The Piggy Bank – Shelf Road Climbing

It had been less than a week since the accident at Garden of the Gods, and I was still quite sore, but when Tim asked me if I wanted to go climbing I said yes.  I had bruises all over my body, my knees and elbows were scraped up, and my neck was still sore, but I needed to get back in the saddle ASAP, with someone I could trust.

We met in the morning and all drove together (Emily, Tim, and I) to shelf road.  This was my first time there: shocking!  I know, but I’m more of a solo climber, and if it’s a nice day I’m in the mountains. 

There’s a bathroom at the trailhead and lots of loose dogs running around.  This seems to be a popular place to bring your pooch. When we arrived it was cold and windy, so we brought extra gloves and jackets and hiked down the dirt road to The Piggy Bank

There were a lot of people climbing, but still plenty of spots.  We found an empty area, set down our gear, and got ready.  Tim asked me to belay him, but Emily wanted the practice, so she belayed while Tim set up the first route.

Then it was Emily’s turn to climb.  I let her wear my climbing shoes.

Here’s a video of her on her way down (the people next us were noisy)

I was up next.  I put on my helmet and winced:  I had a bruise from wearing it when I fell and every place my helmet touched my forehead was tender.  However,  I’m proud to say I made it to the top, and back down, without incident!

After my fall earlier in the week I was a bit scared to do this again so soon, but also knew it was necessary.  In all, we each got in 3 runs for the day.  Tim belayed Emily and I, and Emily belayed Tim (and I helped anchor her while he came back down).  It was a great day, warming up as the afternoon went on.  I was really glad we made it out!  Here are some more picture highlights (the last run was the hardest, but they were all about 5.8).

I was even able to take my jacket off for the last run, which always makes for a great day.  Thanks Tim for bringing us out today! 

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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