“The Eagle Has Landed” in Denver, CO

Breckenridge had been good to me, but onwards I pushed. Dustyn would finally be flying in that night and I needed to be there to pick him up. I coffee shop hopped around Denver for the day, fed myself PBJs out of the back of my car, and witnessed an impromptu live action play right there in Tenn Street Coffee.

‘Route 6’ taken outside Denver

As evening fell, it was time to go fetch my partner in crime. With smiles, a fist bump, and a bro hug we reunited and hit the road together at last. We were officially stoked folk.

A spot to sleep for the night presented itself in the back parking lot of a Cracker Barrel, of all places. A Subaru drove up while we were making dinner and two guys hopped out. Curious, I struck conversation and discovered that Josh and Jesse unbelievably also trekked out here all the way from Virginia. We shared stories for a while, discovered a number of uncanny similarities, and exchanged contact info.

We caught a good night’s sleep and started our exploration early the next day. The coffee shop hop continued and we broke up our work flow with a good skate session. Then we moved westward to catch Moon and start climbing.

Dustyn was quickly enamored with the mountains I had come to call home over the past week and a half. He was as equally floored as I by the rock littered across the landscape in every direction.

‘Last Light’ taken outside Minturn

We went straight to my new favorite bouldering spot: The Klettergarden, arriving just as dusk was falling. Moon showed up soon after.

‘Moon Landing’ taken in The Klettergarden

We showed Dustyn around and told him about the lines we’d been working. As the light continued to fade, the stoke continued to grow. We slipped our climbing shoes on and got to work.

‘Why So Serious’ taken in The Klettergarden

Dustyn was as intrigued as we were by the Colorado rock. More polished and nuanced than that of which we were used to in Virginia, deciphering the beta was a collaborative effort.

‘Heil to the Line’ taken in the Klettergarden

Well-rested from a couple days off, Moon finally sent that uber hard V3. The crux, like several of the problems here, was topping out from a less than ideal sloper perched atop an overhung start.

‘World’s Hardest V3’ taken in The Klettergarden

We moved onwards and upwards to some of the tougher lines, taking turns on a couple V6s called Minturn Mile and Mortal Fingers. Moon had sent Minturn Mile already, but he worked it with Dustyn and I anyway. The top out remains undone, but the other moves were conquered. Super fun line with epic movement.

Mortal Fingers was a puzzle from the start. Dustyn and Moon adopted one set of beta, reaching straight for a crack. I felt stronger trying something different, getting in super close to the rock and making a balancy, open-hipped cross from a gaston to a sloper. The next couple moves went smoothly, more or less, before we got stumped by a reachy dyno. Reps were limited because the dyno catch was one of the rare sharp holds at The Klettergarden. My last attempt was my best; I’d gotten the movement right (thanks to Dustyn’s microbeta) and struck the hold spot on. My grip slipped, but I probably would have stuck it had I been fresh. Dustyn came close, too. Moon dialed it down and stuck it. He’ll put it all together and get the send soon.

‘Whole Lotta Leg’ taken on Minturn Mile in The Klettergarden

It was another successful night, full of hard climbing and lacking in mountain lion attacks. We celebrated with beers back in town and a makeshift late-night snack (cottage cheese, beans, rice, and spices) back at Moon’s place.

Woke up in Breckenridge, CO.

Slept/woke up in Denver, CO.

Sleeping in Vail, CO.

187 miles.

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