Friday, June 16, 2006

Harmon's Cave

Well my son Matt came to stay for the summer and we agreed to go for a scrambe at Harmon's Cave. Gerry Roach's Flatiron Classics book said there was a lot of good scrambling in this area with six different summits to climb. We brought Gracie along because she loves to hike and I figured she would be okay at the base with two of us there.

We approached the area via the NCAR trailhead. The hike from here isn't very far and Gerry's book described the take off point well: leave the Mesa Trail 100 feet south and uphill from its junction with the Bear Canyon Trail.

As we approached Harmon's Cave we found that the cave itself has an iron grate covering the entrance. Also they have closed off all climbing within 100 feet of the cave. We were disappointed, but still found plenty of scrambling without encroaching on nesting raptors.

Most of the climbs are less than 100 feet so you can try many different routes and Matt and I explored them well. The arch that Gerry said you can climb thru proved too small for me. Check it out in Matt's picture.

The scramble of note for the day is when we made our way to the highest summit of the six. To avoid the cave area we picked our way slowly on the ridge. The final pitch has some nice jug holds that make the ridge easy but exhilirating. On the way back to the trail we bushwacked a bit and had to cross a long expanse of scree. Not fun for Gracie!

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