Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day Weekend, Part 1


Saturday we headed to the hills...we drove up to the Gregory Canyon area to try some climbing. After parking, we trekked up a bit on the Saddle Ridge Trail to what we thought was a cut-off trail to the Gregory Flatironette--our project for the day.

The guide book descriptions seemed clear enough, but on the ground proved very vague. "Hike 200 yds west of the Amphitheater on the Saddle Rock Trail for North Ridge Route. leave trail before it swings to the west side of the Flatironette. Hike up to the low point of the rock. Start at the lowest point of a scruffy ridge below the main piece of rock. Scramble 100' along this ridge. Without leaving rock, get onto main east face."

Yeah, let me tell you about scruffy ridges of rock in the foothills of Boulder. They're everywhere! We spent a good two-three hours scrambling around rock and trying to hike up steep, steep hillsides. We then got to what we thought was the main piece of rock and roped up. Dan led a for about 30 minutes and then decided to back off the route because there was just so much lichen and no clear route. So, again we took to hiking and scrambling. This got us back the same place on the rock, but still without a clear route.

We finally decided to get back on the hiking trail and see if we could get to the summit of the Flatironette and get our bearings. This, of course, led to more scrambling and hiking around. We found another ridge of rock that we thought could be the base of the scruffy ridge, but after some more investigation, it proved to just be a small ridge. After a bit more hiking we got to the true summit of the Flatironette. Dan scrambled along the top for quite a while. After he was satisfied, it was actually the rock we meant to find originally, we hiked back down to the car. All of this exploring took us over six hours in the hot sun. Though we didn't get any 'real' climbing in, we did have our rock shoes on and did get a lot of exercise!

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