• Emily Wolfram

Rock climbing at Blackleaf Canyon

Blackleaf Canyon is another place to visit in the Rocky Mountain Front. There are trails and camping but we have only ever been there for outdoor rock climbing so far. The wall is MASSIVE. Lots of routes and multi-pitch options. Dorian does a majority of the lead climbing between the two of us but this summer I have been working on it.

One fun thing about rock-climbing in this particular area is that the wall is made up of layers of chert limestone with fossils of primitive organisms EVERYWHERE. On the ground, if you spend a few minutes looking down or turning over rocks, it won't be long until you find great specimens of prehistoric seashells. On the wall there are just as many and they are what create the pokey, rough and sometimes rather brutal texture of the rock. It can beat up your hands but it makes for strong, easy-to-grasp holds. Plus it's also kind of fun to be huffing and puffing your way up a route and then realize "oh hey, that's really good looking fossil of some ancient worm-er-something..." It's as close to being Indiana Jones as I'll get I suppose: gallivanting about on a cliff-face examining really cold old stuff!

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