We had a guidebook, and we were standing before the right crag, but as climbers, we were completely lost.
Piper and I were at the Plotinus Wall, a swath of granite in Lower Dream Canyon not far behind Boulder Falls. We were staring at the guidebook, then the rock, then the guidebook, then cursing the guidebook’s vagued-up route descriptions, like “follow featured granite to the anchors.” (The whole freaking wall is featured granite, and there are many anchors.)
When we did rope up, we were also cursing the dude who blurted to us, “Are you girls going to warm up on that?!? It’s pretty hard.”
Yeah, we’re going to warm up on that. Even though we’re not sure what it is. Piggy punk.
One local boulderer wants to make sure no one has that lost experience while climbing — at least on Flagstaff Mountain. Peter Beal, local author and blogger at mountainsandwater.com, will offer a bouldering tour of Flagstaff Mountain on Saturday.
Beal said that one reason he does the tours is that after an online guide to Flagstaff’s bouldering came out, he realized that he thought he knew the mountain well, but didn’t know it as well as he thought.
“The other reason was to counter the image of Flag as an inferior place,” Beal said.
Flag sometimes gets a bad rap. But its proximity to town and even diversity of styles make it a fantastic training ground, Beal said.
The tour will meets at 10 a.m. Saturday morning and should last about two hours.
Info: Meet at First Overhand parking, in the last switchback before the summit area. Call 303-441-3440 for more details.
Maybe you’re not into the bouldering tour. Maybe you’re not a climber at all.
No matter — the sport climbing national championships at Movement Climbing and Fitness this weekend will be rad for all.
Earlier this week, I talked to Mike Moelter, one of Movement’s owners. Moelter has been competing since his first year of climbing, he said. So he’s a competition enthusiast and he owns and runs the gym that’s hosting the competition, but here’s what he said about the championships this weekend:
“If someone’s never been to a climbing competition, this one’s pretty awesome to check out. It’s not going to be like the world cup where there were 1,200 people, there will be room to sit…and we’ll have a big tailgate outside.”
He might be biased, but I think Moelter’s right. I first met ultrarunner Scott Jurek shortly after he moved to Boulder not on a trail, but at a climbing competition at Movement. He seemed taken with the competition, and I understand why: The objective to reach the top is simple to grasp, and most competitors try hard but don’t make it, which results in a big swing through the air.
Info: Free entry to Movement to watch climbers Friday night; $8 for Saturday’s finals in speed climbing and difficulty at 7 p.m. movementboulder.com
Easter run, Dine and Dash prep
This weekend, there are several Easter-themed running events in Denver. If you need a quick brush-up before Tuesday, one of those might be your best bet.
On Tuesday, Boulder’s popular Dine and Dash 5K series starts for the spring season. The races are qualifiers for the Bolder Boulder race, though it’s debatable whether they’re popular for that reason, or because there’s dinner after the dash.
The races have moved to the Boulder Reservoir this year.