Austin’s Summer of Adventure (1 of 2): Royal Flush

Austin Robinson was the winner of the Get Out & GO contest that we ran in conjunction with The Dyrt in the Spring of 2017. A recent college graduate with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Austin has been an outdoor adventurer for most of his life. With camping trips to Great Smoky Mountains National Park as a child and spending the last 5 summers as a camp counselor in Colorado, the great outdoors is simply a part of who Austin is. We kept in touch with Austin throughout the summer and he has given us a little look into his Summer of Adventure 2017.

I had just finished college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and was getting ready to hit the road for my 5th summer as a camp counselor at the Keystone Science School with my new SylvanSport GO! After a few weekend trips to “break-in” the GO, I headed west to Colorado, where sadly my GO would have to wait it out until the end of the camp.

Royal Flush - Actual Home for Summer web

My home for the summer. It’s no GO, but it’ll do.

It was a great summer in the beautiful Colorado mountains with some amazing kids. I had my sights on Rocky Mountain National Park and then Wyoming. But, before I set out, there was one more thing I had to do. While I have spent plenty of time rock climbing, I had yet to do a ‘muti-pitch’ climb, a type of climbing where you can climb hundreds, if not thousands of feet by setting anchors at the end of a rope length and starting the next section or ‘pitch’.

Royal Flush - RMNP Campsite

A room with a view.

I met a friend of mine and I headed out to climb Royal Flush, a 1,500ft route just above the town of Frisco, CO. Originally climbed by Tim Toula and Peter Krainz, both of whom I have had the pleasure of climbing with, Royal Flush follows the north face of Mt Royal. The climb is a nice mix of easier 5.4 and more challenging 5.9/5.10 pitches (difficulty ratings). Both my friend and I are both proficient climbers, but since this was my first multi-pitch climb, we decided that he would ‘lead’ the whole way up.

Royal Flush - First Few Pitches

Park leading the first pitches of Royal Flush.

Royal Flush - Looking Down at Parking Area

Hey look…it’s my car….1,000ft down there.

Royal Flush was established as a 20-pitch climb, but we managed to combine a few of them and made it in 7 pitches. Even so, switching positions, swapping out gear and rebuilding anchors at the top of every pitch, it still took us 6 hours to finish the climb! Add to that a few 60-70m traverses along the way and staying on route to find the next set of bolts was not always easy!

Royal Flush - Dilon Valley

Overlooking Lake Dillon.

It was an incredible experience to be 1,500ft off the ground, get to look around at the beautiful valley below and spend it with a great friend. It will be a day not easily forgotten. Leaving on a high note, it’s off to Rocky Mountain National Park! With my Subie Forester and GO in tow, excited to see what adventures lie ahead.

Royal Flush
Royal Flush - Park About Halfway Up

SUMMIT!!!!!!!

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