Elevation Gain: 835
Pitches: 2-3 (one for descent. if needed)
Beta: Mountain Project
The dinosaur made me do it!
I wouldn't normally write a TR for a climb in the Flatirons. I'll leave that to the experts like Brian C. But I saw something that got me excited, so I had to!
Heather is slowly working on the Roach Flatiron classics, and I'm just climbing, and building up the nerve to lead climb more. So what a perfect way to spend an evening after work! Started from the NCAR parking lot and made our way up the trail that goes to the Mallory cave. When the trail takes a turn to go up, that's where Dinosaur Rock is. If only that was in the route description!
Dinosaur Rock from where you split from the trail
At the base of the climb, we gear up, and Heather starts climbing on the left side of the red gully. She found lots of loose flaky rock that was pretty awful, so after placing 1 piece of gear, and staring at the route above, decided to back track and go over the rock feature to the right to set up the first belay.
Base of the rock, Roach Flatiron book in hand
Heather placing gear, but not liking it
Heather trying to ascend the flaky rock, and not liking it
I went up the right side, and found the terrain to be much easier than what Heather had climbed.
The other side of the red gully was better
Looking down at the base
Where Heather crossed over. You can see the flaky rock on left
Rock feature. I like rocks.
Looking down before going over bulge crux on first pitch
Approaching the first belay
Got to the anchor, and got ready to belay Heather up the last pitch. Looking east, we were glad the storms were well away from us today!
Stormy out east!
Heather starts up the second pitch, and reaches the crux of the route. Thankfully there is a gear placement in the crack for a cam before making the 5.4 move over a semi featureless section of slab.
Heather placing a cam before the crux move
While waiting for Heather to build the second anchor, I look off to my north. Ah, some pretty clouds. How I LOVE living in Boulder! That's when I saw it. It was staring right at me! Arrrrrgh! I wanted to take a photo. But I couldn't. I needed both hands to take the photo, not the my usual, left hand + camera - quick snap, while right hand is on the brake rope. Nope.... had to wait.... waiting..... waiting.... Hurry up Heather! I'm about to explode!
The Dinosaur head, it's right there! Do you see it?
It's a.... dinosaur head!!! Now I get why it's called Dinosaur Rock!
Now I wanted to climb quickly up to Heather to show her the photo! But Heather already complained that I climb too quickly, and that belaying me tires her out. So I took a few more photos along the way, because that's what I do when I'm a happy climber!
Slung a knob
Looking up at second belay
Looking back down before the crux move
At the second anchor, I see what took so long. Heather slung a giant flake, and had to connect slings together. From there, we decided that I should stay on belay, just in case the down climb off the summit was really as spicy as Brian C said. So I got to solo up to the summit and get a feeling for leading on a tougher Flatiron, than Freeway on the 2nd. Had no trouble standing on the knife edge summit for some photos!
Heather looking pensive, probably wonding how spicy the downclimb is
Leading up to the summit
Pano west from the summit
Looking back at second anchor
The down climb wasn't too bad, just big steps down to small crack features. Of course I was on belay, so it was easier for me. Heather had me tie her part of the rope off for her smooth descent. Then we just had to rap off the tree to the west to get back to the trail, just off to the north. Fun climb, thanks Heather!
Heather downclimbing from summit ridge
P1: 5.0 (Brian C TR) Start at tree, follow right side of red gully. Up and over until you see dinosaur head ;) No real gear placements.
P2: 5.4 (Brian C & Mountain Project) Follow crack just to the left, with gear placement for a cam in the crack. Sling a knob if desired.
P3: 5.0 (MP) Mostly featureless to the summit, then down climb back side to tree (that now has a cordelette - didn't have any webbing/slings when we arrived)
Descent: Rap off tree to the west 30'
Gear: Heather used 2 cams, a couple slings (bring a large one or two), and a cordelette