Sunrise on Pikes Peak from my back deck. .. This is why I love living in Colorado!
Later than morning, 8/25, terrace at Garden of the Gods Visitor Center, to get climbing permit.
Note Montezuma's Tower as the lower formation in center of shot.
The *classic* North Ridge (5.7) is the right edge - the lower part of which is hidden here.
Can you make out the climber part-way up?
However, for warmup, first we'll saunter up the Tourist Gully on the way to the Park's high point.
On route now and looking back south to Montezuma's Tower - the thin fin right of center.
Just birds atop it now... Pretty gnarly looking, eh?
Rick leads the first pitch. .. We don't need no stinkin' rope!
Note White & Red Twin Spires near base of gully.
Monty's Tower really stands out now.
Having topped the gully, one then traverses to the far side of the formation.
Note the rope is now in use - thanks to the insistence of the Park Ranger shouting to us. :(
Final short wall to the top.
We are on top of Garden of the Gods - above all the tourist ants and close to Heaven.
Cheyenne Mtn in distance.
Hmm, looks like storm clouds have now captured Pikes Peak - are we next?
Yep - the car's still there.
East of Colorado Springs, the land stays pretty flat forever.
Monty knows we're coming - but seems unperturbed.
Climb starts at foreground foot and runs up along the edge of the ridge.
View NE toward the rock formations by Glen Eyrie.
Lower view of last shot - exit to right between the two cracks.
Ready to traverse back across to the top of the Tourist Gully.
We made it down - and guess who was patiently waiting for us: Ranger Jen.
She was upset that we weren't placing pro - like "real" climbers do.
Somehow, in the end, there was no citation - and we remained friends. :)
OK - we're now at the foot of the N. Ridge of Montezuma's Tower.
Hidden here, the first bolt is up a ways - past the crux move!
Oh, now you can see the bolt sticking out against the sky.
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First bolt also seen here on right side.
The storm is moving closer and we won't be climbing further today - but we can scope out the start anyway.
One can also start closer to the left side - whatever works.
OK - a week later, 9/1, and we're back.
What's this - someone already on our route!
Yep - we won't be first. .. He's setting up anchor at step, ending the first pitch.
The second pitch is much shorter - and many climbers do the route a longer single pitch.
Our new friend Jason ready to follow and clean the first pitch.
This is at the crux (5.7) move. .. Note first bolt directly above him.
Jason now taking the lead to the top.
Almost ready to belay Ben.
Ben rapps off first.