Recently I have had a renewed interest in Upper Upper Chaos Canyon. This is the area of highest elevation where bouldering has been done in RMNP that I am aware of. It is also the same area Jon Glassberg referred to as Super Chaos, in 2010, when he and Ryan Silven added a number of new problems (Easy on the Eyes V8, Never Never Land V10, etc) in the region around Full Chaos. Full Chaos is an outstanding V10 put up in 2003 by Paul Otis, who named the area Upper Upper Chaos.
Several of the projects I thought wouldn’t be melted out for a while are now cleared of snow and after just finishing up an exam on Monday, I had some free time to climb on the 4th of July. It is a little frustrating not having the time I once did to pursue climbing in the way I once did, but generally I am happy to make that sacrifice to make school a reality. That doesn’t mean that my motivation for exploration and new projects on that familiar swirling rock high in the mountains has wained.
I went up with Jason Pinto and met up with some familiar faces, Collin Horvat, Rylan Marshall, and Jimmy Webb. Jimmy has expressed interest in exploring and developing, so we marched up the hill and I gave him a tour of the best undone projects. It motivates me to see a young climber take an interest in development, and I took Jimmy to an amazing roof I had tried for a number of years. I first saw the Ice Cave in 2004, about the same time as Wade David, who had also hiked around this area to check things out. Last year I did the FA to a stand start, which I never named (perhaps it can just be The Shining Stand V9), and begins on a good matchable hold which is more positive for the right hand than the left, and climbs out leftwards to the lip, toping out left of a large boulder which sits overhead (Scoot’s Roof V10 is on this boulder, but only climbable when the snow buries the Ice Cave). The low start to the Ice Cave was the best project I knew of in Chaos Canyon. Jimmy was really excited when I showed him and gave it a very strong effort, climbing the FA in a few hours. He named it The Shining V13. This is definitely the highest, hardest problem in the Park and I was super excited to share it with him and see it get done. The Shining is right up there with Eternia V11 and Riddles in the Park V12 as one of the best problems in the canyon.
In between rests, we walked around and found a number of other new projects, including a huge wall that could be V11, an amazing Freshly Squeezed-style power problem that could be V14, and another roof in the V13-V15 range. Very motivating to say the least.