As I sat around the other night, sorting through some aid gear with a friend who was headed into the Elks for round two on a major new route project, it occurred to me that though the crew of local developers may be small, they sure are motivated. Just in the last week, several new routes have gone up on the Grizzly Creek Wall, these friends of mine were headed into the mountains for some alpine mayhem and another new line was begun at the Narrows.
Seven years ago, there were very few places to climb locally. You went to the Pass, Rifle, Redstone boulders, the Puoux or No Name in Glenwood Canyon. Fast forward and there has been an explosion in crags, with over 1000 routes in the immediate area. I kind of thought after the initial burst things would chill out a bit, but that hasn’t been the case. This year alone has seen the discovery of several new crags, and the revitalization of a major one: the Grizzly Creek Wall. That’s probably the most interesting from a climbing perspective, as this massive wall sat neglected for 30+ years, probably because it scared off Kor, and who wanted to go up something he didn’t like? Apparently it is yielding worthy multipitch lines, on bomber quartzite, whose only fault is that it’s sometimes silty from eons of collecting dust.
It’s exciting and motivating to be surrounded by all this activity, and even though sometimes I feel like just focusing on climbing, somehow I always get sucked back into the game and can’t resist putting up a new line. I suppose for me it’s a creative outlet that I really enjoy, and probably always will.
A big thanks to all the folks who are out there making it happen, you know who you are and the climbing community owes you big. At this rate, we’ll need a new guidebook in a year or two!