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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.

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’.

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 web

Park leading the first pitches of Royal Flush.

Royal Flush - Looking Down at Parking Area web

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!

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.


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