Lauren Lee - Pro Blog 1

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Lauren taking it easy on the super-classic Los Hermanos De La Weenie Way (5.11c), Penitente Canyon, Colorado.

Lauren taking it easy on the super-classic Los Hermanos De La Weenie Way (5.11c), Penitente Canyon, Colorado.

A Spring Break in Colorado

Leaving the desert very rarely happens, unless it is to visit family or climb in the most world-class destinations. I was convinced to visit the Front Range and climb in some of Colorado’s historic climbing areas. This last weekend was probably the best climbing vacation ever. Beautiful vistas, new climbing, hot springs in the snow, novel accommodations, and good friends. I spent the weekend with my friends Andy, Sheyna, Frankie four paws, Brian, Keith, and Pierre; starting in the garden of the gods and traveling between shelf road and penitente.

So often I am busy climbing all the hardest routes that an area holds, easily overlooking the best area classics. On this last trip I decided that I needed to take it easy and enjoy the experience. Good energy is one thing that makes the sport of climbing go round, we had an abundance of good times and laughs. It added to the spirit of our climbing road trip, which I might add was my first.

We started out climbing in the garden of the gods getting snowed off almost every route. After closing out the day, I was wondered if we'd be able to climb anywhere else in Colorado. Shelf Road, just an hour away was warm and sunny, resembling the sunny cliffs of my southern Utah hometown. After a full day of climbing the areas best and soaking in the sun we hit up some dinner and drove to Joyful Journey. A vacation spa of yurts with a beautiful green house and thermal pools. By the time we found the place we were ready to call it a night. Slumbering under the stars… We took our breakfast in the green house and then hustled to the thermals.

There was a biting chill in the morning air, so the idea of climbing was far from our minds. Slowly we cooked in the thermals until it was mid-day. All skeptics we headed to Penitente where we were pleasantly surprised by a sunlit canyon that catered to climbing. We climbed amongst a crowd of climbing enthusiasts and a pack of dogs. It was a nice afternoon of typical fun. We finished out our day and headed to dinner.

Margaritas tipping the brim and Mexican food filling the hunger we had worked up throughout the day. We hustled to cottonwood canyon for more thermals and a cabin for eight. Firewood crackling and wine flowing, we snuggled in for a private evening in our personal hot tub. Unfortunately the tub was broiling so we headed up to the pools. We were exposed to man-kinis and women bearing nothing but flesh. Nothing we couldn’t overlook to finish off another fine evening. I never realized how exhausting hot-tubs and relaxing could be… We slept soundly and were left with very little inspiration to climb the following day. We headed back to C springs to rest our weary heads…