Hello Blog followers, and apologies for the gap in posts – we’ve been in The Black and there’s no phone signal (you could say a Black-Out). Normal service on Bill and Dom’s Excellent Adventure Episode 11 should resume shortly!
It’s 7 hours from Long’s Peak to The Black Canyon of The Gunnison (our next destination on the trip) and a well-deserved lie-in means we run the risk of arriving in The Black to find a full campground on a busy Saturday evening. Instead we come up with a plan to break the journey with a quick route and overnight stop somewhere on the way. The outstanding Mountain Project app (download it now before you forget – it’s free, has thousands of routes and works offline – *****) comes up with the answer to the first question: Glenwood Canyon is on the way and has a bunch of roadside sports crags. About 5 hours later, after a “breakfast wrap” at the bakery in Nederland, we were cruising through the impressive limestone / sandstone gorge of Glenwood Canyon.We’d have been faster had it not been for an encounter with a Deputy Sheriff of Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office, who very kindly pointed out to Bill that he’d been doing 49 in a 35 limit. Recognising the honest mistake of a visiting Brit, unfamiliar with US traffic signs, we escaped with a verbal warning and avoided the $164.50 fine. This very convivial exchange only took 10 minutes, but Bill sticking rigorously to the notified limit (minus a bit) probability added another 20! An excellent example of effective policing! Anyway, we certainly didn’t add to our journey by visiting the crag – it is literally zero yards out of the way, with parking somewhat bizarrely in a layby on Interstate 70.Poux, or No Name Wall, is NOT a destination crag, and could hardly be further removed from The Diamond – nonetheless, it fitted the bill: You Either Climbed Today Or You Didn’t. Cave Route, 5.9, proved a fun warm up and The Squeeze demonstrated that climbing 5.10 in 30+C heat is taxing!We’d solved the question of where to get a quick climbing fix, but still didn’t have anywhere to sleep. There’s a private campground / resort only half a mile from the crag, but they wanted $63 for a single tent for the night!!! Happily, a couple of locals at the crag pointed us at http://www.freecamping.net – another outstanding crowd-sourced mine of information. A couple of clicks later and we were heading to some free “undeveloped camping areas” on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land next to Cold Creek of the 133 which was our route to The Black.We missed out on the spots with picnic benches, but were happy enough with a fire ring whilst we enjoyed not paying a cent for the privilege.