Wednesday, July 25 th at 5 pm: Easy trad climbs will be the focus (though there are tons of routes of all grades to go for) for those who would like to experience trad, gear placement AND gear removal, setting anchors and rapping back off (from bolt anchors in this case and people will be shown how to properly set and protect themselves for their rap and they will have a "Fireman's backup from a person at the base of the ropes). The meet will be in wonderful, Eldorado Canyon on Wind Tower and maybe Whale's Tail, each just a few hundreds of yards stroll from the carpark.
Eldorado Canyon has an entry-fee for each car and the lots just inside the gates to the park from Eldorado Springs, can get fairly full though evenings should be fine. We will thus rendevous at the large, dirt, lot at the NE corner of the junction (and lights) of Highways 93 (the Boulder/Golden rd) and 170 (The Eldorado Springs/Marshall rd). We can carpool there and leave just a few minutes after 5 pm (so that we can get a good, rock session in). I have an annual Eldo Pass and can take, say 4 people, favoring those that are new to trad outside and may climb with/near me and thus be likely to leave Eldo with me - though I will be staying until the very end). Folks may want to arrange car pooling in advance and from another venue, if they wish and I am fine with setting my pool now too. (See more details on the 93/170 jctn in the 'conversations' below)
From the meetup lot drive west towards Eldorado Springs. Road becomes dirt as one enters E Springs. Drive slowly thru town and just at the end of town pass the swimming pool and Spring water house on right side; from here the road goes leftish, over a bridge to the Eldo Park, ranger booth where you will pay if manned or will post your payment at a box on the right just past the booth (no idea but guessing $6/car). You then need to park in the areas just past the restrooms, just west of the booth, or in the overflow car park just below.
We will be climbing on Wind Tower. From the car park walk about 100 yds west, up the road and go right over the footbridge and then on the rocky path, straight ahead thru the bushes. Look up and right and you will see the big, slabby face of Wind Tower with a huge rectangular block lying against it at about mid-point. This is where we are heading and follow the rocky trail up to the big block area (all this is just a few minutes total from the car park).
The Wind Tower is the main, moderate area at Eldo and has some great, 3-star routes: Wind Ridge; Calypso; The Bomb: Breezy; and many more pitches all in the 5.4 - 5.6 range. Trad pro is excellent. For routes on the right (Bomb, Calypso) there are some bolt anchors - on the left one needs to set trad anchors (Wind Ridge, Breezy).
Depending on attendees and climber's needs I am very happy to take folks on the Bomb and Governer's etc, show pro placement and removal and rapping. The ideal would be a rope of 3 or 4 at max. These routes go up 2 pitches at about 5.5 though I like the last pitch of Boulder Direct as a second pitch. This will give a 2 stage rap from excellent bolts. There are also some harder pitches from the mid-height ledge system.
A great route to the left of above is Calypso, a perfect first pitch to bolts. Can do P2 but then it is walk off (no bolts). First 20' has sparse pro and leader must place a good directional to protect second before moving right to bolts and belay.
Many other routes but Wind Tower, 5.6 and Breezy, 5.5 are three star and at left end of main face. Best to do them as 2 pitch routes to a walk-off ledge system (though I keep the rope on for the first 20 feet from the top of P2 Wind Tower). These routes have great pro in perfect cracks. Each has a 3rd pitch that reaches the summit of Wind Tower but the way off is not straightforward and we do not anyone benighted!
I can give beta on all above and other routes on the day.
If you do not have a guidebook check out mountainprojects.com and look for Eldo and Wind Tower.
Nearby is the Whale's Tail that has two, great trad leads for a first or early lead. I give them each about .4. Rope up to get to the base of these.
What to bring? Harness, shoes, belay/rap device are minimum. Crash-hat is wise. Personal Anchoring System (PAS) or sling and locker so that you have a ready belay sling thru your harness when you get to belays (but I can loan some gear); nut tool if you have one (I have a spare or two); 6 mm rope loop for an autoblock, rap backup - will bring a few to show method of rap backup; belay gloves if you like.
This should be fun and feel free to drop me a line with any questions you may have. Robin