I have been keeping pretty busy during my down-time from climbing. Getting out and having fun in the mountains in ways that don't require pulling on rock.
Day 1: The Monastery, near RMNP.
I went with some friends to the Monastery to hang out. The Monastery is one of the coolest (mostly) sport climbing areas on the front range. It doesn't see a lot of attention perhaps because of the fairly long hike, but there are some amazing routes there! Anyone that likes to climb on ropes and hasn't been there is missing out.
Jeff Giddings climbing Contortionist's Forte 5.11c (mixed)
Dusty Ross working The Quickening 5.13c
Day 2: Gray Rock, Poudre Canyon.
Gray Rock is an obvious choice for a hike near Fort Collins. It's so close, just a little ways up the Poudre Canyon. Mike Engelstad, Karma and myself got up early on a windy day, and made our way to the summit.
Gray Rock getting into view from the trail.
Another view from the trail.
Mike climbing on the meadow boulder.
Me on top!
Photo Mike Engelstad
Day 3: Fern Lake, RMNP
There are a number of places I want to hike to around on the front range to see if there might be some good boulders to climb on. Fern Lake was on the list because the rock along the trail (Rock of Ages / Both Sides of the Spectrum) is so good. I thought, if there were more at Fern/Cub lakes it might be worth the long hike.
So when deciding where to go skiing, Fern Lake trail head seemed like a decent enough choice. Again with Mike, we got some skies and skins and started on our way. In the end, we didn't see enough boulers to make me want to go back, but we did have an amazing time skiing! The trail itself was a mix of hiking at lower elevation, and then skiing when the trail turned to snow up high.
After arriving, we made our way across Fern Lake to check out a couloir on the nearby mountain.
Mike skiing across the snow covered Fern Lake.
The couloir looked promising, so we slowly hiked our way up. After getting pretty far and starting to run out of snow, we stopped and converted our skis to downhill mode. We then made our decent which was definitely the highlight of the day.
Mike taking off down the mountain.
Mike carefully navigating between the trees and scree.