In the header of my blog I have a list of three things: quixotic quest, adventure travel, and local endeavors. These are the three categories that I hoped to feature here. While the first two have certainly been getting a lot of attention recently, the last has fallen by the way side – that is until now.
A few years ago, a respected local shared with me his vision of a good, close-to-home challenge. This challenge required climbing ice, rock, and boulder routes, all in a day, and with all transportation being done by bicycle. Always enjoying a unique challenge, I have been eagerly awaiting a spring where the weather and conditions would make this endeavor possible.
Almost exactly a week after I returned from El Chalten, all the variables finally came together. The ice was still in, the sun sun had come out, and partners were found. Early on a grey Easter Sunday morning, two friends and I all left our homes and pedaled to the pre-determined meeting point.
Our longest cycling leg came first. As the sun slowly emerged, we pedaled along 30km of mostly paved bike path. The pavement ended with an especially arduous section of dirt road, which due to the recently melted snow felt like “riding on glue”. Once past this difficulty, we reached the boulders.
While we had no boulder pads, we did have two foam sleeping mats. This, along with the snow, proved to be adequate protection for our two-and-a-half boulder problems.
With our butts already sore and legs tired, we continued our journey and made the short hop to the ice crag where (thankfully) surprisingly solid ice awaited us. Being that we had to carry all of our gear on our backs, we took turns sharing the two pairs of tools and crampons we had packed between the three of us.
On the ride home, we stopped at the local sport crag and finished our day, each leading a different route.
Upon reentering the city, we each split off and headed our own ways home. In total, we had covered 60km, climbed 2 boulder problems, 2 ice routes, and 3 sport routes; a fine way to start the spring climbing season. I owe huge thanks to my partners, Henri and Jimbo, for helping with all the logistics and sharing their enthusiasm with this dream.