Tuesday, May 3, 2011

First Climbing Trip of 2011

I haven't been climbing in months, not even in the gym, so when Jennilyn asked me to meet her in St. George for some climbing down south I excitedly accepted her last minute invitation. He husband was climbing a big wall in Zion we we'd spend the weekend at the Woodbury Road Crags and then hike around the Mineral Mountains on Sunday before she met up with him again in Beaver and we all headed home. I love climbing with her. She can somehow push me to do things I think I can't. She's the first one who got me to lead anything in the gym or outside (the first time I met her even) and this trip was the same. I was thinking I'd just top rope both days but she had me leading the second route I climbed. I'd never lead sport routes before, just trad and I was happy to see that it's a lot easier than what I was used to. I was leading 5.9's and even a 5.10 on day two. Jennilyn getting ready to rap down our last route on Kelly's Wall
The Black and Tan Wall
Jennilyn on one of our warmups at the Black and Tan Wall. I later got a nasty rope whip across the neck pulling the rope off this route...
My favorite climb and my last on the trip. A fun 5.8 up this skinny rib then up a little further with some good exposure at the top. Even Indy climbed with us. He made it about 3 clips up this 5.7 route without a problem. He's about 5 and he keeps it up he's going to be pretty awesome when he's older.
Which leads me to some of the other aspects of the weekend trip besides just the climbing...
If you want to climb with Jennilyn, you should expect to have her two boys along for the ride. The good thing is that they've been going on climbing trips since they were born, even living out of the car for a few months, so they are pretty good at hanging out on cliffs and entertaining themselves. Sometimes is coloring or toys, sometimes it's a movie, and sometimes it's just snacks (except the time the dog stole their suckers and buried them) I love their little race car tracks. Here they had to build a road block so the cars didn't shoot off the cliff. But injuries do happen still. Fisher took a bad fall on a steep part of the trail and insisted he get a bandaid on the gash over his front lip. He was so cute with it on.
She was a new addition to climbing with Jennilyn, but I have to admit I kind of liked her.
Just setting the huge 6 man tent up was an adventure in the strong winds. We almost lost the fly, and we had to open all the doors and fill the tent with huge rocks and the cooler (which even blew over once filling the tent with milk) before it would stay in place. Somehow we managed to get it done and we had ourselves a great campsite. Then in the middle of the night it finally gave into the wind and Jennilyn and I had to sleep most the night with a cross bar pressing into our legs so it would stay off the boys. This was our tent the next day...
The Desert was in BLOOM!
There's so many different kinds of flowers out in the dessert in the spring. Sometimes they're spread out pretty well (except the yellow ones), but I kept running into new ones everyday and I didn't even get a picture of most of them. They were a nice distraction when we weren't climbing.
(I had to take this picture while driving since it was 30 miles to town mostly on a dirt road and my low fuel light was on so I couldn't stop and waste my momentum)
The MINERAL MOUNTAINS (and happy May Day)
On Sunday after our guest appearance at church looking like homeless people we headed out to the Mineral Mountains to check out what climbing would be like there. First we tried the short direct dirt road but were stopped halfway by some rushing spring runoff. Deeper than it looked, we turned back and took the long way there.
The Mineral Mountains were so cool. There is so much cool rock there in really neat formations and almost no established climbing. We left the boys by this cactus and then explored a little. Unfortunately we couldn't stay long but hopefully I'll be back someday.
It was cold up there but we all still have fun jumping over the full washes full of melting spring snow.
I stopped at Brianhead on my way home and hiked around in the snow and up in Parowan Canyon where I accidentally but happily hiked up to a hlaf frozen waterfall. It turns out this is the last of three falls out of a small canyon that you can rap down in the summer or ice climb up in the winter. Maybe I'll be back here too.