Monday, July 4, 2011

Endo Valley Bouldering - RMNP

I checked out this "new" bouldering area in the park back in June with Ryann, Jon and Andy.  We were interested in climbing at Endo to check out the new problems and to see if there were any problems that we could get some FA's on.  We were excited to see the area and check out climbs like Cambrian Explosion, Chewbacca and Flux for Life.  We obviously weren't going to climb any of these, they are all extremely hard, but we can always find our fair share of V5's-V9's, and find them we did.  Overall Endo is much like Chaos with a good chunk of problems up around V8-V12, but there are always more boulders to climb.  The day started off with a good find toward the far east side of the bouldering area.  A good short, but stout, V4.  It looked to be untouched, lichen and no chalk were the visual keys, so we sat down and gave it a go.  Andy got the first send and then Jon and I followed.  It was a good start to the day and a good introduction to Endo.  The rock was good and the climb itself was pretty fun.  After the warmup V4, we made our way to the main area to check out some of the established lines.
Hit the jump to see more!

Jon on the stellar V2 with Andy spotting
Endo is great place because of the relatively short hike, good concentration of moderate grades and the potential for more boulder problems.  The elevation is much lower than say, Chaos or even Emerald, but with some tree cover the area is comfortable and picturesque.  We first hiked to the east of Flux for Life and Cambrian, just to check out the whole area.  Near the far east of the boulder field was a small boulder that had a fun, but powerful V4/5.  A low start lead to a complex slopey top out with bad hands and high feet.  We chalked it up and put up what we think is a new line.  No telling if it actually is, but it was fun and a good warm up.  Just up the hill was a field of untouched boulders, so there is definitely more potential for FA's.  I would like to get back there and focus on finding problems from V4-V9.  Some good warm ups (V4/5) could definitely be put up.  Overall we got on a few problems and had a pretty good day.  There was a stellar V5 next to Extreme Alienation and a V2 across the way.  Both had great movement and good holds.  The V5 was pretty high and had an iffy landing, but we all jumped on it and sent!  Even Ryann ran up it after about 5 goes.  Her first V5 outside!!!
Andy topping out the V2
Jon getting on the V5
Ryann getting into the business on the V5
Ryann finishing up the V5
The V5 was the main highlight, but we also did a few other problems.  The V7 that climbs into Cambrian Explosion was a super slopey traverse and demanded high heel hooks and tricky hand placements.  Andy definitely got the closest, but even he was still 3-4 moves away from the top out.  It was a good climb that reminded me of the Southeast and all the great slopey problems from Horse Pens 40 to Rocktown.  Check out the pictures.  That is a problem I will have to go back to finish.

V7 that traverses into Cambrian
Pretty technical for a slopey arete!!!
Andy trying to shoot for the finish
Jon on the V7
The start to the V7
Super slopey!!!
One more
An overall look of the Cambrian Explosion area.  Flux for Life
 is the huge roof over Ryann.
We got on a couple V6's, one right next to Chewbacca and one out on Old Fall River Road which is the approach trail.  They were both a lot of fun with first being a slightly overhung crimpy slopey arete problem.  Fairly short, but super powerful, this problem was definitely an accomplishment for me and Jon.  The other V6 out on the approach trail was pretty much a highball with crimps on a slightly overhung face.  I was the only one to finish this problem and during the top out a pretty good sized chunk of rock came off.  Luckily I didn't fall!!!

Overall Endo Valley is a lot of fun and it is a great link between winter bouldering on the Fontrange and switching to high alpine at Mt. Evans and RMNP.  Obviously Chaos Canyon is too high in elevation, so snow still covers a large part of the boulder fields.  Endo is a great in between and offers some early classics on pretty good rock.


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