Tag Archives: Climbing

RMNP Spearhead

I spent today high up in the alpine of Rocky Mountain National Park. My friend Tim and I set out at 3am to summit Spearhead via the North Ridge (~5.6 seven pitch trad climb at 12,000 feet). The approach is about 6 miles through the gorgeous Glacier Gorge and starts about a mile past Black Lake. It was a heavy snow year for the alpine this year (~300% above average), crampons and a mountaineering ax where required for safe passage after Mills Lake.

The quality of the granite on Spearhead is amazing and the several hours of climbing spent on the rock was epic. It was my first day at altitude in over a year and I definitely felt the effects. I had forgotten how harsh the elements can be above 12,000 feet. The decent off the summit was a little rough to do in climbing shoes but doable. After getting back to the packs we slammed some much needed cold water that had been chilling in the snow all day and started the 6 mile trek back across the snow field to the trail head. After 14 hours up in the alpine we heading back to Boulder where we had some great bbq, cold beers, and watched the Folsom Field firework show. Happy Independence Day!

First Flatiron

Today I accomplished a 20 year old goal of climbing
the First Flatiron above Boulder, Colorado. I initially set the goal when I was ten years old at summer camp out hiking with peers.  I had no idea it would take two decades to get around to doing it!

The First Flatiron is an iconic Boulder climb that offers spectacular views. Despite the inability to place good protection it’s a fantastic classic climb. The climbing is relatively easy. Depending on the route its rated about a 5.5 or 5.6 all the way to the top. The most challenging aspect of the climb is the high exposure level and lack of opportunities to place protection (the possibility of a 40 foot fall is common).

My friend Tim and I did it as a 5 pitch “trad” climb, but it is very common for people to climb it without gear. The climb ends with a well protected 100 foot free rap off the back side of the flatiron. I had a blast and cant wait to do it again!