Sunday, July 09, 2006

El Camino Royale

The El Camino Royale climb is a scramble up the Regency Flatiron. This rock is located just below (east of) the Royal Arch in Boulder's Flatirons. Matt and I approached this flatiron from the Chautauqua Park trailhead, but a shorter approach would be from the NCAR trailhead as described in Gerry Roach's Flatiron classics. From NCAR take the Mesa Trail north until you see a trail that heads for the Regency.

This scramble is rated class 3, the holds are plentiful and the climbing is superb. We stayed on the northeast ridge on our first ascent as recommended by Gerry and there was never a time when I felt nervous. Matt is much faster going up than I am so he led the way. In contrast, I am a bit faster descending than Matt is.

Because we took the long way there, we didn't have a lot of time, because we wanted to spend some of Indepence Day with Michelle. So rather than a full second ascent Matt decided to see how far he could go in ten minutes. He made it an impressive 300 yards! But it made him very tired. I climbed a bit on the south east face. We met and descended a fun chimney as you can see in the picture.

Matt wanted to check out Royal Arch so we hiked up to the south of the Regency. We probably could have scrambled the royal road again and downclimbed to the west after seeing it from below. Matt climbed the class 3 east side of the Royal Arch and also climbed the chimney underneath the west side.

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