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Chester Crossfit coach explores the Rockies

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Chester Crossfit coach explores the Rockies

Coach Joe here! If you noticed that I was missing for a few days its because I was in Colorado, dangling from a rope.. probably with a wedgie, probably with bloody fingers..

Okay that makes it sound like I had a terrible time. It was actually a total dream. Going to Colorado has been on my bucket list for more than a few years now and I got to check it off last week. With only 5 days including travel I had a lot of places to go and a lot of climbing to cram in a short time. I picked the perfect partner for just that, James has been a rock solid companion for any adventure I dream up. He makes up for my lack of map navigation skills and is one of the few people I trust with my life (in the form of a rope) in their hands. 

Climb number 1 was in a place called "Devil's Head," about 2 hours south of Denver. The rock was red, gnarled, and razor sharp, fitting to the name. We bit off a little more than we could chew here. James led half of the first pitch, got stuck and rappelled back down. I tried to finish it, took a fall and stubbed my toe. Well, stubbed is an understatement - ripped a chunk off and broke the nail is more appropriate. The steep hike back to our tents was made purely on adrenaline, and my other foot. But hey, that's how life lessons are learned, I think. We took a day off to take the edge off the pain, and find some more proper bandaging than the brown paper bag and medical tape I was currently sporting. 

Climb number 2 was on "Castle Rock" just minutes outside of Boulder. Picking the easiest route of the bunch here was a nice change of pace even though crack climbing is totally not my forte. Wedging various body parts into cracks depending on width is so uncomfortable! Image may contain: sky, plant, cloud, outdoor and nature

Climb number 3 was what made the trip for me. Clear Creek Canyon has a major highway running right through it. Hundreds of options were all within minutes of a parking spot. And most importantly the routes we're all BOLTED. YESSS! Quick technical note: we had been Trad climbing up until this point, which means as you climb you wedge variously shaped nuts and cams into cracks at regular intervals to catch you in case of a fall. Your safety depends entirely on your placement of these nuts. Bolted routes have permanent clips in the wall for you to run your rope through. So with safety now guaranteed we felt free to climb hard! Pushing our physical limits... this is what I flew 1,700 miles for.Image may contain: sky, outdoor and nature

80 feet in the air, another 20 feet to go. My forearms are starting to burn. The arches of my feet ache from standing on edges the width of a dime. The rope is heavy and drags through the clips slowly. My hands are sweating through the chalk. Pulling up the rope to make my final clip I know that if I fall here it will be a 20 foot drop. But I make the clip. 

Despite the delayed red eye flight back and 3 hour drive home I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. This is why I finish Workouts at Chester CrossFit with an extra 30 rope climbs. This is why I run up hills until I cant breathe. And this is definitely the reason my lunch looks like a pile of leaves with a half a chicken on top.

***If this peaked your interest, or if your palms just got a bit sweaty reading this, we'll be having a rock climbing clinic coming your way soon. Hang tight and work on some finger strength in the meantime.

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