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Posts Tagged ‘Staunton State Park’

Brad, Pete, Tara and I spent Veteran’s Day at Staunton State Park with a mixed bag of activities in mind. Tara took off for a trail run while Brad, Pete and I headed to Park View Dome for an easy multi-pitch route.

Hey Ranger! is a 3-pitch 5.5 route that most resembles a granite version of the 3rd Flatiron. Just my kind of climbing. While I’m still getting back into the proper head-space for leading, I decided to take the first pitch’s lead and felt pretty comfortable, despite the run-out first 30 feet.

Pete and Brad followed the pitch and while Pete racked up to lead pitch 2, Brad and I started to wonder where Tara was and Brad rapped down to hunt for her.

Pete did well on pitch 2, so I followed up and finished the route’s shorter and easier 3rd pitch to the summit where I built an anchor completely on chicken-heads.

We coiled the rope and took a short hike to find a rappel tree that lead to a descent gully between the Parkview and Ranch Hand Domes.

Tara showed up at the base of the climb and we soon found Brad waiting at a trail junction for us.

After all gathering up again, we hiked up to the Tan Corridor and Brad led Reef On It! a popular 5.10 sport route. Tara, Pete and myself each took a top-roped lap on the climb before calling it a day. It was my second trip to Staunton and I’ll have to come back just for a long trail run one of these days to explore more of the park.

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Staunton State Park is a recent addition to Colorado’s state park system and opened for (legal) climbing only last summer. With climbing limited around much of the northern Front Range due to last month’s flooding, Tara, Brad and I took a trip out 285 to check out the rock domes here.

Despite doing fairly well in an orienteering race the day before, I managed to get us started on the wrong trail and we got to do some bonus mileage on the way to Staunton Rocks. Armed with the free guidebook from Fixed Pin we found our way through the Tan Corridor and up to the Marmot Tower. The 5.5 trad route “Maybe the Marmot Ate Your Baby” was our warm-up goal. I took one look at the continuous crack system and felt a sudden desire to jump on the sharp end of the rope. I asked Brad for the rack and suited up much to Tara’s surprise.

Sure I over-protected the route, and fiddled in marginal gear from less-than-ideal stances, but I still felt pretty good for my first time leading in well over a year.

We played around on the neighboring routes: Baby Steps (5.9) and Shoes for Dessert (5.8+), with Brad leading Shoes and all of us top-roping Baby Steps.

The weather was clouding up so we started our hike out, but couldn’t resist stopping in the Tan Corridor where Brad led 80 Grit (5.10) and Tara and I top-roped the route.

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