Sky-hooks... freakin amazing. No, not the Kareem Abdul Jabbar kind of sky-hook. The little-hook-of-metal-that-could kind of sky-hook. It's like robo-climbing! Free climbing sucks man, you can get up anything with the right tools, no training required! Alright, alright.. thanks for the laugh. I have been dangling on a rope recently, desperately tossing my tools at tiny impurities, hoping that something sticks before that other thing breaks loose and I'm sent into a airy, relentless, spinning shit-show. It's called aiding kids! and damn am I stoked that we discovered free climbing. I'm also bitter cause I have no idea what I'm doing.
But it's the name of the game when it comes time to clean and bolt routes, and I'm actually enjoying the learning process.. kind of. Apparently some people go out just to aid, and then they are done, no sticky rubber needed, and they wear gloves!
Okay enough jokes. Needless to say, I've been stoked on route development. I was inspired to see the awesome local crags around Seattle and the plethora of crags near Salt Lake. We have WAY more stone than those two places combined in the Front Range, and yet route development has slowed considerably in the last 15 years. Partially due to numerous bolting bans, access issues and so on. However, I am convinced it is also due in large part to lack of interest by locals. Maybe the copious amounts of established climbing around here holds people back from taking more interest in creating new climbs. I know this is true for myself. I worked my way through a lengthy to-do list before I had the proper motivation to create something new. Well, in the spirit of the Flatirons rebirth (happening at this very moment!) I am hopeful to bolt some classics, and ambitious to find some new difficulty. I'll let you know how it goes!