– Months ago, good friends of mine received wonderful news, they are going to have a baby! It will be their first child, and they are beyond stoked for the arrival of their little bundle of awesome. But with a new life comes new responsibilities, often times these emerging responsibilities will drastically alter ones lifestyle. Knowing this my good friend, mentor and climbing partner Dan Kohler, propositioned me to get out and go on a climbing trip one last time before parenthood. Always being hungry for adventure and excitement, I had big plans on my mind; desert towers, walls in the Black Canyon, splitter cracks in the Creek all came flooding to mind. But with having a wife 8 months pregnant, his scope was reeled in a bit more than my ambitions. After some discussion, we decided the best way to spend some of his final child-free days would be in the legendary Eldorado Canyon. What better place to scale rocks then a canyon steeped so deeply in climbing history; carrying with it names like Ament, Kor and Erickson.
With eyes bigger than our muscles we wanted to climb everything and anything classic. As we rolled into Eldorado Canyon, we headed straight towards Rewritten, a classic 5.7. Danny decided he would begin this route via the alternate variation, The Green Spur. After a stiff lead of over 150 feet of stout Eldo granite, Dan found a ledge to build an anchor and bring me up. I would then have the chance to lead the next 3 pitches, 2 of these were some of the most outstanding pitches of climbing I have yet to engage in my short climbing career. The pitch 4 traverse of Rewritten which positions one below a steep, yet well featured headwall, was spectacular. Excellent movement and airy exposure left nothing to be desired. This money-pitch lead me to the ultra classic, Rebuffat’s Arete.
Little in this world is more satisfying than cruising up a well protected arete with 400 feet of exposure while belting out “Hard Knock Life” by Jay-Z. The Goal Zero jam pack that supported old school Hip-Hop and Bluegrass tunes we brought along with us was perhaps my favorite addition to the rack for the climbing holiday. After we finished this long enjoyable climb, I came to realize that all combined, we climbed what I am calling a 12 star route; The Green Spur, 4 Stars; Rewritten, 4 Stars; Rebuffat’s Arete, 4 stars. This is one of the best rock climbs I have done to date and I hope to accumulate a resume chocked full of classics that one day this climb will be a distant memory of singing “Hard Knock Life” in the vertical.
The next day would take us off the ground as we sent Clypso as we waited to get a turn on the West Ridge. After a super fun and casual top out on Wind Tower, we had the opportunity to get on Wind Ridge, another super fun cruiser climb. With storm clouds brewing, we descended the cliff, after 12 rain drops, skies cleared and the sun came out. After my small detour to the base of The Bastille, Danny decided since we were there he ought to lead the first pitch of the super-mega-ultra classic, Bastille Crack, and he crushed it like a champ!
The final day of in the Canyon would have to be abbreviated, as Dan’s wonderful and equally bad ass wife, Lindsay was at home in Steamboat cooking up a little munchkin. I understand the responsibilities of a family come before climbing, regardless of how many awe-inspiring routes surround you. As much as I would like to think climbing is the most important thing in the world, I truly know, there are things in life greater than any rock or mountain, and an emerging family is one of those things. Thus, we ended the trip exploring a new crag for both of us, Peanuts Wall, and we climbed Star Wars. While pondering the climb at the belay, I decided Dan, who was leading the climb at the time, was Luke Skywalker and myself, being the tall harry beast I am, was Chewbaca. I wanted to call him Han Solo, but this was not appropriate while we were using ropes and protection. Regardless, this was a stellar hand crack that lead one to a spectacular view of Eldorado Canyon. We drove back to Steamboat Springs feeling satisfied with our few days in this historical State Park.
I have to make sure to thank Lindsay Kohler for allowing me to borrow her husband for a few days of climbing. I know she was jealous of us getting out while she was cooped up in Steamboat. Nothing can keep that powerful woman away from the rock for too long. I mean come on, how many people go slay it at the Creek, off season, in a full body harness during her second trimester of pregnancy; if that’s not passion, I don’t know what is. Thank you for lending me your hubby, and I hope he came home feeling satisfied with climbing for a little while. Additionally, thank you to my dear friends Tori and Connor for letting two dirt-bags be city-bags for a few days. Your hospitality and generosity is why I know I live such a lucky life, surrounded by people I love, doing the things I love so passionately. Best of luck to them and their upcoming wedding. I can’t wait to celebrate this special day with you two. To the Kohler clan, I wish you the best with your upcoming arrival. You two will not only be amazing at raising your child, you will be radical parents that any child would wish to have.
To many living in mountain towns, spring is the season of mud. On the other hand, after this trip I’m feeling more refreshed than ever. As spring emerges, life and activity begin to renew all around. We must take time to slow down and recognize the new life developing each day as the season evolves into something special.