Cthulhu in the Springs - Tales of Occult and Dread


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Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 27, 2008 - 11:05pm PT

The Ute Indians of Colorado once roamed these grassy plains beneath Pikes Peak and it's surrounding streams. It is known that they hallowed the immense standing stones of Garden of the Gods, but little is known of the nature of their worship. Some historians thought that the Garden was used as a meeting place, and this much can be substantiated by what artifacts remain. But what was the nature of these meetings? When did they take place and what purpose did they serve?

I had heard rumors of human sacrifices performed high on one of the blood red colored rock precipices. Professor Armitage at Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts mailed me some manuscripts from unpublished works he found in the attic of a deceased colleague. The collegue, Dr. Edward Carnby, had spent several years in the Colorado Springs area investigating various areas for anthropological and archaeological reasons. But due to a mental breakdown near the end of his academic career, he never published his most controversial findings. Armitage hated to see this important work fade into obscurity, although he did have some reservations about exposing others to it.

A central idea posed by Dr. Carnby was that the Garden of the Gods had served as a very powerful center of magic to the Ute, but also to a people that predated the Ute by 3000 years. These people Carnby referred to as the Uteps, and they were the forefathers of the Ute. The Uteps were accomplished astronomers and alchemists, and their mythology included many gods, both of Earth, Air, and of other regions and dimensions unknown.

To appease these terrible gods, the Utep would regularly offer human sacrifices by throwing their victims off of high places onto the rocks below. Carnby explored all of the various peaks and ridges of Garden of the Gods, but never could uncover which cliffs had been used for this gruesome endeavor.

I had heard of a place called Hidden Valley on what is known as the North Gateway Rock, and set out to try and locate it. By ascending the ramp around the South side of the insidious behemoth, I gained purchase on a ledge system.

Dizzying heights threatened to unsettle my balance, but I pressed on. Birds of prey called out as I made my way on the ledge system I imagined the Uteps used to haul their hapless victims to their doom.

Then, I spied a single chain. What was it for? Perhaps this place was still somehow in use! I could not bear to look anymore. I began to hallucinate that I heard a strange piping music float up from the hidden notch valley between the rock I was on and the Tower of Babylon. I could take no more and had to descend!

Looking back as I fled for my car, I saw a vision that now I cannot be certain was feverish imagination or cold proof of that fantastic, unholy vista! But I steadied my camera and snapped a photo just to be sure.

How could the others not see it! LOOK AWAY! DO NOT SEE! DO NOT SEE!

I only tell you this now in hopes that it will dissuade you from probing those terrible heights where man was not meant to venture. I will not sleep tonight, of that I am sure, but I pray somehow this memory will fade and I can reclaim some sanity. Until then...

Trad climber
Mar 27, 2008 - 11:12pm PT
dang stich, I thought you were gonna end with somethin.....silly?

Look at those faces! Horrible. And that tentacled creature!
Nice lead up, fascinating story. (Is it true?)
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Mar 27, 2008 - 11:20pm PT
There is a short route at the base of El Capitan called Cthulhu. Near Peter Pan. Done in 1975 by Eric Weinstein and Dave Anderson. Eric was a big H.P. Lovecraft fan.

Trad climber
Mar 27, 2008 - 11:27pm PT
Yogsothoth knows the gate . . . .

Really nice photos.

Glad I don't have to climb on that shite.

right here, right now
Mar 28, 2008 - 07:29pm PT
"Professor Armitage... mailed me some manuscripts from unpublished works he found in the attic of a deceased colleague."

"Dizzying heights threatened to unsettle my balance..."

Stich, you're such a ham!
Nevertheless, I applaud the construct and eagerly await the next installment.

the Moon and Antarctica
Mar 28, 2008 - 09:05pm PT

"There was thunder in the air on the night I went to the deserted mansion atop Tempest Mountain to find the lurking fear. I was not alone, for foolhardiness was not then mixed with that love of the grotesque and the terrible which has made my career a series of quests for strange horrors in literature and in life. With me were two faithful and muscular men for whom I had sent when the time came; men long associated with me in my ghastly explorations because of their peculiar fitness...."

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 24, 2008 - 04:12pm PT
What cost is such knowledge?

And will it be visited upon future generations?


Apr 24, 2008 - 05:32pm PT

Sorry, her shield of cuteness seems more than sufficient to defeat any creeping darkness.

The salty ocean blue and deep
Apr 24, 2008 - 05:37pm PT
Excellent Stich! More, more!
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 24, 2008 - 05:52pm PT
Y'all are just plain weird. There's no two ways 'bout it. 8-)

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 24, 2008 - 06:07pm PT
I think small children must be able to perceive that which the older mind cannot allow itself to see. This could account for their perplexed mood and distant stares into nothingness.

It is good that the mind will close off this ability before long.

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Apr 24, 2008 - 06:56pm PT
Did the UTEPs also frequent Hueco Tanks for their bizarre rituals, or did they travel all the way up to Colorado for them?

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 24, 2008 - 07:44pm PT
I don't know. My therapist has advised me not to study their ways anymore.

Social climber
The West
Apr 24, 2008 - 07:49pm PT
Mighty Hiker, Dave Anderson (one of your canuck homies) was also a Lovecraft fan. Ma-an he could tell a scary campfire story!
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 24, 2008 - 07:56pm PT
JB: see third post in thread. :-)

Oakland: what's not to love?
Apr 24, 2008 - 08:48pm PT

This thread has floated into and out of my mind in the last month, glad to see it bumped.

16 yrs from now your baby is going to wonder about you when she sees that ghoulish/Jacob's Ladder style photo you've crafted of her. Why not a wreath of jasmine around that beaming little face?

But I like the thread's tone all the same.

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Apr 24, 2008 - 09:07pm PT
I must have missed this TR the first time around, but this time I noticed the monster on the right even before I saw the squid. I used to climb in the Garden before either big beast moved in, though it seemed likely even then that there were gargoyles lurking in the potholes, and I definitely met a toothy bat in a jam crack.

Read "The Color Out of Space" when I was young and it scared me, my first exposure to HP. Wonder what it would be like to go back and read it again -- do those stories age well?

right here, right now
Apr 24, 2008 - 10:23pm PT
Ha ha,
alternate title for this thread:
"The color of Tim's inner space, plus Baby"

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 25, 2008 - 12:46am PT
Chiloe, the stories do age well. I have reread many this year alone and keep them for air travel, as they are generally short stories that lend to that kind of reading on the go. Lovecraft puts so many details into his stories as well that it is difficult to remember all of them, and so, years later you feel like you are reading them for the first time.

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 27, 2008 - 10:54am PT
Perhaps this warning should be reposted this week.

Trad climber
My Inner Nut
Nov 21, 2008 - 09:48am PT

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 25, 2013 - 10:25am PT
Going to try and locate a fabled cave that was used by the Utep that is now sealed on the west side. We will rappel in from the top. Pictures to follow.

Really, we are doing this.

If we don't return...no, you can't have my gear. So really, stop asking about that. OK?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 25, 2013 - 10:37am PT
Stich! I didn't see it back in 08!!!11111

FANTASTIC! H.P. would be proud of you dude. The pics and the words are mated in perfect Lovecraftian suspense and... horror.

You looked back.... how many times have our heros submitted themselves to years of mental torment, through such a simple and thoughtless act as looking back.


That's what we scream at the hapless vics in the horror movies haha

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 25, 2013 - 11:13am PT
We want more!

All four or five of us...

Seriously, how has the child fared?

This is the key to a sequel.

You obviously know that.

Yer sitch a tease!

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Apr 25, 2013 - 11:50am PT
This is classic! I never saw it first time around :)

Slowly he turned, step by step, to confront the horrors that haunted his soul. And the paper thin border between the horrors within and the horrors without was torn asunder.

The Granite State.
Apr 25, 2013 - 05:12pm PT
That's it, I'm never climbing in GOTG.

Way too much objective danger.

Social climber
Apr 25, 2013 - 05:55pm PT
“Just ooze and bubbles and the feeling of something lurking under ther...
“Just ooze and bubbles and the feeling of something lurking under there...”
Credit: crunch


Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Apr 25, 2013 - 06:12pm PT

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 26, 2013 - 05:05am PT
Dingus and mouse, you flatter me! Thanks. The child has fared well, although she does not like scary movies in the least.

Like all good quests, today's involved a collection of rumors and mixed information to make a whole. I think this story about a crevice up in Hidden Valley was melded with the cave that was sealed story to make the whole idea that they were connected. It's not possible from what I observed. But this is the sealed entrance.

Credit: stich

Some caves are sealed to keep things out, while others are sealed to keep things in.

Credit: stich

"You fool. Carter is dead."

-The Crypt

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2013 - 08:15am PT
And so we approach Autumn cautiously. I discovered this delightful reading of Lovecraft's work that you can listen to when you are about to leave the conscious world when you retire in the evenings.

I shall investigate Williams Canyon next to see if the flooding has uncovered anything unholy.
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