Home > Humor, Outdoor Climbing, Random Musings > Ruminations on Rainy Weather and Climbing with the Slovenians.

Ruminations on Rainy Weather and Climbing with the Slovenians.

It’s the wet and misty mountains around here today, which we refer to as the “bag of suck”.  You literally cannot see the Flatirons.  Everything is wet.  It’s the weekend, but this is not climbing weather.  Yesterday was not climbing weather either.  UGH.

There are usually mountains here. Now it looks like Seattle.

What to do in this situation?  On one hand, there’s a possibility that hiking into these mist-enshrouded Flatirons will produce a heretofore unknown about Taoist or Buddhist temple or a secret Shaolin Training ground.  If you are lucky enough to find one of these places, you may find yourself transformed into a spiritually enlightened kung-fu climbing genius who can Moon Kick with ease through the hardest D Woods testpiece.  On the other hand, you might just get super wet.

That is what happened to the four visiting members of the Slovenian World Cup team (who are staying for a few days between the Vail and Moscow World Cups) and I when, despite the bad forecast and foreboding dark clouds, we headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park on Friday to try and get some bouldering done.  As any alpine boulderer knows, even a hint of the weather being “good enough” to climb is enough to get you out of the car and humping your gear up the trail through intermittent sprinkles, just hoping that that sucker hole you see in the clouds will translate into dry rock and climbable boulders.

Jernej experiencing the American post-hole. Luckily these were minimal on the packed-snow trail of the main hike.

We were lucky.  Though the rain started when we hit Lyons, and continued with varying severity as we drove the windy 20 minutes to Estes Park, when we finally got to Bear Lake the sky was dry so we headed up the trail.  Thunder boomed in a very theatrical way as we passed Dream Lake and headed up the canyon to Emerald, but nothing came of it until after we’d started warming up, when a brief hail storm wet the top outs of the boulders and threatened to send us running for the car.  Luckily it quickly abated, and Jernej and Klemen were able to send Whispers of Wisdom in short order (on their first tries the top-out holds were still wet, and we had to wait a bit for them to dry before the boys braved the still-damp slab top out).

Klemen warming up with wet top-outs. It's actually raining in this picture.

Katja, Klemen and I climbed some more on the Large boulder, with Klemen flashing Tommy’s Arete and Large and sending Real Large in a few goes.  Natalija took a scenic walk, from which she fortuitously returned right when the rain picked up and the boulder started running with water. We figured it was time to go and bailed through the soaking wet trail and forest to the Estes Park Pie Shop.


The moral of this story?  We had fun, and got super wet, and it was lucky we decided to go because Saturday and now today are totally shot for outdoor climbing due to wetness.  Yesterday we amused ourselves by perusing the Pearl Street Mall and climbing at, you guessed it, The Spot!

The monster at the Volcom Store

Actually, Natalija and Klemen climbed at the Boulder Rock Club, but the rest of us went to the Spot where, despite the large crowd, we bouldered to exhaustion.  I’ve gotta say, the Spot absorbs people like no other gym I’ve ever been to.  No matter how many people are there, there’s always some free wall space to climb, and with the new wall things are really really spread out.  Last week we reset the left river granite wall with a bunch of new problems, so if you’re looking for something to do today, go to the Spot!


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