North America, United States, Colorado, Climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park, Spring and Early Summer

Publication Year: 1980.

Climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park, Spring and Early Summer. Climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park continued to suffer from the lack of a guidebook. For nearly two years Walter Fricke’s guide has been out of print and many climbers hesitate to visit the area. This, coupled with heavy winter snows which lasted into June and the fuel scare, resulted in few visitors. The local guide service has been collecting route descriptions for the past several years and given them to Scott Kimball and Chip Salaun, who have completed a new climbers’ guide to the sub-alpine regions like Lumpy Ridge. This book should be available early in the fall of 1979. A guide to the mountains is still a long way off. Activity has been concentrated on Lumpy Ridge. New and difficult routes have been put up by local climbers and climbers from Boulder, as well as by British, European and Australian climbers. In early June, Jeff Lowe and Charlie Fowler solved an interesting problem created by the first guidebook, which described the route Mr. President on Sundance as a moderately difficult free climb. Subsequent parties attempting the climb were unable to get beyond the middle of the second pitch where the crack ends. The first ascent by Layton Kor and Steve Komito climbed the second pitch on aid, which the guidebook failed to mention. Lowe and Fowler did the second pitch free at F11. Scott Kimball and Australian Greg Childs completed a new route on the east side of Sundance with two pitches of F9+. The route, Lichens to Lick, ascends a large roof just right of a prominent chimney near the prow and right of the Dalke-Covington route. Kimball and Bill Wylie did a new route on the Bookmark left of Star Trek; the climb, Romulan Territory, has three pitches with F10 on the second and F9 on the third. Kimball and Nancy Herron made a new two-pitch F10 climb on the Checkerboard, Rainy Day Women. Also on the Checkerboard Kimball and Chip Salaun did a new F9+ route which they describe as “bizarre,” Fallen Shark. On the Pear, Kimball and Carl Harrison climbed a very difficult section of the route right of Whole Thing, Fat Bottom Grove (F10+). Harrison and Salaun did a new route on the Bookend between the chimneys of Pinch and Sicilean Defence, Corinthian Column. It had four pitches of F9 and one of F8. Billy Westbay and Doug Snively put up a new route on the Book left of Isis, Ramses, with one pitch of F10. Another route by these two done in 1978 to the right of Golum’s Arch, Close Encounters (F10+) received much attention this season. Also on the Book, right of Perelanda in the prominent corner, is Alec Sharp and John Clever’s new route, Howling in the Wind (F11). Alligator Rock is near where the Devils Gulch Road descends to Glen Haven. Snively and Westbay climbed F10+ Head Over Heels, one pitch of steep hand-crack and lay-backing and Kimball and Wylie put up Possum Hand, a F10 jam-crack through a large ceiling.

Michael Covington