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Yellow Door, The T 

Yellow Door Direct 

YDS: 5.13b French: 8a Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 30 British: E7 6c

Type:  Sport, 2 pitches, 210'
Original:  YDS: 5.13b French: 8a Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 30 British: E7 6c [details]
FA: Phil Gruber, July 2017
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 289
Submitted By: Phil Gruber on Jul 11, 2017

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Phil Gruber climbing through the Yellow Door. P...

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  • Description 

    The approach... climb the first pitch of The Yellow Door (see route description for details), or scramble up the east face of Seal Rock via Shortcut and rappel in from the Sea of Joy anchor.

    The business... climb the second pitch of The Yellow Door (see route description) until it joins Sea of Joy. Then finish up Sea of Joy. Note that Sea of Joy (and this route) climbs out the dike to the right a ways. However, instead of clipping the next bolt on the dike (as for The Yellow Door), you will step up onto the dike and reach back to the left to clip the bolt at the crux of Sea of Joy (13 bolts plus anchor).


    This route combines the crux sections of The Yellow Door and Sea of Joy, and serves as a tribute to my father in-law, Doctor Jim Raybin.

    I know it’s tempting to eulogize people after they die, but Jim really was an amazing soul and an important fixture in this crazy town called Boulder. Through his personal relationships and his profession as a psychiatrist, Jim was a friend, mentor, counselor and guide to literally thousands of people in Boulder over his lifetime. He and his wife Kathy lived in the same house near Chautauqua Park for over 42 years. They raised two amazing daughters there, one of which would become my wife.

    Flagstaff Mountain was in Jim’s backyard, and he loved to ride his bike to the top. Jim rode on Flagstaff well into his 77th year on his highly-modified bike with the smallest granny gear U-Bikes could engineer. Over the course of his life, Jim rode up Flagstaff over 5,000 times. On each ride, Jim would take a deep breath, look across at the Flatirons rising from the plains, and say a prayer of gratitude… “thank you Lord, one more time”.

    It’s with that heart of gratitude that I climbed this route, gratitude for Jim and the way he supported and blessed me and everyone else around him. Gratitude also for this beautiful place – Boulder, the Flatirons, and Seal Rock, which is in my own backyard and has become my “Flagstaff Mountain”.

    I was working on this climb -- the Yellow Door to Sea of Joy link-up – while Jim was in the final stages of MDS (a form of blood cancer). Before my redpoint on the route, I hiked up to Seal Rock for one last practice session, alone on rope solo. It was July 4th, the day before Jim died. On the hike in, it occurred to me that the route was the perfect metaphor for the journey that Jim was on – passing from this life to the next, up through The Yellow Door and into the Sea of Joy.

    Three days after Jim died, I hiked up to Seal Rock again, this time with Lynn Hill who had graciously agreed to change her plans and support the final ascent. It was a beautiful day in Boulder, one of thousands… “thank you Lord, one more time.”


    Quickdraws (plus #0.5 Camalot and #1 Camalot if climbing P1).

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