It was a great fall weekend in the Rockies and I hope you got outside for climbing. My climbing partner, Mike Kearns and I decided to tune up our skills for the winter. The dry tooling suggestion by guide Pat Delaney was inspiration for us to get the tools out and train for ice climbing. We spent a few hours with our ice axes and crampons working our way up some dry rock pitches that Pat introduced us to. This is training that you can do no matter what the weather is like since you have your boots and gloves on anyway (my knuckles got bashed up pretty good before I put my gloves on). Dry tooling and Mixed Climbing really is a killer activity and bound to get you ready for the ice climbing season. I would highly recommend getting in a couple days of this amazing sport before you hit the ice.
The next day we went to Wasootch where we loaded our packs with 50 – 60 pounds of the rockies finest and climbed a few lines in our mountaineering boots. Pitches that are easy to do in rock shoes take on a whole new feeling in mountaineering boots with a heavy pack. This is a great workout and develops skill for terrain that you are very likely to encounter in an alpine environment – anyone who has done the Perren Route on the way to the Neil Colgan Hut knows what I am talking about.
While we are in the transition season between rock and ice climbing, get in the mountains and keep active. There are lots of training and climbing options as the weather gets cooler. The best part is not many others realize this and you are likely to have the place to yourself.