Thursday, October 02, 2008

South Platte Climbing with Leon Henkleman

Went climbing today with an old family friend, Leon Henkleman. We went to the South West end of Buffalo Creek and messed around on some crags over there. After ascending one easy 5th class pitch to the top of a bowl shaped enclave, we found 4 or 5 bolted routes going up another granite face. So instead of finishing to the top, we climbed our way up several of these pitches. The area also wasn't far from where the Colorado Trail goes through Buffalo Creek. The whole area near the South Platte river is literally teeming with big rocks to climb. There are literally dozens of areas around here, most of which are composed of the distinctive Pikes Peak Granite poking out of most of the central front range in jagged, rugged cliffs.

It was nice for me to get back to climbing. I hadn't really done any since my first year in Japan. There I had gone out to some cliffs with a very old-school mountaineering/ski buddy named Tokuichiro Sato. Being almost three years ago, I surprised myself by leading a route I thought I'd never get up. One of the routes there was at least 5.9, I thought. A better judge of things, Leon declared it a hard 5.9 or about even a 5.10a-b. I don't appear to have forgotten any of the vast knowledge I of the sport I learned in college either. I still seem to have decent technique and haven't forgotten how to belay. Not bad for a guy who hasn't picked up a rope in 3 years except to put it in a storage box.

Picture Note: Because I forgot to bring my camera, you'll have to be content with a shot of my foot and rope dangling off something else in Eldorado Canyon!

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