The Riddle of the Sphinx and other Strange Tales of Weekends


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Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 7, 2006 - 08:18pm PT
My roommate had two friends coming into town from Philadelphia for the weekend, so I put new sheets on my bed, cleaned up, packed ice axes and trad gear and got out of there. I worked Friday and headed to the Southern Sun in Boulder at 3:30. Tarbuster, Goatboy and I had dinner and drinks and much conversation. I then drove up Boulder Canyon to Chez Tar, the house in Nederland lived in by Lisa and Roy. A sipping tequilla was poured and we watched a tragic romantic film set in Mexico. I snoozed on the bouldering pad by the couch and we woke to espresso shots and a fairly cloudy but improving Saturday.

And so to the Flatirons! This is looking up the route we climbed from its base.

Tar had chosen an obscure Flatiron route from his Roach miniguide. Having done over 250 Flatiron routes, Tar was running out of ticks. The chosen formation is called the Sphinx. On it was a line that Roach flourished with no small amount of bombastic description of the Riddle of the Sphinx. The lower part of the wall had several bands of steep cliffs, so the easiest line to the summit needed deciphering.

Tar put on the harness he made years ago. We examined it briefly. Hmmm. A bit old there. It'll hold I'm sure.

The route went up a slab to a large ledge with trees.

We paused for some bouldering on wicked honeycombs. Totally rad, yo.

The chimney pitch was obvious and it went to the right place. The Euros loved Tar's hat when they saw the pictures. Someone mentioned the Tyrolean hats.

Now on to the crux. Does it go right? Does it go left?

Over here maybe? Tar finds poor pro and a 5.11 crack further left. We see something far right later, but can't suss out the pro. It's much steeper than it looks.

Much later and a beer consumed at the packs, we figure out the Riddle. It must be looked at from another angle! A higher angle reached by using a ledge. And so the summit pitch is reached and nothing is left to greet future parties on the route.

On Saturday night I join Goatboy at the Sundown in Boulder. I arrive first and have a Sunshine Wheat. A girl approaches the bar and orders a drink. Some misunderstanding with the drink order occurs. A lone Tanqueray and tonic awaits being tossed into the drain. "I'll take that." It is of course, quite good.

FYI, Here is what drunk women at a bar look like.

Later Goatboy arrives and we affix ourselves to the bar stools. As the place gets packed, two buxom drunk girls with half sleepy eyes squeeze in between us to order drinks. We have to pause or conversation frequently as they physically invade our space. Oddly enough, it wasn't annoying at all.

Arriving safely at Goatboy's house on the Northern tundra of Boulder, I greet the two huskies and catch some shuteye. We eat breakfast at Denny's, as no one in Boulder wakes up before 9AM. Off to meet Tar in Nederland.

We proceed to Brainard Lake after renting some skis for me at the caboose coffee house and rental shack.

We ski in part of the road to a small resevoir and join Little Raven trail.

Tar skins up steep parts of the trail without a skip, while Goatboy and I try various method to climb without taking off our skis.

We hike the steeper stuff. This is my fourth time out skiing. I amazingly don't fall on the tree lined trail once.

We get to the lake and see various peaks covered in snow. Goatboy of course was ambushed by the Mushroom people in the trees. Nothing a beer wouldn't clear up later.

We go off to Lake Mitchell, but aha, the time is late. The view is quite breathtaking.

We turn around and split up on the road. Tar takes Little Raven back and Goatboy and I do the road. Snow is on the majority of it and there is not much uphill to speak of. We gleefully ski the long downward slopes. But the snow is a little harder and icy here, and I fall three times on my butt but stay in the skis.

Back at Chez Tar, we have excellent red wine, buffalo burgers, brie and focaccia bread, beer, and martinis. We peruse supertopo later, of course.

But wait, a movie too! It's like you are there with us, but alas, without the wine.¤t=CheTarbuster.flv
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Nov 7, 2006 - 08:22pm PT
kick assss™™™™

That Tardy is no dummy.... after the sketch belay loop was revealed to him, I see how he backed up the harness with his windbreaker! Bravo!

Social climber
No Ut
Nov 7, 2006 - 08:44pm PT
Man, that makes me homesick for Ned and the Indian Peaks out the back door. Thanks for sharing a nice weekend.

right here, right now
Nov 7, 2006 - 08:46pm PT
My alzhies has kicked in good and I can't remember a stich of the whole event; furthermore, I've fallen off my barstool and can't get up.

AK Dog will be here for a cameo in a couple days, let's try this again...

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 7, 2006 - 08:50pm PT
Goatboy has tossed his hat into the ring for Friday night drinks and eats with a Saturday climbing outing. All we need to do is hammer out the details.

Trad climber
Salt Lake
Nov 7, 2006 - 08:56pm PT
Great pictures!

Nov 7, 2006 - 09:02pm PT
You guys have all the fun.

That belay loop looks ominous. Please do not become a Deja vu .....

right here, right now
Nov 7, 2006 - 09:04pm PT
You's guys are great.
But didn't you mean work out the details of the hammer?
susan peplow

Desperately Seeking Climbing Related Topic!!
Nov 7, 2006 - 09:06pm PT
One question....

What's that white stuff on the ground?


Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 7, 2006 - 09:08pm PT
I think it's dandruff and powdered sugar.

Social climber
The West
Nov 7, 2006 - 09:09pm PT
all too funny! Makes me nostalgic for experiences I have yet to have.
Good on y'all!

Nov 8, 2006 - 12:07am PT

right here, right now
Nov 8, 2006 - 12:22am PT
OMG Ouch!
You are such a jewel.

Here's the kicker: I swear tah biscuit I never saw Goatboy wup out that mushroom head mask all weekend.

Lisa just pointed it out right this minute and I said, like, uh, yah they photoshopped it... Right?, Right!?
Hmmm, whut a dorkomaniac.

She just hit the floor laffin' and said,
"How could you have missed that, You gotta be kiddin!"...

Nov 8, 2006 - 12:29am PT
Delightful trip report, but I am concerned about that harness Roy.

right here, right now
Nov 8, 2006 - 12:40am PT
First thing tommorrow, after I brush my teeth and get down teh town, I'm gettin' a new one 'K? No foolin, arcteryx or whutever.

Luv Ya Meems,

Social climber
No Ut
Nov 8, 2006 - 01:13am PT
Ouch- you are a g-damn comic genius. I am going to bed on this very serious election night, holding my gut from laughing so hard. Never stop.


Big Wall climber
Both feet on the ground
Nov 8, 2006 - 01:36am PT
What is this, Brokeback mountain?

Social climber
St. Louis
Nov 8, 2006 - 12:18pm PT
Thanks for the head's up on the TR Stich - sorry I couldn't talk longer last night on the phone. Didn't want to tie up the line for the 3,483 political be-sure-to-vote calls that needed to come through. It's hell in MO.

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 8, 2006 - 09:21pm PT
Good thing you caught the TR once Ouchified. Hope the pizza didn't get cold. ;-) I assume that is what was for dinner.

right here, right now
Nov 9, 2006 - 12:50am PT
Brokeback Mountain?
Naw, that's several rubble mounds to the north.

Besides, ah ain't of that persuasion, I'm just a Posin' Posteur,
Who bought a new harness tehday: *psyche* -fringe, rhinestones, the werks.

Giddyup Lil' Dowgies!
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