Wow what another nice day in Denver, 70s in February. It was so nice and today was a day off the bike completely but I had to get out. ChrisG and I were going to climb the First Flatiron with Stefan but at the last minute we decided to hit up something harder and longer in Eldo. Today I practically had my own Eldo guide as ChrisG has climbed tons of stuff up here. We looked for sunny, long and a little harder than I've been climbing lately. A couple minutes of guidebook flipping had us settle on Ruper and off we went. A short scramble up some easy slab had us at the base of the first 3 pitches. Yup, going up that.
ChrisG did all the leading today, I watched, cleaned gear and tried to learn a few things. Pitch one was pretty easy and lead to the bottom of the Ruper Crack. This was pitch 2 and the hardest offwidth/crack I've ever climbed. I did it cleanly and got all the gear out but it definitely had my attention. Pitch 3 had a nice exposed traverse with a gear graveyard, there were at least 3 destroyed/fixed cams, 2 pink tricams (out of reach) and all sorts of other stuff stuck way back in the cracks. From the top of pitch 3 we scrambled down another slab. We had 3 more pitches to the top or we could walk off from here. I thought a minute as the wall looked steep and a little intimidating but ChrisG said the magic words, "It's not that bad" so up we went.
Looking up at the start of pitch 4. Steep 5.6 climbing to another 5.8 bit below that roof WAY up there. These pitches went pretty well and the climbing is all solid, belays on tiny exposed ledges. Traversing under the roof is interesting as there is some loose stuff in there but I made it clean all the way to the top.
Looking down from the summit. Pitch 3 ended by the trees on the next ridge at the center/left of the photo. Here I am at the top. Woohoo I made it. My first Eldo 5.8.
ChrisG the musical fearless leader :) We scrambled off the top to the rap stations and joined up with another couple to race darkness back down. A ~100 footer and then a nice double rope rap got us to the ground with waning light and we hiked back to the car quickly. Victory Payday candybar to split and then back home.
Marni put in her LONG day today, teaching then night grad school so I've got dinner on the stove and one of these for her when she arrives. That's all he wrote.