For those of you that don’t know, my Mountain Man’s birthday is St. Patrick’s Day. And for his special day, he decided he wanted to spend the day climbing. With me. I’m pretty terrible at bouldering – like so bad that it isn’t even fun. So I went into this day telling myself I just have to suck it up and pretend to have fun for one day and then I won’t have to climb again until next year. Spoiler alert: By the end of the day I was HOOKED!
We started the morning by going to his climbing gym for some quick practice. He taught me how to tie in with a retraced figure 8 knot and the proper technique for belaying – you know, the important stuff for staying alive. But then, I started to have fun. Reminding myself that I was tied in and that if I fell off the wall I wouldn’t fall down made me more courageous and I started feeling more confident in my abilities. After a few turns each on the wall, we loaded up the Jeep with the dog, all our gear and a cooler full of beers and made our way to Lily Mountain, near Estes Park.
We parked along CO 7 near the Lily Mountain Trailhead and hiked for about 3/4 of a mile to get to Quickie Cliff. What a name, eh? The trail was pretty easy and Freya loved jumping around on nearby rocks along the way. Pretty great views, too – but that’s Colorado for ya!
As soon as we got to the cliff, in true goat fashion, Freya tried scaling it immediately. Silly goat dog. With the freedom of being off-leash, she mostly just laid in a nearby snow patch or next to our gear, venturing away only to investigate a teepee or to check if passersby would give her food.
We climbed Hand Solo (5.0), Four Play (5.4), and Casual Six (5.6) and Mountain Man led on Ascent of a Woman (5.8). I love how punny the names of these routes are.
As the sun started started to go down and the chill started to set in, we decided to pack up and head back to the Jeep. Before embarking on our journey back to Boulder, we sat on a boulder on the side of the road and enjoyed one last beer, toasting to Mountain Man’s birthday and our new climbing partnership! We even got to witness a large herd of elk on our way back through Estes Park.
We finished the day off with some beers at Upslope (because they are dog-friendly) and grabbing a birthday dinner at our favorite neighborhood place – Verde. Mountain Man seemed pretty happy, and now I don’t hate climbing. All in all, a pretty spectacular day.
How did you celebrate St Patrick’s Day? Let me know in the comments below.
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