...Just not in the same place.
That's the magic of the Front Range. Too much ice on the route? Retreat to Eldo. Heavy rain? Down to Eldo. Numb toes? Eldo. High winds? Eldo. Tired? Eldo.
No wonder there are so many accidents there.
On the menu were Pervertical Santuary (IV 5.11a), Syke's Sickle (III 5.9+), The Barb (III 5.10-), and Directissima (III 5.10b). Pervertical had us excited for its hard climbing and prime setting. Syke's won over our aesthetic sense with its direct line up the center of a gorgeous piece of rock, but it left some technical challenge to be desired. With The Barb next door on the same piece of rock representing a classic 5.10, maybe we could ride perfect weather into a link-up. Directissima would be a shorter day option and offer a foray into wide crack climbing. Thus, objectives were formed.
Weather and success would dictate our selections. For Saturday, with a marginal forecast (30-40% chance of precipitation), we would try the least committing: Syke's with The Barb link-up option if time permitted and weather cleared. We made this decision on Friday after my intro to Eldorado Canyon, first the mega-classic Yellow Spur (5.9 6 pitches) and then a bonus, Calypso/Raggae (5.6/5.8, 2 pitches). I took the 5.10 variations on P1 and P5 on YS (the first one I recommend, second one I don't) and smiled widely with the excellent climbing and abundant stopper placements. In preparation for an early start, we left Eldo by 6pm for RMNP. A few campground shinanigans later we were racked and inflating pads.
|Micah topping out Yellow Spur on its immaculate knife edge|