And now, back to our regularly scheduled program once again…
Located high above Red Rocks’ popular Calico Tanks trail, the hike into this crag was my favourite part of the day. Part scrambling and route-finding, it takes you up a dry stream bed, along sandstone ledges, over water-sculpted mounds, past little “tank” oases (shallow rain catchment pools in the sandstone), over white and gold and red and pink sandstone streaking, and then it has a steep push up a rampart to get to the climbing crag. Once up there, there were two caves to explore and a wide, open area from which to watch the climbing… no neck craning necessary to get route beta!
There, I climbed “Parts is Parts” (5.8), “Battery Powered” (5.9) and “Hit and Run” (a wonderfully long 5.9). This wall was in the shade all day and had spectacular views over all of Red Rocks park with Wilson Mountain off in the distance. Above us rose Turtlehead Peak, a mountain we hiked up during our visit. And we had spectacular views into the Calico Tanks and the people, far below.
Climbing is slow moving, thought filled, and takes time to watch. I’ve sped Bill up here a bit.
If You Go…
Go early to get a parking spot. This is a popular roadside turnout where people spend more time than at others, so the turn over in the parking area doesn’t happen as quickly as it does at the other parking areas. When we came out from our day of climbing, the cars were parked all the way out the entrance access road and along the roadside… something they can ticket for in the park. We had no trouble at 9am.
Not all of the photos in my Red Rocks climbing posts are mine. Some of the credit goes to Chris Schell, an amazing rope runner and inspirational, very experienced trad climber … and to Greg Funk, a most determined climber who can power up walls like nobody’s business with skill and an impressive amount of sheer force of will and determination! It was an honour to climb with, and be inspired by you both! Thanks for letting me share your pics!
Trekking up a mountain’s shoulder, hiking through a flowering alpine meadow, snowshoeing through a dense pine forest, or taking in the 360 degree views from a ridge top vantage point make me feel alive. The experiences in these places give me a profound sense of space and place.
Travel does a similar thing, pushing me out of my comfort zone, exposing me to new experiences, new people and new ways of thinking; it also gives me that sense of space and place in this world.
I believe that life is lived in the contrasts: when you experience simplicity and complexity and life's ups and downs, whether they be physically in this world or mentally in your own personal inner landscape, you know that you are truly living.
The bigger they are, the more there is to explore!