This weekend I had some free time to climb outside in Colorado and it was great to get out with some familiar faces. Both days I went to check out a new sector of Nicky’s Boulders also known as Elkland, although referring to it as the Nicky’s Boulders is also technically incorrect. Tommy Caldwell, who grew up near the cluster of rocks, and made it out with us both days, shed some light on the history of the area. He informed us that when he had gone there as a youngster it was known as The Billards, and before that it had been referred to as the Monkey Hang. Whatever you’d like to call it, this area is home to a nice collection of boulders and some great new problems have recently gone in.
Most active in the new sector has been Chad Greedy. He has established a number of nice problems, including OG18 sds V11, Dreamclimb SDS V10, and the appropriately named The Real Deal, Peter Beal V9, a difficult face on micro crimpers.
Saturday I was feeling a bit under the weather, but I was determined to get out. It was a glorious day in Estes Park and I am convinced that being outside and running around a bit helped heal me up for Sunday.
David Graham, fresh off of a great trip to Hueco, showed up as well, with Chad and Daniel Woods, to join Brian Capps, Tommy Caldwell and I. Daniel started the day off by putting up a very nice dyno that could be V11, called The Art of Flight.
I put some effort in on OG18sds to no avail, but made quick work of The Real Deal, Peter Beal. We continued down the hill to a very nice boulder. The previous day Daniel had made the FA of The Plague V9, which starts matched on a nice flat edge. Tommy did the second and I climbed the third soon after. Today we tried a project to the right. Daniel came prepared with rope and harness, and cleaned the boulder. It was great to be climbing on a new project with such a strong and motivated crew, and it never ceases to inspire me watching Tommy bear down with three, and sometimes two fingers, on the same miserable holds I crimp with four. We all contributed to the beta, and Daniel made the FA of Carefully by Hand V12. Dave repeated it soon after, and I have a new project to get psyched about!
Daniel then marched up the hill to work on another beautiful project. It’s wonderful to share the spirit of development with like-minded people, and it’s hard not to wonder why A) there aren’t any women at these new boulders, and b) why every one of us, save Daniel, is older than 30. Dave and Tommy have been developing since they were teenagers, and I wonder if there has been a shift away from development from the younger generation. Regardless, it was a great day in Estes Park, a place I have spent hundreds of days of my life, a place I have grown to love, with some great climbers, putting up awesome new problems. Motivating to say the least.
PS Tommy had a tick (not imbedded) on his leg. It’s that time of year again, beware!