Any PriusChatters live near Shelf Road in CO, or Freedom, UT?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by qbee42, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    I have an upcoming climbing trip to Maple Canyon in Utah, which is close to Freedom. On the way back I'll spend a few more days climbing at Shelf Road Rock, which is along the famous Shelf Road, north of Canon, CO. I'm curious if any of you fine folks live in these parts?

    Tom
     
  2. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I don't. But it scares me just to watch people doing what's in your avatar. My hiking trips sometimes take me past where people are clinging like Spiderman to sheer cliffs or spires, and just watching them I am afraid I am going to fall, though I am standing on flat, solid ground. It also scares me just to sit on a summit, two meters from the edge. I eat my lunch hunched over so as not to fall, even though I am nowhere near the edge. Once I climbed maybe 5 or 6 meters up an artificial rock wall, complete with harness and two carabiner straps, so I was at all times securely fastened to solid secure points, but I was terrified the whole way up. This was at a place called Sky Trek, just outside of Revelstoke, B.C.

    Sorry for the digression. Have fun on your climbing trip! I think I can understand the appeal even though I am too much of a scardy cat to do it myself. -- Not to mention not strong enough.
     
  3. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Daniel, surprisingly enough, a lot of climbers are a bit uneasy with heights. It's a normal human reaction. You get more comfortable with it over time, and learn to trust your safety equipment. I've never been one of those "Hey, watch me do a handstand on the lip of this cliff" type of person. I like to manage my risks. I may take more risks than some people, but they are carefully thought out.

    The type of climbing makes a difference too. I have a friend who is an exceptional climber. He lives in Kentucky and specializes in overhung sandstone. The stuff he can climb is just ridiculous, but get him out west and put him on vertical limestone and he freaks out. It's technically a much easier climb, but it's completely different: round, slippery edges instead of high friction pockets.

    Maple Canyon is a funny place. All of the rock is composed of round cobble stones. They pull loose with surprising regularity. You don't want to belay directly under a climber with those. The belayer needs a helmet more than the climber.

    Thanks for the kind words. I'll try not to do anything too stupid.

    Tom
     
  4. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I met a guy who is a former ice climber. One day he went out to climb an ice pillar and it wasn't there. It had collapsed over night. He quit ice climbing there and then.

    I was attempting a scramble just below a ridge. Not technical, but scary. Ledge widths typically 15 to 30 cm, sometimes less; lots of hand-holds, but not all of those solid. I grabbed a solid-looking piece of cliff, lifted my foot to take a step, and the rock moved. After a couple of those I decided it wasn't worth it. It would have taken an hour of that to reach the summit, and the same back to the snow slope that had gotten us to the ridge.

    I might have been willing to go on if we'd been using protection, but the route was a scramble, not a climb, and nobody ever used equipment there. OTOH, the people who did that route were mostly climbers. That peak is called Tumbledown (seems like an apt name to me) and it's probably about the easiest peak that's beyond my abilities. Not far away, on the same ridge, is a peak they call Glorona, that I also could not get to, but in that case it was the guide who made the decision to turn back, because she judged it to be unsafe. The same guide thought I could reach Tumbledown.

    I am terrified of heights, but that's not what stops me. I often go to places that scare me. I was white-knuckled and terrified when I climbed the rigging of the Lord Nelson at sea. And I am frightened on summits and exposed ledges or ridges. What stops me is when the footing is insecure, the hand-holds loose, or I cannot figure out where to step or grab.

    Some day I'll try a short rock climb. But it will not be vertical, it will have lots of hand-and foot-holds, and I'll be roped in with a guide I trust.
     
  5. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    That sounds like a good plan.

    We do some ice climbing in the winter (obviously - it's not that cold up here). Collapsing ice is one of the big worries. You can do everything right and still die.

    This last winter, a couple of our climbing friends went out with a newbie on a ski and climbing trip. They were back a few days from the only road in the area, and got caught in unusually cold weather. One of our friends had worn his double alpine boots, but the other two were wearing single boots. One lost all of his toes, the other the big toe on one foot. They guy with the double boots came out of it okay.

    Tom
     
  6. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    Tom,

    I'm up in the NW burbs of Denver. If you have some time on your way back from you trip, I'd love to BS with you over a pint (or whatever). I have a wee bit of climbing experience myself. Like Daniel I'm a massive acrophobe. I get a bit of a vertigo thing going when I get near ledges. It makes abseiling somewhat unpleasant (how unpleasant depends on the awkwardness of the start). I used to climb in gyms (mostly bouldering, some top rope climbing), which was brilliant fun. Are you planning to climb west of Boulder at all? It's a bit of a climbing mecca, perhaps you've climbed some of the routes in Eldorado Canyon. If not, you might wanna check it out.
     
  7. boulder_bum

    boulder_bum Senior Member

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    I used to live in my car, travelling around the country climbing (it's where I get "boulder_bum" from).

    Maple is pretty unique. The Pipe Dream cave is HUGE!!!

    I managed to tick a climb called "Loser" on my trip there:
    [​IMG]

    I live a bit North of Shelf (in Castle Rock). I probably have some area guidebooks you can borrow if you want!

    Also, hit me up if you'd be in the mood for some bouldering or something on your way back!
     
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