Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Saint George - Sport Paradise

After leaving wet rainy Moab we took our overheating over weighted unhappy car and ventured on down I-70 toward Price. We had little hope by this point of actually getting to stop at Joe's Valley and Triassic because the weather had been forecasting snow. Once we reached our turn off we made the unanimous decision to continue on the road in search of warmer climates. We hadn't driven 16 hours to freeze our fingers off, we could do that at home.

We continued on down I-70 past a sign that said "Next services 130 miles" We had a half of a tank and should have been fine. Unfortunately the sign did not say, "130 miles of windy mountain passes covered in ice and snow." If it had said that we may have topped off the tank and may not have run out of gas 5 miles from the nearest gas station. We nearly made it when we came chugging to a stop. Thank god for AAA. Also thank god for my car's mysterious magnetic properties. Matt left his phone on the hood and it was still there after 5 miles at 75mph.

Having a drink, waiting for AAA:

After that little fauz pas we were a bit more careful about watching the gas gauge. We continued on the road to I-15 South where we made the democratic decision to skip past Cedar City's bouldering because the ground was still covered in white. Onward we went to Saint George.

We rolled into town at about 3:30am and went in search of camping. After very little luck we pulled into Denny's and after a minor misunderstanding in which the staff thought Joe was homeless we got directions to Red Cliffs Campground in Leeds, UT. It was gorgeous!

I woke up before the boys and had a chat with the camp host who coincidentally was from North Idaho. She sent me off in search of a waterfall.

I suppose this might be what constitutes a waterfall in the Utah desert:

And let's get artsy one more time here:

We adventured up the slot canyon for a while just checking everything out, there were lots of cool features and fun little scrambles. It must be a popular hike because on the way out we passed a TON of people. I guess we got there just early enough to have it to ourselves.

After adventuring up the slot canyons around our campsite we headed out to The Chuckwalla Wall for some sport climbing. There aren't nearly as many pictures as one might expect because we were just having so much fun climbing that we didn't stop and shoot.

Matt warming up on a high 10.

Joe on "As the Crow Flies" 11b. This was one of my favorite climbs this trip. I wish I would have lead it!

Back at camp we bought some real beer, steaks, mushrooms and green beans and settled down to stuff ourselves. We started a small fire to cook our steaks and joe found an unamused guest in out wood pile. Matt named him Snuggles.

After a night of stiff drinks, a pillow fight and some pissed off neighbors we got up and headed for The Prophesy Wall.
None of us really liked the rock here. It was okay but it was just this weird varnished sandstone with lots of crimps and really sharp features. After a small fiasco in which we named outselves "Team Clusterfuck" we wandered down the wall and go onto a reallllly long 5.9. When Matt lead it on the 60m rope he took up about 15 feet past the midpoint and definitely made us a little nervous. Thankfully once he was up and clipped and the slack was pulled out everything worked out just fine.

The view from the base of the 5.9:

And it's never a trip until the Subaru gets stuck. I am just thankful that she is light and the jack is always easily accessible. It only took about 5 minutes to get out of this jam so we definitely couldn't complain.
After the liberation we went to Starbucks and then decided it was time to get the car checked. $150 and 7 hours later we had a new thermostat and were finally on the road to Vegas.

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