Back to the Desert
The last post was October 10th? It’s October 30th? I know dudes in the Arctic Ocean who post more regularly. Is this okay? Let’s ask Will Smith:
So real quick-like with the ketchup…
Since we finished the last video, I spent much time running back and forth to Home Depot and similar stores, picking up building supplies and batteries and solar panels and all kinds of other goodies to get us ready for life in a trailer (again). A video tour of our little trailer setup will be up shortly. Combine a large amount of work with a limited amount of experience, and you have a big pot of this-project-took-way-longer-than-I-thought stew.
We finally left Brad’s house on Wednesday (October 17) and camped in the mountains near the sport crag known as The Monastery. The next morning we met Kyle and Reiko at Bear Lake for one last run up to Emerald Lake to try our projects. The day was clear and sunny, but the wind was so strong that staying warm was impossible and we retreated after taking a couple of burns on Whispers of Wisdom and The Kind. Sadly, no sends, but I did reach a highpoint on Whispers.
We spent the next two nights in Denver, parked outside of Rachel and Jered’s, tying up some last loose ends, fixing the bookshelf that I’d under-built, and seeing Vikki’s sister. On Saturday morning we gassed up one last time at King Sooper’s and on Saturday night we were sleeping in Joe’s Valley near Orangeville, Utah. It took us about 8 hours to drive up the eastern slope of I-70, through Idaho Springs and Dillon and Vail, down the eastern slope through Grand Junction, and into the Utah desert. Here’s what it looked like:
Utah, as you know, is Mormon country. Generally speaking, things are closed on Sundays. We went climbing instead.
You’ve read it before on our blog, and you’ve probably experienced it yourself. The first day in a new mega-area is always filled with excitement, anticipation, and curiosity. My mind reeled from looking at dozens of classics, most of them right off the road. Our fingers flitted with delight at the texture of the sandstone. This is gonna be a good month.
Part of the reason we haven’t updated before now is that we’re still getting used to living in the trailer. We’ve nailed down the Joe’s beta, which we’ll detail in a later post, but then this weekend came and with is several dozen climbers. Adam Healy joined us on Wednesday (the 24th) with several members of Team Asana in tow. We met Beau Stuart and Scott Hall, a couple of Idaho boys who climb hard and lots. Along with Beau, Nina Williams, Ryan Guerra, and Matt Fultz rounded out Team Asana’s presence, and many other climbers were part of our extended group as well.
Thursday was a very cold and snowy day. We tried all we could but when Battletoads started dripping, we headed back to camp and had a huge fire. Friday was mega-send day. Nina did Hooters and nearly repeated Incredible Hulk, both stout V9. Beau Kahler impressively fired off repeats of the above, as well as Team Effort, Bunny Crushers, and nearly repeated Fiery Furnace, a cool V10 with a dyno at the end. Beau Stuart crushed nearly everything, and went back Saturday to finish off Furnace. For our part, Vikki sent The Crescent, a nice V3/4 that Scott Hall showed us. I managed to do Bunny Crushers pretty quickly, though as a V9 dyno it more or less suits me perfectly. I also did Team Effort, a very fun climb. The rest of the problems in the above list are now officially projects.
Michael O’Rourke was also there, though not climbing as strong as usual. He still managed to put good work into Black Lung, the notorious V13 on the Resident Evil boulder.
Other highlights, climbing-wise, include several V7 flashes for me. I think this grade suits me well here. It seems to be the grade given to reachy problems that still have good holds. I guess that above V8 or so you can’t really complain about reachiness…it’s supposed to be hard! Otherwise, we’ve toured around a fair amount and have shopped for projects. So far I think that Ghost King, Beyond Life, Resident Evil, and Trent’s Mom are my big goals.
Vikki’s done pretty well for herself, given that her back is still messed up and that we spent most of the Asana weekend going to hard hard things. She’s very close on many classic climbs, even surprisingly close to a slopey V7 called Spam. She also nearly flashed Gatorade V5, but couldn’t get back to her high point. She’ll crush that eventually. I hope that she manages to do Wills a Fire, which is the second best V6 I’ve ever done (Fort Rossta in California is my all-time fave).
Anyway, more to come soon…Vikki’s working on Thursday and Friday, so we’ll have plenty of writing time!
COME VISIT US IN JOE’S!!!