It was April 16, 2000, and the ski season at Vail was over. Due to an injury, I wasn’t ready for any big snow climbs; I asked Brian if he would accept a chilly 1st flatiron climb as a minor adventure just this one time. He agreed.
We met at Chautauqua Park at 7am and made the short hike to the 1st Flatiron together. The weather was cold and overcast, but we didn’t even discuss a change in plans. We’ve gone up the 1st Flatiron in every kind of condition, including heavy snow, ice, and rain. Heck, I didn’t even bring water proof pants or gloves.
When we got to the rock, we were surprised to see rivers of water running down the rock. Apparently, there were enough patches of hidden snow up high melting to create the water of a rain shower.
We started up anyway. The first couple pitches are short on protection, so we took our time and made our way up carefully. Still, it was rather nerve-racking. As we progressed higher and higher, the weather started to show it true nature. It started snowing...
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