Hartman Rocks is open year round with the summer season extending from April to October. You can hike, rock climb, horse back ride, ski, snowshoe or (most popular) mountain bike through the single and double track trails. There are more than 20 trails on 8,000 acres of public land making possibilities for fun out here (as well as getting lost!) endless. Located just south of Gunnison, it's a high mountain dessert which is blessed, like much of Colorado, with 300 days of sunshine a year. Due to the fact there are no trees in the area, it was indeed very warm and made for perfect rock climbing weather - our goal for the day. There are an assortment of large boulders for the very popular "bouldering"- free climbing without rope and just a crash pad, but we opted for one of the many climbing routes. We were going to attempt Buddha's Belly but when we got there saw people on the route so we headed over to Beginner's Slab. If you head out here I'd definitely recommend getting a map or going with someone who knows the area because it would be easy to get lost out here and it's not like the climbing routes are advertised. Luckily I was with locals who not only knew the routes but how to belay and set up ropes as well!
Honestly, I wasn't sure how far I'd make it. I had just watched Tyler and he had gotten stuck right after this little ledge here:
I believe rock climbing, like yoga or hiking 14ers, is 90% mental and 10% physical. So I faced the rock and pretended like I was hiking a 14er. I told myself, "How are you going to hike the Maroon Bells if you can't even get up this?" That Dr. Suess quote began playing in my mind:
Or my top anyways. I could not find a solid hold past that crack and work my way up the overhang. Maybe with a little more practice I'll be able to do it someday.
And here is my favorite photo of the weekend taken right before Meghan reached the top. Don't they make a great husband and wife team?:
There was a lot of encouraging going on here because she wasn't sure of her footing and there's basically nowhere to put your feet or your hands but somehow she made it and we were all so proud.
If you like, or have ever wanted to try absinthe this is the place to do so. The cocktail in the champagne glass that I had is Ernest Hemingway's drink called, "Death in the afternoon." it's absinthe, champagne and lemon and it was amazing.