Hallet Peak – Love Route
Chris, Becky and I climbed the Love Route on Hallet Peak on Sunday. The weather forecast was pretty horrible, but the great thing about CO is that even on the worst of forecasts, the mornings always seem to dawn clear. The downside to this is that we’d have to leave Boulder at 3:30 for what should be a rather short climb. We arrived at the trailhead and were on our way sometime around 5 AM. The approach to Hallet is remarkably simple, following a concrete sidewalk and then a well manicured trail up to emerald lake, then ascending above the lake on stable talus. We reached the base just around sunrise, and we’re a bit dismayed to see that puffy clouds were already forming on the horizon.
Luckily we had packed for the eventuality of bad weather, so we headed up intent on beating a storm, but able to weather some bad weather. We split the pitches up evenly, w/ Becky leading 1&4, Chris leading 2&6 and me leading 3&5. Climbing as a group of three worked out great and we made very quick time up the route. We used the route description here: http://climbinglife.com/alpine-routes/hallett-peak/love-route.html, and it turned out to be spot on. Most of the pitches were pretty easy, but still enjoyable in spite of a little looseness. Pitches 4-6 are much better, with 5 being an outstanding 5.8 – PG-13 face and 6 having a challenging layback roof crux. We “summited” (the wall, not the peak) at 10:00 AM, where we had a nice bite to eat and enjoyed the view. Shortly we began the descent, which involves two rappels on generally very solid rock, and then some nice exposed class 2-3 downclimbing to reach the base of the wall. Hiking out we enjoyed wild raspberries in the talus field, however our appetites weren’t fully satiated until we reached Estes Park at 1:00 PM for an enormous lunch at Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ. All around this was a very pleasant day in the mountains and a great choice given the forecast.
Becky on P1
Chris on P2
Becky and Chris follow P3
Becky leading much nicer climbing on P4
Becky following the excellent P5
Chris heads up P6
Becky on P6
This ones for Chris (whispered tone)
Looking back at Hallet