Andy in the Rockies

Trip reports, videos, and photos from hiking, climbing,
and mountaineering adventures in Colorado and beyond.

November 10, 2007

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Me bouldering on Ames Monument just across I80 from Vedauwoo....Unknown climbers on Edwards Crack (5.7) - this is probably the best-known m...Eric gets started on Walt's Wall Route (5.4)....Eric leads Walt's Wall Route (5.4)....Charles looks for a spot to place some pro on the first bit of Foolishness ...Unknown climber struggling with the first bit of Shatterfield's Crack (5.8)...Unknown climber midway up Shatterfield's Crack (5.8)....Jeff on the first bit of Foolishness (5.4)....Jeff on the first bit of Foolishness (5.4)....Jeff struggles to wedge himself into the offwidth section of the first pitc...Jeff grunts his way up the offwidth section of Foolishness (5.4)....Jeff grunts his way up the offwidth section of Foolishness (5.4)....Me leading Walt's Wall Route (5.4)....Eric enjoys the view from the top of Turtle Rock....Eric waits his turn to make the second rappel down Walt's Wall. ...Eric rappels Walt's Wall....Unknown climber traversing into Boardwalk (5.11b) - the crack to the left o...Eric leading E. O. Lieback (5.5)....Eric leads E. O. Lieback (5.5) while the other Eric looks on....The setting sun really lit up the lichen on some of the boulders....Our crew on Fall Wall as the sun sets....Unknown climber rappels of the Coke Bottle as the sun sets....
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Trip Report [hide]

I had been up to Vedauwoo once before, but it rained and we didn't get to climb anything. I hoped for better luck this time and Eric L., Jeff, and I drove up early Saturday morning to meet Charles, Amy, and Eric B. who had driven up from Boulders.

We met at the entrance gate at 10:00, paid our fee, and drove down to the base of Turtle Rock. Charles and Amy had been to Vedauwoo several times and knew there way around pretty well. We got out, sorted our kits, and headed up to Walt's Wall. There was already one party topping out on Edwards Crack (5.7) as we hiked up another party showed up right after us intent on trying Edwards Crack. Charles had been up the route once before and had called it the stiffest 5.7 he'd ever done. He wasn't really interested in leading the second, crux pitch. Nobody else in our crew was either so we opted for a couple of easier routes.

Jeff and Charles set out up Foolishness (5.4) while Eric B. and Amy set off up Walt's Wall (5.4). Foolishness looked pretty stiff for the grade but Jeff grunted his way through the offwidth section like a champ. After that he and Charles were out of sight so I couldn't tell what the second two pitches were like. Meanwhile Amy and Eric B. decided to bail off Walt's Wall after the first pitch. Amy just wasn't feeling real great and didn't feel like continuing.

When we showed up in the morning my head and heart weren't really up for leading anything, but as I watched the climbers all morning my courage began to come back and I decided to give Walt's Wall (5.4) a go after Amy and Eric B. had come down. Though Eric L. had never been up a multipitch trad route before he was happy to follow. I racked up and set off. The first pitch involved a fun right-leaning flake followed by another wider left-leaning flake up to a wide ledge. I traversed way across the ledge to the to set up the belay at the base of a wide rib. I brought Eric L. up and then set off up the rib. The rib was super easy and had several bolts for pro. At the top of the rib there was a 10' fist crack up a steep slab to another wide ledge. This was the crux of the route for me and I stuck a #1 C4 into the crack for an extra dose of courage before jamming my way halfway up the crack, then traversing out onto the slab and tiptoeing up the small crystals to the ledge. From this ledge there was another 70' of low-angled blank slab. The guidebook had been pretty vague about what happened next. It mentioned a flake for pro a little ways up and that was it. I tip-toed up the slab, spotted the flake, but decided skip it. To place some pro behind it I would have to traverse out to my left 15' and the climbing was easy enough that I didn't mind running it out. I continued up the slab for a ways. After a while I knew I was running short on rope and I didn't see an obvious end to the route so I exited the slab to my right. At this point it looked like I was pretty much on top of Turtle Rock so I set up the belay and brought Eric up.

When Eric arrived at the top of the pitch he pointed out the pair of bolts I had missed a little bit more to the left on the slab. Oh well - next time I'll know. Eric and I packed up the rope and hiked up to the summit of Turtle Rock and met Jeff and Charles as they topped out on Foolishness. We teamed up to rappel Walt's Wall. We did a single rope rappel to make it down to the first ledge, then a double rope rappel to make it down to the base of the climbs. Unfortunately when we pulled the ropes they got stuck about 50' up the wall on a chockstone in a crack. Charles had to climb back up to free them, then up a little further to some chains to rapp back down. After that we packed up our gear with the intent to head over to Fall Wall.

More to come...

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