Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanksgiving Mess

Well, despite out better judgment Joe & I ignored the blizzard warnings that were blaring all over the news and took the only route that was open and headed south for Thanksgiving. We took off Tuesday night and were greeted by snowy icy roads, ditched trucks and white-out blowing snow. No big deal, we persevered until we reached La Grande, OR where they had the road shut down to clear an accident. Against our will we spent the night in the CRV in the cold. Everything was good to go the next morning and all of the closures along I-84 had been lifted.

Nothing incredibly interesting happened for hours on end (minus cold snowy icky roads and people driving like fools)

Finally after much trial and tribulation we arrived in Leeds, UT, home of Red Cliffs Recreation Area. (Pretty much the coolest campground ever.)

We still hadn't completely escaped the chill, but we slept really well in the 20's instead of whatever the temps were up north in La Grande.

I'm always excited to wake up at Red Cliffs, it's gorgeous!

A little bit of scrambling and bouldering before breakfast.

Trip mascot, The Pirate Duck! Arrrrgggg!
Silver Reef Overlook

So we played around at St. George for a bit but decided it was a little bit cooler than we wanted to climb in so we headed down toward Vegas! Since it was Thanksgiving we arrived and set up camp then ate some stuffing and chicken and decided to go check out the strip since we didn't have enough daylight left to climb anything.

This was the only thing I cared about seeing on the strip, it's a Chuhuly piece that is inside of the Belagio.
Finally, on to some rocks!
First stop, the Panty Wall, we opted for some easy lead to warm up for the day...unfortunately so did EVERYONE else, we were the 2nd duo to the wall and it was all downhill from there. We all got our turn to climb but not without stepping on some toes and upsetting some other people who weren't great at sharing.

Eventually the company became too much to bear so we took off to catch some lunch (yay for leftover stuffing and rotisserie chicken) and stopped at the Sandstone Quarry to play around on the only boulder they had there. It may have been the only boulder but it was big and pretty fun to play on.
Once the daylight had left us we ran down to Calico Basin to get a few more problems in before it was too cold to feel our fingers, the boulders were busy and we met people from all over, Tuscon, the Carolinas, Montana, Colorado, etc. We shared our crash pad with a couple of awesome people who had come down from Indian Creek because the weather sucked.
Nancy trying to get reacquainted with top-outs, me up on a rock taking photos so I could huddle into the fetal position to stay warm under the guise of taking shots for posterity.

We climbed to our hearts content and then realized that our campsite at Red Rock had long since been pirated so we took off to the Luxor to meet some friends who were down to celebrate a birthday, after a little bit of pleading and begging and submitting to a makeover (sorry those pics aren't on here, haha!) we got a free night in the room with them. It was so nice to sleep in a bed and take a shower before heading back north the next morning.

We did have to make one major pit stop along the way though, on the way down we had stopped at Meadow, UT to search for a hotspring that was in the middle of no where in the dark in the cold. After a bit of hiking in -9 degree weather we located said hotspring and opted to go with our judgment and not get in, but on the way home it was 20 degrees out and sunny so it was ON!

At this point Joe and I swapped seats and I took over behind the wheel. I drove from Meadow, UT to Deer Lodge, MT. It took about 11 hours with stops for gas and to preserve sanity. Almost immediately after swapping back to having Joe drive this is what we drove into...
We made it home early on Sunday, nerves fried, both of us sick from sleeping in the cold and decided that if we got through that we can survive any road trip that gets thrown at us.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Last Leavenworth Trip of 2010

The leaves have changed and mostly fallen to the ground and there is a bite in the air, it's time to send those projects before the snow flies! The granite isn't going to get any more grippy!
This time we slept in style, we rented a 'cabin' (read as: very nice house) in Plain, WA with a loft and a hot tub and we spent the weekend enjoying warm showers and hot meals.

I failed at putting things in chronological order but I doubt any of you would notice. Here's the action from Mad Meadows:

And a little fun around the Straightaway Boulders (Once we finally found them!) This little V3 down the hill from WAS is super photogenic but I had wayyyyyy too many people milling about to get the look I was going for. I do plan on going back next year though for a late night shoot.

IS on WAS (I think?)

Backdoor Ass Attack (v5) at Lower Forestland.

Mad Meadows - V5 next to Drug Store Cowboy, the name escapes me but congrats to Jake on smashing it!
Josh on Sword Fish (v2)
And a little taste of fall that is probably already long gone.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Excuses Excuses....

Well, it's happened again. Spring and Summer have come and gone and you've hopefully all been playing outside so you didn't notice my lack of blog updates...I feel like I owe you a few blogs so we'll start back with a trip to Leavenworth in April. There was actually snow all over our campsite still, but the weather was good despite a the weather forecaster's threatening rain.

Day #1 we headed out to Carnival first:

Ian warming up at carnival boulders

Ian's brother Gabe was a natural

Molly took her turn and did great for the first time out of the year as well.

Joe gave the Rib (v4) a go and got shut down, but at least there is something to go back to

As usual the Rib also kicked my ass. I am so close I can taste it but it's still eluding me

Ian giving it a go as well. I believe he finally got it.

Pad People! (Headed up to Mad Meadows)

Sarah on Pockets (v4)

Joe grabbing the finish hold only to suffer a weekend-ending cut on his hand.

Ian fighting No Pain No Grain (v5)

Matt getting on his old nemesis...he finally sent it and insists that he's never going ot do it again.

Obligatory hand photo at No Pain.

Jake (I have a definite b/w theme going here)

Stephen in Swiftwater Cave

Jake FINALLY smashing Bubbles (v0-)

Kale getting the onsight

Joe at Barney's Rubble

And I shall end on this shot...this is what happens when one (namely me) lies out on the LZ pad while the boys restlessly mill about waiting for me to get the send so we can go get chicken nuggets and head homeward bound. Needless to say the v4 I was working on didn't go and eventually after much screaming and wiggling I was released.