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North America, United States, Colorado, Climbing Around Durango, 1983-1984

Climbing Around Durango, 1983-1984. The years 1983 and 1984 were very active ones for Durango climbers. Near the Watch Crystal, John Duran and Tim Kuss did Sweeney’s Special (5.12b) and Free Base (5.12a), two extreme crack climbs. Craig Lombard and I did Heroes are Hard to Find (5.10R). Clay Patton and I did the Black Arête (5.8) and Out on a Limb (5.10, A2). In the X-Rock area, Duran led the Morgue Wall (5.11 a/b) after placing one bolt. (This route was a top-rope problem due to its unprotectability.) Duran also did a direct finish over an overhang on X-Rock’s Unnamed (5.11a). Bruce Hunter and I rappelled and placed two bolts to free an unnamed A3 + nail-up, Last Tango in Durango, which went free at 5.10 and has become a popular route in the process. Most activity of late has been concentrated on the Turtle Lake Walls. Although primarily aid routes, suprisingly some good face routes have sprouted up. Jim Barnes and Bill Elwood did a very thin route Snooze Ya Lose (5.8, A3 + /A4) on the main cliff. Hunter and Jim McGrath put in Out on the Tiles (III, 5.7, A2), the most prominent line on the cliff. Patton and I found a gem, Spearmint (II, 5.8, A2), and then False Reality (III, 5.10, A4), probably the most difficult mixed route around Durango. I managed to do these one-pitch free climbs: Dry Hump (5.10), Sunwatcher (5.11d/5.12a), Golden Showers (5.9 + ) and Gold Rush (5.8 + ).

David Kozak