Garden of the Gods is a public park located in Colorado Springs, CO. This brilliantly random red rock formation was first called Red Rock Corral by Europeans. Native American people are believed to have been attracted to wildlife and plant life in the area and used overhangs created by the rocks for shelter. Many native peoples have reported a connection to Garden of the Gods, including Apache, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, Lakota, Pawnee, Shoshone, and Ute people. For those of you that have spent time there, it's easy to understand why these native tribes felt drawn to such an incredible place.
I had the privilege of climbing these beautiful, red rocks. Most notably, I completed a fun climb of Montezuma Tower, located in the middle of Garden of the Gods. This narrow, red sandstone tower looks like the dorsal fin of a fish. Montezuma Tower is a class 5 climb, meaning you use all four limbs to climb plus a rope for protection (2 arms + 2 legs + 1 rope = Class 5). The number 5 is then followed by a sub-category to describe the difficulty. This particular climb is rated at 5.7, which is considered intermediate.
At the top of Montezuma Tower, there's a fun little perch to sit and take in incredible views of the entire park, with Pikes Peak located in the western horizon. The climb is not particularly difficult, however, most of the park visitors are tourists sticking to the paved walking trails. As we enjoyed this climbing adventure, we had several crowds gathering to watch as we made our way to the top. Quite a funny feeling for an Indiana boy who feels much like a tourist, as well.