I was once told by a climber from out of state, “You Colorado Climbers have to work hard to climb in the summer” What she was referring to was the amount of driving and hiking that is necessary to get to the amazing alpine areas. I always tell people, yes there is some driving, and yes there is some hiking, but wait until you see the rock there! After six years of climbing and hiking in the summer I still feel the same way. The alpine areas have the most amazing rock and problems, and the hike will keep you fit. Behind the 8 Ball is one of these awesome lines.
I had seen this line two summers ago but for some reason I didn’t try it. On my first trip back to Lincoln Lake this year I tried Cloak of the Tiger, a great V9 crimp line with a few powerful moves. I was able to do all the moves but didn’t link it. The crew and I then headed up to Behind the 8 Ball. The problem has amazing rock and this cool triangular pinch hold that I hit as a gaston with my left hand. Then I cross to a sloper and work my way up slopers to the top. On my first attempt I tried going to the last sloper with my left hand but couldn’t hold it. While I was up there I spotted a foot hold that looked good enough to crimp. It was!! So in true girl-beta fashion I skipped the last sloper, crimped the foot hold and topped out. Behind the 8 Ball went extremely fast for me, especially for my first day at elevation for the year.
After surviving the hike out of Lincoln Lake I felt tired, but incredible. There is something about the end of the day on an alpine trip, when you get to the car and feel the crisp evening air. I felt as if I had accomplished a great feat. I had lasted a full day hiking, talus-hopping, and climbing somewhere that still feels secluded and secret; a place that not everyone sees because you have to work hard to get there.