Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Labor Day Weekend

The view from Chautauqua meadow towards the flat irons, the boulders I was looking for are somewhere on the patch of trees in the middle.

A nice wee roof problem

Looking up the third flatiron from about a third of the way up. It needs to be done!

Ok, what have I been up to this weekend, well it was the big holiday weekend here, so lots of stuff going on as most people it would seem were on holiday.

Saturday, I got up early and headed up towards the flatirons which are a couple of miles of so from my hostel. I left my room at about 7.30 so as to try and get there before the heat kicked in. I was looking for the Satellite boulders, which are in my very vague guide book. I did eventually find some rock but I don't think they were the ones I had in mind, but it did not matter, as by that point I had been walking for about 3/4 of an hour with a boulder mat and a rucksack and needed a seat. I managed a few problems, I have no idea of grade or names, but they were good fun. The stone is extremely harsh on the skin though so wore through my stupid soft skin pretty quickly.

I came off the hill about noon just as many people were heading out for their Saturday stroll, it is always good to miss the crowds. Although saying that I then wandered down to Boulder Creek to take a look at the farmers market, it was avery quick look as it was mobbed. I did however sit in the shade for a while and listened to the Hollyfields, a band from Denver who were playing at the band stand. I do love a bit of country from time to time and they did not disappoint. They even played a very good cover of Dolly's classic Jolone. Foot tappin heaven. Later in the afternoon I headed down to The Spot, one of Boulders indoor climbing venues. It is pretty cool as you can actually top out on the boulders which is great. Although I did find their system of tape marking routes quite hard to follow especially when you are above the hold. Anyway, sadly I did not find anyone to chat to that night, but plenty to look at. Although feeling slightly inadequate as everyone here seems to be uber strong.

The Hollyfields
Amusingly part way through their performance a man sporting only a pair of black cycling shorts and trainers and carrying small hand weights, stopped in front of them and did stretching exercises and press ups against the stage before jogging off stage right. How they kept a straight face I do not know.

Farmers market Boulder style

So Sunday comes and I was wondering what to do as my skin could not have taken another even brief session on the Satellites, so I did some stretching. It is one of my missions this trip to become more flexible and get rid of all my aches and pains, well I will try at least. So after my attempt at touching my toes, I was kind of at a loose end so took it upon myself to be brave (another mission) and texted a guy that the lovely Diff had put me in touch with via facebook. I asked if he was free for coffee and a chat about people and places etc. He replied immediately saying he was downtown, so to go join him. So me and my trusty steed Spock rumbled downtown to Pearl Street and met with Timmy. It was quite the most intense hour I have had for a while. He was great, he just sat and texted and called people, told them who I was and that I was looking to climb, made me phone people and text people, told me it was the American way to be in you face in order to "get shit done" and Hey Presto, before I know it I am back down at The Spot meeting two extremely amazing climbers, who were willing to chat and hopefully take me out tomorrow.

Today, well I did not get much sleep because the stupid bloomin Buff supporters were partying till at least 4am. Edinburgh city centre is quieter than this lot. Rather than waste the day I just got up early again and went for another walk along the Mesa trail and then just been cruising with Spock and meeting another new person who might take me climbing too. Exciting.

It has been a slow but steady start, more difficult than I had thought to get around a meet people, but apparently if you can crack it here everywhere else will be a breeze.

Hopefully have more climbing news in the next post.

Photographs by Caroline Harvey


Hazel said...

Fab. I am so jealous. Really enjoying your blog - it's brill. X

Iain said...

Full of admiration for you doing this. Hope new climbing friends take you out soon and looking forward to tales of climbing derring do.