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FA's in Red Feather Lakes - Emily Dudley

FA's in Red Feather Lakes - Emily Dudley
July 03, 2012 - 

It is with bittersweet feelings that I write about the bouldering in Red Feather Lakes. Red Feather is located North of Fort Collins with a ton of rock and development potential. Many locals joke that it is an area only for “stoners and dogs….” I disagree! Unfortunately it has also been impacted by one of the most destructive forest fires in Colorado history and many homes have been lost…

Before the High Park fire Jason Nadeau, a Fort Collins local, had found a new cluster of boulders just ten minutes above the King Tut area. He quickly scrubbed the boulders and began working what looked like the best lines. The psych was quickly spread and Paul and I went up with Jason to check it out.

Red Feather is beautiful! The hike to the boulders meanders through a meadow with a babbling brook and beaver ponds. There is also a very cool cabin from the 1800’s that still looks like it could withstand a beating.

When we arrived at the boulders it quickly became apparent that Jason had scrubbed all the best, most aesthetic lines; except for one, the arête of the already established Nebula. At first glance this line looks fairly straight forward; start on the arête, go to a crimp below the lip, mantle and top out. The top-out was actually a little more technical than I thought. After firing I named it Star Blazer… keeping with the astronomical theme and reputation of the area. I then began working Nebula V7. This line is a classic. Nebula begins on the arête, heads left through compression moves and finishes with a punchy last move. The crux for me was the transition from the compression to the last hold without dabbing on the pads. I was psyched with the send! Nebula felt hard and powerful for me.

We then began working Jason’s project; a difficult roof with an even more difficult face that has a higher than your head heel hook to top-out. Overall it was an awesome day!

Driving out of Red Feather after the send we witnessed the most amazing lightning storm I have ever seen. Unfortunately this wonder of nature also started the High Park fire which has devastated the area. As of today the fire has spared the main climbing areas at least and the beauty of Red Feather Lakes remains for the next season!

Photo credit: Paul Dusatko

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