I am done with biochemistry. Which means two things: 1) I am generally happier, and 2) I have time to climb outside. A lot of time. This past weekend, for instance, I climbed at Newlin Creek on Saturday and Thunder Ridge on Sunday.
I haven't found anything at Newlin I'm particularly psyched on, but I've been dying to get on Megladon, the area's classic V7/8 highball. Although the climb was spectacular, it was also a bit disappointing for a few reasons: 1) it felt more like V6 than V7/8, 2) it wasn't as highball as I had expected, 3) I didn't flash it. Mainly reason #3. Regardless, this climb is definitely footage-worthy.
Thunder Ridge is one of the weirdest and most scenic places I've been. I imagine it looked entirely different two years ago, before the fires. There are acres and acres of lifeless trees scattered across the landscape, alongside chicken-head rock formations. And dozens of threatening signs with rifles on them (refer to video), as part of the approach goes through someone's extended driveway. Rumor has it that this is due to a marijuana growing operation, although I can't imagine anything would actually grow there. We only managed to find two of the dozen or so established lines, but one of them was Cheat Death, which is supposedly the best V9 in Colorado. After climbing this one-roof wonder, I can confirm that it is, without doubt, the best V9 I have ever climbed, and maybe even the best route I have ever climbed. Super long, sustained, no definite crux, consistently hard. Definitely didn't expect to send this one, especially in so few ground-up attempts.