Getting There/PreparationIt is not to difficult to get to this area. From downtown Golden it is best to take Washington street to 5th street. You should now be in a residential area, and want to snake around in the neighborhood unpward until you get to the cliffs. There is an obvious sign, an the short road to the parking lot is dirt, so it is clear where you need to go.
From here there is a great map at the base of the trail showing where you need to go and outlining some rules. No permit is required and you need not check in with anyone, so just head up an go for it!
The falcon guide to the area is helpfull, but the drawings are sometimes vauge and confusing. The cliffs are devided into 10 main areas, the climbs from this trip report are all in the Brown Cloud Crag area.
The ClimbLarissa and I drove from Colorado Springs fairly early in the morning to meet Jeff, a co-worker of mine, to have a few hours of climbing fun on the Golden Cliffs, more commonly called North Table Mountain Crags. We arrived to the base of our routes at around 10:30, and imediately began to gear up and rope up. I was really excited for climbing and was eager to try and lead a route that I had been up before on top rope. The weather was perfect, and not too warm, which can be a problem in this area since the volcanic rocks that make the cliffs soak up the sun. Jeff had never climbed before, but knew the basics from reading and doing some similar techniques when he was in the Marines. He is also an accomplished hiker and mountaineer, for only beginning realtively recently, and I had no problem trusting Jeff to belay. I roped up, chalked up and began up 'Lemons,Limes, and Tangerines' rated an 8 in the guide book.
I had little practice in clipping, but made pretty quick work of the first two bolts on the route. After this you must get over a roof and work your way to the third and fourth bolts on similar terrain. The rocks were slick, but not too bad, but I just couldn't get to that third bolt! I was breaking down mentally, I knew that I had done the route before on top rope and was definately trained enough to be able to run up a 5.8. I still struggled and decided to have Larissa finish the route, since I knew that she would make quick work of it and we would be able to throw in as many laps on top rope as possilbe before Larissa and I had to head back to the Springs.
The rocks in this area are surprinsing good, and the holds a generally bomber, although due to popularity some of the holds are quite glazed, and it would be benificial to have a tooth brush along to clean some of them. There is no special advice or key to climbing here, it is just a matter of taking time and trusting feet.
After setting up top rope, Jeff tied in and began his first climb. Larissa looked at me with a wierd face since I was making Jeff do this 5.8 for his first rock climb ever, but I had faith. Sure as hell Jeff made it up. He listened to our advive below and relly trusted his feet.
After I cleaned most of the route, also with a moderate amount of struggle, Larissa asked if I could hook in a quick draw on a bolt of the route next to us. She wanted to have a go at the 5.10c 'Protection from the Virus' route next. I did this and was lowerd down.
Larissa also made quick work of this climb, and both Jeff and I were amazed. After this, we looked around for a while to try another 5.8-ish route, but had little luck in finding something with the guide due to the poor drawings. By the time we found something acceptable, Larissa and I had to go since we had other obligations in the Springs.
The day was great, and although I was disappointed with my performance, I realize that not everday is a winner. Overall it was good times with good friend outside climbing, what more can one ask!