Instead of getting insanely drunk and partying in the city, three of us decided to go on a quick climbing trip to Shelf Road above Cañon City. We drove up New Years Eve to an empty campsite prepared for the 9 degree low. We started a big fire, heated up homemade posole, (which I later learned is a Mexican tradition for NYE, to bring good luck!) and the fixings for some very strong margaritas. I did take photos of our camp set up, but it was so cold that my memory card decided not to write the information; yeah, it was that cold. With our bellies full, and the fire dying down, we all agreed that we didn't need to wait until midnight to celebrate, so we all tucked into our sleeping bags at 9:00pm.
We all woke up around 7:00am, throwing on all the layers we had, and started another fire. Patiently waiting for the coffee to percolate, we whipped up a breakfast with left over tortillas, eggs, and one very frozen avocado. We had a lazy morning waiting for the sun to warm the canyon walls and defrost our water. Once we took off a layer, we loaded up the packs with gear, beer, all the snacks, and began our approach. The base of the canyon was surprisingly warm and in no time we spread out all of our gear and hopped on the wall.
Everyone that we told we were going camping for New Years laughed at us, reminding us of the predicted temperature. Though we had to wear a lot of clothes and bring extra blankets and bags, it was the best New Years I've had to date. Instead of being hungover for the 1st, I woke up smelling like a fire, dirt everywhere, climbing limestone with two incredible friends (and Fitz the dog.)
The only downside to climbing in January is how short the days are. We climbed all afternoon and were forced to start packing up at 4:00pm as the sun dipped behind the canyon wall, taking the warm temperature along with it. A slow hike back to the cars, and an exchange of bear hugs were made before we went our separate ways once again. We couldn't help but feel thankful for the holiday we shared, and the lack of traffic on I-25 home.