Garden of the Gods Keyhole Route & Kindergarten Rock


I went rock climbing with a group from church recently. This was super fun but a little out of my comfort zone, as I’m not a big ‘people person’ and usually climb alone.  Everyone was super nice and I was able to get in a run on the keyhole route at the Garden of the Gods.  It was a bit chilly out (hence the puffy) but as a bonus someone brought homemade fudge (yum!).

The fun started around 12:30pm with ‘Ralph’s Tree’. You see, Ralph went up first so he could stay up there and take pictures of everyone climbing.  Since he was first it was his job to climb up and then throw the rope back down.   Well, the rope got caught on a scrub bush and knotted up when he threw it down.  It took about 20 minutes for him to sort it all out, but finally he was able to get the rope unstuck and toss it down.  We all joked about it and shouted up at him to be more careful with the next rope.  Well, you guessed it, the second rope got tangled too, and we couldn’t stop laughing!  For a visual, here’s the scrub tree that was the only obstacle that needed to be avoided… and the one that tangled the ropes twice.


We all had a good laugh about that one and teased him in good fun until the end of the event. Eric was on belay (without shoes, of course) for the orange route and due to the slope of the rock (or lack thereof) the rope near the top had more friction than normal and he had his work cut out for him


Since I was a guest I waited for everyone else to climb first. As I was waiting and watching and enjoying homemade fudge I noticed some climbers to our left topping out at a cool gully (Eric says we can try that one next).  Anyway, I thought it was a cool visual so I grabbed Eric’s mirrorless and took a few photos.  Don’t they look cool?



Oh, and while I was there I saw the opportunity to take a shadowselfie I couldn’t pass up.


It was fun watching everyone else climb up, and while they did I took the opportunity to study their routes. Check out Curtis and Connie rappelling down together! Awwww!


A Coopers Hawk decided to perch near us for a while


When it was my turn to climb I was totally ready. I knew which line I wanted to take and just went for it.  It actually felt pretty easy.  Ralph got a picture of me from above


Once at the top I sat for a minute and enjoyed the view. I could hear the conversations of visitors strolling around below


Of course I got a selfie


And then rappelled back down


I was one of the last to climb (a few people went twice after I was done) and even though it was early the sun was fading fast. It tends to do that with Pikes Peak to the west.  I was talking with Eric and decided to get creative with my camera.


All in all a fun time! Afterwards I brought Emily home a pizza and then joined everyone for church.

Oh, and here’s a few photos from Kindergarten Rock Eric and I climbed that one last week but I didn’t post.



And from scoping out Keyhole for this trip




Another cool silhouette sunset shot. That one’s on my list of climbs too.


Author: Laura M Clark

Laura has summited over 500 peaks above 13,000' solo, including being the first woman to solo summit all of the Colorado 14ers, as well as the centennials. After each hike, she writes trip reports for each one and publishes them on her blog, which is read by fans all over the world. Author of Wild Wanderer: Summiting Colorado’s 200 Highest Peaks, which is available to purchase on Amazon.

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