Skiing and Rock Climbing and Living the Good Days
– Waking up early on a Wednesday in March I find myself getting motivated for a ski into Hole in the Wall Canyon up in North Routt County. I pull in to the Ski Haus gas station for a quick cup of joe and to meet up with my climbing partner, Kevin.
We drive up Elk River Road watching the sun rise on this beautiful warm day in March. We figured with the high pressure system sending all the Pacific storms to our North that maybe, just maybe, we could find some rock to climb and a ski tour into Hole in the Wall Canyon.
Pulling into the parking lot and skinning up we are asked by two snowmobilers if we wanted a ride up the road. We excitedly said, “Yes!”
Riding a sled side by side while holding on to our skis was a little tricky and hard but it made our hike up to Hole in the Wall a lot faster.
We thanked our new comrades as they sped away towards Diamond Park. Clicking into our AT bindings we aimed for the Needle. Skinning up the steep slope we transferred to boot packing up the base of the the cliff wall.
Kevin pulled us off the ground sewing up the first pitch. I met him at the belay, swapped gear and I eyed the 5.8 roof above me. I’ve climbed this before but never on lead. I plugged in a #1 Camelot, squeezed my fist in to the hand crack, pulled my right leg up as high as I could and stood up. I did it and pulled through the roof. What a relief!
The sun started to shine as we rappelled off the Needle. We skied back to the car and made it back to town in time for happy hour at Mambas.
This was one of those good days.