Saturday, October 07, 2006

Success at Inspiration Point

Saturday, 7 October: It was a sunny day in the city, but I know there’s still snow in the high country—to much snow, I’m afraid, to make climbing any of the nearby fourteeners feasible for the kids. Since we would need to take them with us to do a climb this weekend, it just didn’t seem feasible.
It also wasn’t feasible because tomorrow is my sister-in-law’s birthday, and we’re celebrating tonight, which makes being out on the road until (at least) late afternoon an impractical idea. So, of course, I went running and climbing “in my back yard.” I got out early in the day and went back to finish climbing Inspiration Point (38º, 47’, 40.5” N, 104º, 52’, 35.8” W, 7,154 ft.) in the clear sunshine. This time, I made it.
Once again, I took the most direct route there, up the ridge from the south. I’m now getting familiar with that route, and it only took about 43 minutes to get to the base of the rock. I was a little concerned by the moderate gusty winds blowing (it is October, after all), but I hoped that the unexposed nature of the chimney climb up the point would render this not much of a problem. I also made sure to take pictures looking both up and down from several points on the ascent.
The wind didn’t turn out to be much of a problem. The higher part of the ridge to the northwest shielded me somewhat, and what wind there was merely tended to blow me right against the north side of the rock where I was ascending. So I overcame the last of my trepidations, and successfully got past the two cruxes (cruces?) of the climb up. Once past the “wall” portion, there is a turn to the right (west) and only a gentle slope, punctuated with small and stable rocks, to the true summit.
There, the wind did hit me somewhat, and I elected only to sit, not stand, on the top, but it was really not hard to hold on. I took a few pictures, drank a little water, and headed down. I decided to time my downclimb. It’s only about 30 feet vertically, but it took just about four minutes. The two crux moves involve going over basically vertical lips, and finding footholds which are invisible from above. (I had taken great care, on the way up, to reverse my moves, as well as memorizing the locations of the invisible platforms!) They both went off without a hitch, but they are probably the two scariest moves I have done to date—including the downclimb of the western couloir on Crestone Needle.
Once down, the sunshine was just too good to squander, so, instead of going back by my ascent route, I continued west along the road, through the first tunnel, and found the spur of the Columbine Trail which took me back home down North Cheyenne Cañon. Even so, it only took me about 40 minutes to make the return trip.
A gallery of the pictures I took is at:

and a smaller set is at:


Blogger macbikegeek said...


Congratulations on your Inspiration Point climb! Welcome to the blogosphere. Very nice blog. Great to hear about your climbing experiences as always!


12:51 PM  

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