By Kelly Cordes
We shoulda stayed at Indian Creek, I thought, followed quickly by, I hope he’s at the anchors, so we can bail. Midway up Scott DeCapio’s lead—our first pitch of the day—he’d whined down, “Man, I’m getting old and soft…I’m a-scairt!” Then he tapped a column of ice tentacles that promptly snapped and thundered onto the cone at the base of the climb, half of them deflecting my way and sending me into the hot-potato dance in my crampons. Then he rocketed upward.
We’d started the day with grouchiness from our alpine start (leaving at 7 counts as inhumane in my book), and half an hour later we got grumpier when we found two rigs already parked at the trailhead for the Ames Ice Hose, which, according to the Internet and the view from the road, seemed to be in great condition.
“Goddamnit, Cracka,” I said, “whatdya think? Maybe they’ve just left and we should try that stupid footrace-to-the-base thing?”
“Naw, that sucks,” Scotty D replied. “Let’s see if the reports are wrong—maybe Bridal Veil is in now. Where them Twizzlers at?”
It’s too easy to fall into a comfortable routine in a place like Colorado, with so much great weather and so many great climbs. You get spoiled. Before you know it, adventure and all of its often-uncomfortable yet unparalleled rewards becomes secondary to classic, beautiful, overclimbed routes, with follow-the-tape chalked holds, a yellow TCU at the crux (the Internet said so), and drafting in pick holes. Great fun, of course, and great for the ego and the arms guns. I don’t know why that’s not enough, but I know that just a little shift in mentality—like the willingness to hustle and try for more, or to take the tools for a walk (even to classics the Internet says aren’t in yet)—can squeeze the most out of normally overpicked Colorado. … Continue Reading