My climbing partner Enrico Calvanese just finished editing this video of a mixed ice and rock climb we did in Rocky Mountain National Park this March. This was my first climb coming off of having Covid – I was smoked!!! It was fun to pair up with someone dedicated to the videography as I usually neglect documentation in favor of focusing on the climbing.
Enjoy the video! It should be available with Italian subtitles as well. Enrico has other great mountaineering videos on his channel too – check it out!
It might not be the last time I make an appearance on there…
Winter has come to a close here in Colorado. That doesn’t mean we’re hanging up the tools – I’ve been ice climbing in RMNP as late as mid-June – but it does signify a change, a time to slow down and look back. We had a cold winter this year, and I put together a quality ice season.
This is not usually this type of blog, but since I didn’t write about a great many of these climbs, we’re just gonna wrap them all up here.
Days Out (so far): 41
Number of unique partners: 12
Number of unique regions visited: 8
Favorite venue: Rocky Mountain National Park (12 days)
Top Partners (by # of days out together):
The Fang, WI5, Vail
All Mixed Up, WI4, 4 pitches, Rocky Mountain National Park
Brain Freeze, M5+, 8 pitches, Rocky Mountain National Park
Enter the Dragon, M4, 6 pitches, Rocky Mountain National Park
I had a very odd experience this winter, where a stranger told me one of my own stories. It sourced from this blog; although he did not know that. Briefly:
I was out ice climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park with a new partner. It was our second time out together, and we were still getting a feel for one another, as humans and as climbers. This involves a lot of discussion of life, philosophy, and (mostly) previous climbs. My partner asked if I had climbed the Diamond, perhaps Colorado’s most famous alpine wall, to which I answered: yes, I had.
It’s not too bad but you’ll need to move fast, I said to him. Yeah I’ve heard, he says. My favorite story of the Diamond is some guy is up there, pitching it out, going all slow, when suddenly Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell just simulclimb by! Leaving them in the dust.
That event happened to me and my partner Beth, the first time we climbed the Casual Route. I mentioned it in the trip report I published here on this blog, and on Medium. Thanks to SEO, and because lots of people are interested in climbing the Diamond, those posts see a good amount of traffic (and they will see more this summer, as we enjoy Diamond season). Somewhere along the way, this person had read that post, or discussed it with someone else who had. My own story was getting away from me; taking on a life of its own in my community.
“Remote” backcountry place popular with climbers, backpackers, and fisherfolk.
I write “remote” in quotes because there were easily over 100 cars in the Big Sandy Trailhead parking lot when I arrived. A bit shocking after an hour spent driving in on “Am I in the right place?” kind of dirt roads.
The Trip: Drive (8 Hrs) > hike (5 Hrs) >camp (4 days) > climb 1,000+’ faces (x2) > hike out (4 hrs) > Drive home