Time simply makes no sense anymore... Yesterday seems like a year ago, and even this morning seems like it was much more than a few hours ago - It seems to fly by, yet when reflecting back on the past, time feels much longer than ever before. I have the sneaking suspicion that this may have something to do with me trying to cram far to much into my life right at the moment! Some might call me crazy, but hey... Its a lot of fun!
Climbing Donnafugata seems a long time ago... I climbed this 750m high tower in the Dolomites in 32 hours with only a couple liters of water and a few energy bars - Leading most of the pitches and on-sighting all but the 2 crux pitches, both of which I managed to do second shot. This was one my first days of climbing in the Dolomites, and I walked up to the base of the route with very little info, yet this worked in my favor because I had no preconceived notion for how big an undertaking climbing Torre Triste really is - By any route, let alone this one, with a crux of 8a! For more info about this mission check out: http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=39832
Several days I made a spur of the moment decision to return to Colorado for a couple of weeks, and not even a week after climbing Donnafugata, I found myself in back in Boulder Canyon - Struggling to keep my hands and feet in contact with the extremely slick granite on China Doll 5.13c, in far from ideal conditions. It was far to hot, but somehow I managed to climb this beautiful line (to the first anchors) using only natural equipment. This section of the route has been bolted, however after a brief inspection of the route, I decided that there were enough natural placements available in the crack for me to feel comfortable climbing it without clipping the bolts - Therefor I decided that this was the style I wanted to use! I was inspired to climb China Doll from the first time I saw a photo of it in the Boulder Canyon guide book - It is a clean striking line!
China Doll. Photo: John Glassberg
Having achieved this goal with a few days before I had to head out to Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailer Show, I decided to spend a few days in Rifle. This was a very pleasant surprise - A beautiful canyon with super fun sport-climbing. Pulling on big flat holds was such a nice change from the mental stress of the Dolomites choss rock and super technical climbing on China Doll. After sampling the easier classics I got on Apocalypse (extension) 5.13c and worked out the moves, then it was time to leave... But to my surprise, after 3 full on days at OR and no where near enough sleep, I returned to Rifle for a quick morning climb while on my way to Independence Pass... And somehow sent on my first attempt!
The last thing on my dream tick list for this trip to Colorado was climbing the Diamond (Longs Peak). So, with one day to spare before returning to Germany, made plans to climb a relatively new route on the sheer east face - Hearts and Diamonds, a 9 pitch 5.12b. I was extremely lucky. The weather was absolutely perfect - One of the few days in this environment where there was a 0% chance of rain! We had a fantastic day on this diverse and beautiful alpine wall. The first time I have climbed a long route at this altitude and to my surprise I was functioning really well.
On the crux pitch of Hearts and Arrows. Photo: Andy Mann
Now it is off to Germany for the Adidas Rockstars Competition!