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It’s not trudging through the snow if it’s for bouldering

April 8, 2012

Nothing says Colorado like bouldering above 10,000 feet.

The climbers: Jackie, Lily, Yuki, and Lily’s Boulder friends and their dogs

Jackie on a V5/6ish? in Guenella Pass

Visiting ex-pat Adventurers in Pebble Wrestling Lily and Yuki, Jackie got her first taste of alpine bouldering in Colorado at Guanella Pass.  It turns out that Yuki was the only one of them prepared for the snow, and thoroughly enjoyed rolling around it in while the people were climbing.  But even though we were sometimes knee deep (or more) in snow while hiking from boulder to boulder, the rock quality was worth it.

At Guanella Pass, it seemed like only the really hard (double digit) problems had known grades.  Some of Lily’s friends that had climbed there before knew a bit about some of the problems, but for the most part we were exploring.

There didn’t seem to be very many problems below V3ish, so this probably wouldn’t be a great place for a beginner boulderer.  We did manage to find one easy warm up problem on the right side of the first boulder we came to.  Then, we went right into what was called a V4 stand/V5-6 lower undercling start.  Of course, with Jackie and Lily both being short, the low start was no problem but one longer bump move higher up to crimp proved to be more difficult.  Jackie almost got it, but then decided to save energy for the rest of the day after taking too long of a rest and getting numb toes.

Lily sending a super fun V3ish arete

We moved on to a really fun looking arete that was probably about a V3.  It was so fun that Lily had to send it multiple times.  Then we went over to a little boulder we had found while walking around earlier.  It involved a super low start, and long moves out to the right before turning the lip.  The crux move seemed to be just out of the girls’ reach, unfortunately.  One of Lily’s friends, who had much longer arms, was able to figure out the send beta eventually though.

Taking a bit of a break, we headed to watch some of the super crushers in the group work on their project Mind Matters (V12).  Yup, that is what a V12 looks like.

Deciding to find something that we could send, we found two other boulders where we began to make up some fun eliminates and variations after sending the easier obvious lines.

Lily on one of our eliminate problems

Soon it started to get colder and the numbness began to settle in again.  We packed up our wet crashpads and once again made our way through the snow.  The day was a great introduction to Guanella Pass and Lily will definitely be hitting up the area again.  Yuki definitely won’t mind rolling around in the snow for another day.

The group ended the day with some yummy Indian/Nepalese/Tibetan food at Sherpa’s in Boulder.  Amazingly, it was only Lily’s second time eating Indian food, but it sure will not be her last.  Also, the chai (with unlimited refills) was the best thing ever after spending the day in the snow.

P.S. Sorry for the poor photo quality – they were taken on a phone in bad light.  At least it’s something!

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