Sunday, April 3, 2011

Zion- Touchstone Wall

Mark and I drove into Zion from Vegas and made it there in the afternoon. We decided we had time to fix one pitch then go set up camp. The next day was quite cold so it took us a while to get going, started jugging the first pitch around 7:30AM. Mark led the aid crux pitch # 2, after following on the jumars I was felling a little tired, probably from being cold hanging at the belay. After leading pitch 3 I started to feel much better. Mark led the long 4th pitch then I took over and free climbing the reaming 5 pitches to the top. I found the climbing very enjoyable although a little loose or sandy in spots. Climbing in Zion is always an adventure and we topped out a little after 5:00PM and the long decent brought us to the ground around 7:15. I would deffinitly go back and do this one again as it is just plain fun!
The approach a Short 5 minutes from the road
We found this at the base, who wants to claim it.
Mark cleaning pitch 1
Mark leading Pitch 2
Mark cleaning pitch 3

Pitch 5
Pitch 6
Pitch 7
Back at Camp

Black Orpheus and Bird Land

Mark and I drove into Red Rocks from St. George and decided to climb Black Orpheus a 1300' 5.10 route  that would be mostly in the sun. I did most of the leading as Mark has had a 5 year layoff from free climbing. We got stuck behind another party on the upper pitches and had to wait a little bit. When we topped out the winds were blowing near 50mph and would knock you over if you were not bracing yourself. We made it back to the car as the sun was setting. The next day was beutiful and as we were little tired and still wanted to do some climbing we decided to do the classic 5.7 5 pitch climb called Birdland. As anticipated it was crowded but we took our time and enjoyed the nice warm day climbing in the sun.
Mark already gripped on the 4th class approach

Mark fighting the wind on the Summit of Black Orpheus
Another Day at the Office

Our Junk Show

Mark on the Last Pitch of Birdland

Fear Loathing and Bad Weather in Zion & Vegas

Rainbow and Red Rocks
Kathy and I made the trip from Moab to Zion National Park to discover that it was raining and snowing and the forecast did not look good for the next few days. The decided to continue westward to Vegas where we would be meet up with Heather and Kathy T. Kathy and I got in a half day of sport climbing at the gallery, it was quite the scene with all the sportos, Kathy was my rope gun for the day. The campground was full of spring breakers so the 4 of piled into one of the smallest motel rooms if have ever stayed. It was quite the scene with all the climbing gear and limited floor space.  The four of us headed to Black Velvet Canyon on the first day, Kathy and I began on Triasic Sands and then followed behind Heather and Kathy T. on Dream of Wild Turkeys for a couple of pitches, cold weather forced us to retreat back to the car. The next day the girls did some aid practice, I took a rest day. The following day Kathy and I were going to do Eagle Dance a long route on Eagle wall, however we were thwarted by more rain. Kathy needed to be back in seattle by Monday so we decided to drive back to Zion that day to pick up her dog and so she could get started on the drive. I sat in the tent in the rain til Mark arrived the next day. We deceided to go back to Vegas for a few days then come back and do a big wall in Zion once the weather improved.

Indian Creek Part One

Made it to Indian Creek after a long winter layoff from climbing. I met up with a crew of texas climbers and had a great week climbing with them. Dima gets photos credit for most of the photos below. Kathy made it out from Seattle and we got some good days in together and my friend Mark joined us on our last day before Kathy and I left for Zion National Park.
Running it out on Icredible Hand Crack 5.10
Stonemaster Legend Barry Bates Giving me a Belay
Another Redpoint of Coyne Crack 5.11+
More Coyne
Breakfast at Indian Creek
Indian Creek Night Life
Morning Coffee
Me Leading Pigs on the Wing 5.11 @ "the Wall", Kathy belaying notice the penalty slack she is giving me, lol!
Getting Psyched for the next climb

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Indian Creek Fall 2010

Wow, another great time climbing at Indian Creek this Fall. This place is so magical for me, the climbing and beauty of the desert is so inspiring and hanging in the desert with good friends is what makes this place even more special.  It always great to visit beautiful places and climb amazing routes but more importantly is who you share these experiences with, thanks to all who made this another great Indian Creek trip. Only negative is I did not take enough pictures.

Me redpointing Swedin Ringle 5.12
Will fighting the pump on Quarter of a Man 5.11++
Chris on Disco Machine Gun 5.12


Sister Superior is the tower on the right

After arriving in Indian Creek, Utah at the end of October and climbing for about a week, Will and I decided to climb JAH MAN (4 pitches, 5.10) on Sister Superior Tower in Castle Valley. The hike in was casual althought we parked my truck not to far up the road because you needed some serious clearance to make it very far. The climb was a lot fun and a cool summit.

Entering the Sister Squeeze


Will and I bailed out of the Valley to escape the rain and plan to head east to Indian Creek, Utah, along the way we would stop in Red Rocks, Nevada. We decided to climb the long classic moderate called  Epinephrine (2000' 17 pitches 5.9). I had wanted to do this route for the last year or so but it was always to cold in Black Velvet Canyon to get on it. When we woke up the wind was really blowing and the sky was dark and looked like it could rain and any moment. We drove over to the canyon and begun the approach, half thinking that we would be bailing due to the weather, but I always like the saying "you never know til you go". We made it to the base with a couple of drops falling, but decided that we should go up as we could always rappel the route if the weather got bad. Will led the odds and me the evens. At the top of pitch 3 another team showed up and began to simul the route, they asked if the could pass, we agreed assuming the would be faster than us. The pass was made at the start of the main chimneys. I let the leader go by and after waiting for a while for their second to arrive I began climbing, turns out the second was really slow. Turns out we ended up riding these guys all the way to the top, they felt like total jerks for slowing us down, as we were actually a faster team than them and we were pitching it out and not simul climbing. The route itself was  a lot of fun with excellent chimney pitches, cracks with face features and some fun face climbing on in cut holds. We ended up climbing the route in a little over 5 hours and had lunch on the summit and were back to the car in the early afternoon and had the rest of the day to sit around at camp and relax. Always fun to cover so much ground quickly,and turns out the weather was great all day. Next up, INDIAN CREEK!
Me enjoying one of the Chimneys
Will Squeezing
High on the Route
Topping Out