Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mixed Climbing at the Bear's Den

The Bear's Den is a new mixed climbing wall in Rocky Mountain National Park.  I went up there for the first time a few weekends ago with my buddy Ryan and then a week later with another friend Austin.  Both times were a great experience and I will definitely be returning to train harder and get stronger.

Ryan has been developing the area with a friend and wanted to show me the routes.  It was my first time dry tooling and it was a blast.  Dry tooling essentially consists of sport climbing with crampons and ice tools.  There were a couple routes with big dynamic and demanding moves as well as technical climbing on small edges.  It is nerve racking placing ice tools on a crimp that you would be hard pressed to use while rock climbing.  We climbed two different routes, a M8 and something a little harder, maybe M9 or M10.  Mixed route grading uses a rating from M1 to about M12.  Just to give an image of how difficult M12 is, just think of climbing a movie theater ceiling from the screen to the back of the theater.  That's how crazy mixed climbing can get!  The Bear's Den wasn't that crazy, but check out the pictures and see what it's like.

Ryan climbing the M8
Austin on the M5
Me starting the M8
Austin flashing the M9/10
More posts coming soon about the SIA Tradeshow and On Snow Demo at Winter Park I went to for Sierra Trading Post and Nymph Lake ice climbing.  Also, check out my friend Mike's blog.