Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Keystone Greensteps

Flakes of snow as big as quarters were streaming determinedly down from the sky as Bill and I pulled out of MaKenzie's driveway. In my irrational optimism I hoped that maybe just maybe it was only snowing in town. Hah Ha ha! Our aspirations to go ski 2 hours through a huge avalanche corridor that is Sheep Creek seemed foolish in such a storm.

There was a beautiful line across the Lowe river we walked to, but the only way across was through the water. I'm just not that hard core when there are other less wet options. So back we went to the large parking lot across from the main Keystone climbs.

Green Steps


The only reason I considered Green steps a good option is because I knew Billmier would lead every pitch if I didn't want to. The benefit of climbing with a stronger partner is you always get to climb, but when my confidence is low its easy to pass on the lead. When we got to the base I looked up and saw an easy line with lots of steps and felt like stepping up to mollify my previous days short comings.

True to Valdez style, it wasn't as easy as it looked, plus it felt steeper and longer than it ever has before. Definitely the max of my current lead potential right now. The second pitch was beautiful, wet in places, steep enough to be engaging but not lethal, maybe one of my all time favorite pitches.

Bill Starting the Top of the Fourth Pitch


Snow Covered!


Bill Rappeling into the White

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A great day out full of flaming calves and burning biceps. Its so much more satisfying retrospectively to have lead pitches that are hard for me. I'm glad I stepped out there.

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