake! We had fun on The Tower when we did a few years back...I flailed leading on that last pitch though!