Road Trip America Day 5 – Satellite Boulders and the free-soloing the Flat Irons in Boulder, Colorado

Yesterday afternoon was spent exploring the climbs at Chautauqua Park’s Flat Irons. To access the area, you park along this adorable residential area, which I believe is primarily comprised of timeshare or rental mountain homes – I wanted one so bad. There is a wide concrete path that guides you up the first little foothills before the trail becomes rugged and winds up the mountainside.


Our first stop was at the Satellite Boulder area. Highlight of the trip thus far was when I hopped on my first route of the day and miraculously topped out over an arete with the classic ‘beached whale’ method. I will admit, my ascent was neither graceful nor delicate – but alas, I am a lady! If you’ve ever climbed outdoors with me, you know how much of a baby I am when it comes to topping out.

During our day, we met a few groups of awesome climbers who made our experience out at the Flat Irons even more memorable. The first was a couple, Alex and Olivia, who were just hiking in the area and couldn’t resist hopping on the rocks after bumping into us. They certainly showed us some Colorado-style hospitality, and I really regret not exchanging contacts with them before scampering off to the next climb. Alex and Olivia – if you guys are readin’ this leave me your contact so I can keep in touch!

  

After our stint at the main boulder field, we hiked up the mountain to a great lookout point, then made our way back down to climb a bit more with a few locals, and Gunner, the playful pup extraordinaire. Niko spent the rest of his energy on a V8/9, then we started to make our way back down to the main trail head.

On our way down the rocky path, we passed by a towering slab wall, which the boys of course decided to free solo. The effort began as, “Let’s just go up a bit, there’s a plenty of spots to bail out,” but quickly escalated to three pitches worth of free soloing. Niko didn’t have a chalk bag, so he relied on Matt to pass him some powdery savior until he reached a blank portion of the wall and had an Alex Honnold style freak out. He eventually made his way down the wall, and by that time Juan had scrambled his way out of view, with Matt not too far behind.

While the boys had their fun, I was left at the base of the slab to act as photographer and videographer – and tour guide, as I had to narrate the boys’ climb many times for the passing hikers who stopped to watch their free soloing. The video is pretty rough – it was my first attempt at video with my ‘new’ tripod – but I’m going to try to edit some of the footage into something presentable.

Aside from my new-found chronic knee pain, my time at Chautauqua Park was a great experience. I spotted chipmunks, miniature snow patches, and awesome springtime blossoms. Topping out that sweet boulder problem was the cherry on a fantastic day.

Next up: We’re planning to head out to Boulder Canyon with the crew and finally Mcgoo + Rob. The forecast predicts a bit of snowfall during our excursion, but hopefully it won’t be anything unmanageable.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Road Trip 2011, Rock Climbing, Travel & Adventure

Author:Katie Boué

Katie Boué is the voice of TheMorningFresh.com - a travel lifestyle blog focusing on climbing, Airbnb life, and the outdoors.

7 Comments on “Road Trip America Day 5 – Satellite Boulders and the free-soloing the Flat Irons in Boulder, Colorado”

  1. Nate
    May 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Beautiful Pictures!

  2. AK
    May 15, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Stunning photographs! Great stories too!

  3. September 2, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Excellent blog!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. It’s official: I’m moving to DENVER for fall, baby. | The Morning Fresh - July 19, 2011

    […] possibly conquer. The above photo was taken in Chautauqua Park, better known to climbers as the Flat Irons. Then, there are places like Boulder Canyon and Lincoln Lake – which my future housemate […]

  2. Discovering my new favorite Colorado crag at Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder | THE MORNING FRESH - November 17, 2011

    […] docked my car at the parking lot of Chautauqua Park, near the spot I usually park to head out to Satellite Boulders – but this time we headed back up Baseline Road towards the mountains rather than hanging […]

  3. The Year that Inspired a Lifetime of Travel: Top 10 Adventures of 2012 | THE MORNING FRESH - December 30, 2012

    […] and drove me back down to Florida. It was a bittersweet moment, and I’ve been dreaming of the Flat Irons ever […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: