Cheryl and I had to run down to Colorado for a Wilderness First Responder recert course last week. After being in Greenland I was looking forward to some flip flops and sand in my shoes type of living and was not disappointed. We went biking in the Fruita / Grand Junction area, and were AMAZED at the number of folks from every walk of life out there enjoying the sweet mountain biking trails that area has. I saw more riders in the first hour down there then I see in a year around here. What stuck me most was how normal it all seems down there. I saw grandmas and 20 something rockstars all sharing the same parking lot and trailheads. Each could head out to seek their own challenge.
Met up with Peter Lev for a climb in Colorado National Monument on Otto's Route. It was Peter's idea, and we all liked it. A Classic Route for sure. Back in 1911 or so, this fellow Otto climbed the route with a hammer and chisel to drill holes for the pipes he placed into the rock for ladder rungs...you can see the steps he carved in some of the photos. Most the metal is gone and people get all bent outa shape about ottos chipping on a route. The scene was a bit different back then, and I think Otto was a real go getter, I know I don't wanna go up there in cowboy boots, without a rope and do all that pounding. Like any other climber, I'm sure he did it for bragging rights, and I think he earned them. We happened to meet up with John Jones, a climber from back in the day that knew Lev and all the wild guys that were putting up routes around Boulder during college. John took some nice photos and shared them with us. The route is about 4 pitches and gets you to the top of a nice desert tower. The heat put the hurt on us a bit, but got me thinking about climbing on Devils Tower all summer.
Enjoy a few great photos from John Jones.
Johns vantage point
Where are those pipe handles now? Otto must have sat on a pipe to pound the next hole in.