Recently, I have been switching things up and sport climbing. I have bouldered for so many years, and just needed something different.
My friend and old coach Jim Redo recently showed me an open project in Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado. The line was bolted and freed as an aid route by Darren Mabe. The first pitch is a five-bolt 5.12b leading to a no-hands ledge at the base of a roof. At this point you are 250 feet above the river, completely exposed. You are able to look out at the six draws dangling from the 50-degree overhanging ceiling, compose your nerves, and set off on the first boulder problem.
The line for Mourning Glory, in Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado. Topo courtesy of Daniel Woods.
This problem is seven moves long, using poor, incut crimps for your right hand and textured slopers with your left. The finishing move of the problem consists of taking a right-hand upside-down gaston and jumping left hand to a sideways jug. Once you arrive here, you gather yourself and execute a two-move V7. At the end of this crux you have a full-pad incut rail at which you can rest a bit before tackling the four-move V9/10 crux at the end. The last move of this problem involves a dyno to the lip of the roof. Here sits a jug hueco, from which you can clip the anchor.
I was able to make the FA on my fourth try over two days. The climbing really suited my style. I named the climb Mourning Glory and it felt to be 5.14c/d. This roof is the hardest sport climb I have established and has given me so much motivation to bolt new lines. I love the process of figuring out moves and executing them. Thanks to Darren for creating this route and opening it up to the public.
-- Daniel Woods