Sunday, April 6, 2014

2nd Flatiron Climb

Got in my first run in who knows how long Friday evening, and got back on trail for the first time in even longer this afternoon. I wasn't running though, an easy hike up to the 2nd Flatiron to get some climbing in was all I needed to quench my thirst for adventure. Its felt so long since my last adventure I was forgetting what it felt like. Oddly, what I always miss is the feeling of the rock in my hand. There is something truly satisfying with wrapping your fingers around a rough textured rock. Maybe its just the feeling I've connected with that physical feeling, but I think I missed that more than anything - feeling nature. Anyways, decided to go with something a little spicier today, staying very far to the left from the beginning. Looking now on, I found that it is "Dodge Block" with a variation that takes me through a tunnel.
Instagram filter is killing it
The picture above is right at the start of the harder part, the route I took goes to the right of the block through a tunnel that is somewhat visible. Really friction dependent on this route, very little to actually grip. This route is said to be a 5.6 rating which is the hardest thing I've ever solo'ed (or climbed), so it certainly tested my mettle. Not only that, but there was water trickling down everywhere, so another obstacle (fun) to avoid (besides falling)!
Right below the tunnel on a 1/4 inch ledge - just big enough for a picture to be taken!
The tunnel was without a doubt the crux of the climb. The center was completly wet and unclimbable, so I wedged my back against the roof and slowly made my way through. (This is for you mom) I had a friend with me too, so if anything went sour, he could help spot me on an alternate route, or if I like fell or something.Topped out on to the trail and went and checked out the First Flatiron downclimb (for the nth time), only to again be disappointed in not finding a way up and down the backside. I found a spot that may work, but its a hard move, and one I'm not willing, able or ready to make yet - especially in my rope free manner of climbing.
Poorly made vertical panorama of the back of the first, someday...
I ended up deciding to downclimb the whole 2nd Flatiron so I wouldn't be tempted to run the downhill (I may or may not have ran a short section afterwards). It was good practice to downclimb, it made me feel much more mobile on the rock, its a completely different (not fun, but helpful) experience.
Starting to feel like Spring
Hip felt tired, just as it did after Friday's run, but improvement is clearly present. Not healed by any means, but good health ought to be on my horizon. Didn't bring my GPS, so I don't know times, but the route is about +2,000ft, 3 miles. Good to be back out there.

1 comment:

  1. Glad To See You Back Out There. That Climb Looked Wicked. Great Pics Too.