This is a great area near Colorado Springs and is fairly close to the 7 Falls area, which also makes for a great afternoon hike. The easiest way to get here is to exit I-25 on Uintah, then take this west until 21st street. Take 21st South until you see the signs directing you to the 'Seven Falls'. Follow this road to the Cheyenn Canyon area, and park in the first major pullout where there are also restrooms.
The approach is a good warm up and a little strenuous. You follow a man-made path up past some little waterfalls, in which you can see the type of rock you will be later climbing. Once the path leads to woods, there will be a sign on the ground stating that it is dangerous and unadvised to get off of the trail. It looks like a drainage path, which I am sure is how the trail began. Take this to the top where you will be at the base of some slabs with apparent silver metolious bolts in the Pikes Peak Granite batholith rock.
This is a typical slab sport climb, so all you need is 8-10 quick draws, maybe some anchors that you have fashioned, a 60 meter rope, and the climbing basics (a guide, shoes, chalk, a harness, and of course a partner!)
This climb developed, once again, as an afternoon climb session after class. The area is really close to C. Springs and is easily accessible. It had been dry for a few days, so the rock was fine, but this area can get wet very easily and makes slab climbing near impossible.
It was a fairly chilly day, and I was glad that I had brought along my arc'teryx soft shell to wear while I belayed Chris. The first bolts where quite high, but it was not to scary or difficult to get to this point.
Beginning a 5.8 slab route. The angle does not looks steep, but slab climbing is a whole different animal than other types of climbing.
Once you get going, you figure out how to climb the rock, it is most some slopers with a few cripers here and there. I was quite surprised to be so glad to find crimpers and was exteremly releived that they were there. No jugs on this climb! Most of the weight is on the feet, and the rock is really solid, so it was just a matter of trusting the rubber and working your way up.
Half way up the route, I realize that the key to these granite giants was to match feet to the crimpers and handholds that I was using.
The air was crisp, and the bright yellow color of Aspen leaves dotted the valley the higher you got, making the climb more relaxing. The sound of water in the distance and the view of the Springs from the slab was really enjoyable. These routes are definately nice since you are able to take a break whenever you want without having to be held by the rope. The shallow angle of the slab allows for most of the wieght to be on the feet, so it is not too strenous, althoug after a while you will inevitably get some muscle fatige.
The route is nice and secluded, with plent of evergreen trees near the belay stations.
The climbing went relatively fast, and the middle route that I climbed was full of bolts, making protection very easy. This is case on most of the routes. Unfortunately I did not know the name of any of the routes, and had only gotten a vauge discription from a friend that mostly included the whereabouts and difficulty of the climb.
Chris leading another 5.8 or 5.9 route next to the one I did.
The area provides many two pitch routes, but we decided to just take it easy and do one pitch at a time on several different routes. After a few laps it became cold enough, since the slabs face east, that the hands began to loose a little feeling. I am not sure if this helped or not, but it seemed that I was gripping tighter on the rock when it got colder since I could not feel anything, making the climbing near the end actually the easiest and most fun.
Although many routes are multi-pitch sport, we just did single pitches. This is me lower Chris down after a successful send.
After a few hours we were once again obligated to pack up and finish work we had left to enjoy the outdoors. We spent some time looking at other routes, specifically an overhang that we would eventually try later in another afternoon session. The day ended qucikly and we left around 6:30 p.m. This is truely a great area to relax and be detached from city life. I will definately go back and try some more!
Looking up in awe at the granite slabs and the overhang 5.10b route to the right of the routes that Chris and I sent that day.