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Posts Tagged ‘McDonald Creek’

Given a long weekend, Ryan and I leave the Front Range for a road trip to western Colorado. Our first stop is past Fruita and nearly in Utah at the Rabbit Valley. Driving in we soon see the Castle Rocks.

There’s a small campsite on the north side of the north Castle Rock, and we add my tent to the mix then walk around the slab looking for the best ascent route.

Back at the car we gear up and head to the southside where a few hanger-less bolts indicate where I might start climbing. I few medium-sized stoppers are used to hook the bolts and provide a bit of protection.

Midway up the pitch I find a band of pockets that take a #1 cam before continuing up and climbing a mudstone flake. I locate a single bolt (at this one has a hanger) and back it up with a cordellete around a mudstone pillar. Ryan follows and cleans the pitch.

I start the next pitch by climbing on top of the pillar and mantling onto the slab above. A ring piton and a sandy crack leads to the summit (with another single bolt). The wind is strong enough that Ryan and I can not hear one another only 70 feet apart, but hand signals work out.

We do a single rope rappel from the summit bolt back to the shelf at the top of our pitch 1. A single 60 meter rope would leave us with a couple feet of slab to downclimb, so we use the second rope to easily reach the base.

After that bit of fun, we explore the trailhead on the east side of the road and the kiosk advises us that there is a set of petroglyphs only a quarter of a mile down the trail.

We soon reach the small panel of petroglyphs.

We continue down the trail and explore the dry wash and many wildflowers.

If followed the whole way, the trail eventually reaches the Colorado River, but we turn back about half way so we can make dinner and pack up for the next day’s early start.

Adam’s photo album
Ryan’s photos

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