I left Colorado with some mixed emotions. I love it there. The beautiful nature, the granite boulders, the wildlife, the fresh air. Its amazing. But on the other hand, I havent seen that much rain in a while. Not even in Font. Getting rained out on the hike out, endless waiting under some overhang for the shower or thunderstorm to be over, hail, rain, blue sky, rainbow, more rain. This is what they call here the true Colorado experience. Luckily, the rocks dry very quickly.
With the weather forecast telling me everyday that there is about 50% chance of rain or possible thunderstorms, I didn't really plan my climbing days or rest days. I climbed whenever it was possible on whatever was most likely to be dry. No real projects, just climbing a lot when it was good. We had a few really amazing days. Rocky Mountain, Mt. Evans, Lincoln Lake and Wild Basin. Theres so much to do and once you get used to the high altitude and long hikes you get to enjoy the beautiful scenery in the mountains and good quality granite.
In Lincoln Lake, my favourite place, I did some really cool problems like Tangerine Man, Behind the 8 Ball and Chalk on Rock (all V8). My favourite is definitely Tangerine man, an amazing, long and a pretty scary thing I did on one of the best days we had. With my boyfriend Gasper and a strong girl team (me, Jackie Hueftle, Alex Johnson and Angie Payne) we had a great day out, climbing many many problems.
In the Rockies I did both Tommys aretes (the V7 and the V9), Potato Chip, a crimpy V7 and some more cool things. In Mt. Evans I didn't handle the pressure do it before the rain very successfully and I left that place with many things undone. I'm really happy I took my Moon crash pad with me on the plane. The innovative reverse fold system and the foam wrapped in nylon made my rainy hikes much more pleasant.
This is how it was for 3 weeks and then the flood came. A real natural disaster that happens only every 100 years. We were lucky that we were staying in a dry and safe place but some people lost everything and many roads were washed out because of all the rivers and small creeks spilling out. The access to RMNP is now closed and so is Boulder Canyon, Eldorado Canyon and many more places. Crazy weather!
As you can tell by reading this, my trip was a real adventure! At the end, Id like to thank my good friend Jackie (and all her room mates) for being so kind to let us stay at her house for the whole month, giving us all the info, showing us the best climbs and keeping us safe from the flood! I really hope Colorado will get back on its feet soon!
Photo: Gasper Bratina of Katja on Tangerine Man V8, Lincoln Lake
Photo: Gasper Bratina of Katja on The Kind V5, RMNP
Photo: Gasper Bratina of Katja on Gateway Boulder, Mt.Evans