I woke up and hung out for a bit before grabbing my new GoLite JAM backpack, some essentials and my bicycle, which somehow still runs from all the abuse I have put it through.
I set out for bouldering on Swan Mountain, which if you remember from the earlier blog posts was the mountain I trekked over after camping at Prospector Campground. After pedaling at a steady 7 mph pace up the side of the mountain 2.5 miles I reached the plateau point where the Sapphire Point sign stood.
I locked up my bike and hiked around the loop, snapping pictures of Dillon Lake below, soaking in the view of the overlooks down on Breckenridge. I never got the chance to stop there earlier in the year due to extreme exhaustion, blistering cold temperatures and the fact I just wanted to find the Fireside Inn to relax.
Anyway, the trail looped in a circle, which made it easier to get back to my bicycle. I hopped on and descended down the mountain towards Prospector Campground. The park, still closed, (Government Shutdown?), but passerby’s allowed to walk the trails freely as they please. I locked my bike to a wooden fence post and hiked up the trail next to the closed gates. The trail, covered in dead wood, soft dirt and debris, continued on for a few miles. Kate told me cliffs for bouldering existed at the end of the trail. I took the wrong path though because I peeped down the end of the trail and did not see any bouldering cliffs. I decided to veer off the trail and continue up the mountain towards the ridge line. Bam…I looked down at 5 to 10 foot cliffs perfect for bouldering. Mixed in between the cliffs included lone boulders, fallen dead trees, and an old, crusty rock climbing shoe with a few holes near the sole.
Bouldering on Cliffs in Swan Mountain, Colorado
I found it! This was the bouldering spot she referred to last night!
I messed around on some of the smaller rocks scaling them with relative ease and then decided to put on my pack and follow the cliffs down to where they overlooked the park. I climbed a few spots with my pack on and my minimalist shoes. I jumped a few five foot gaps, hopping back and forth between cliffs before stumbling upon a 10 foot boulder overlooking Dillon Lake. I placed my fingers on some small holds crimping the boulder in front of me and found a few foot holds to wedge my feet into the cracks of the rock. Within a few minutes I scaled to the top. Snapping a few panoramas and pictures overlooking Prospector Campground and Dillon Lake. I sat there for maybe a half hour soaking in the sunlight on the warm 60 degree day and enjoying the beautiful view overlooking the city of Breckenridge.
I continued to follow the cliffs back towards where I parked my bicycle. My phone works now so GPS and Strava defined my place in correspondence with my bicycle. I took a different trail back, the one I was supposed to take originally, but I overlooked it in the beginning since the grass covered the trailhead. As I continued on hiking over the rocks, ascending and descending some small cliffs, I noticed a huge overlook where the true climbing existed. Twenty to thirty foot walls perched between the ridge line and the tree line between the campground. I didn’t climb them since I did not have the proper gear, but bolts for leading stuck out of the rocks, so I will definitely be back here in the future to boulder and possibly lead (once I learn of course).
I ended up back where I locked my bicycle and enjoyed a steady downhill descend back to Summit High School where I followed the Bike Rec Trail back to my home in Breckenridge.
I have an interview tomorrow with Wendy’s (Yes, I know, fast food, what the fuck, you have a college degree and should do something with your life), but no one wants those jobs because they suck. So you can always find work there. Between that, part-time Algebra tutoring and working at Blue River Sports, I should save up some money over the next six months or at least break even while I ski for the winter. Then it’s off to continue my wanderpunk lifestyle, which will advance to hitch hiking, train hopping, leather tramping, and cycling. A nomad at his fullest potential.
I also plan to bike the Boreas Pass loop tomorrow. Kate said it’s about 40 miles total. I might bring my GoLite JAM backpack and hike up to the ridge line to snap some pictures and view the scenery from up there. There’s also an old tank up those parts so I’ll be doing some climbing again. It’d be great to camp up there too, but I am still waiting on my tent to come in the mail, which should arrive on the 28th of October (Happy Early Birthday Dad).