Monday, February 2, 2009

Southern Utah

It's been a while since I last updated.  I've been crazy busy trying to find a job, a place to live, keeping up with school, and climbing.  It seems that the bad weather that lingered over the Southeast decided to follow us out west. I had always heard about how dry and perfect Utah was, but when we arrived the rain did too. We were camped at Black and Tan for a few days before we decided to jet up to SLC. Since there seems to be no job opportunities or living arrangements available around St. George, Hayley and I have decided to post up in SLC.  We have been crashing with our friends Clay and Rosie for the past week or so.  It has been a major struggle finding a decent place in Salt Lake that allowed dogs.

Clay babying Rocco

Luckily, Clay hooked us up with one of his buddies whom we are renting a room from.  I also got a membership to The Front.  I haven't had the convienience of a gym since I lived in Illinois but I think that having a gym is a great way to stay well rounded.   When I lived at the red there wasn't really anyway to stay bouldering strong. I didn't really realize how much power I had lost until I started bouldering again a few months ago. Being able to both boulder and climb routes is key and I'm psyched to have a way to do both.    So basically we are finally settling down a bit. The past month has been a complete blur and Hayley and I are beyond psyched to have a place to chill out at.  

The New Abode

The weather has turned for the better and we finally made it out to do some climbing.  I left Salt Lake early Thursday morning (like 6 a.m. early) to make the drive down to the VRG.  Hayley crashed in the back while I drove...she's an AWESOME roadtrip partner.  Clay had been telling me about how awesome the VRG was the whole week.  I was not only psyched to check out a new area but to also experience a new type of rock.  I had never climbed on limestone before this weekend and I gotta say that I am psyched.  The shapes and features that you get with limestone are completely different than anything I've ever seen.  It makes for some awesome variety as well as some awesome routes.  Very cool!  I hadn't climbed routes since November so I knew that it was going to be a rough couple of days.  After warming up I jumped on a route called Don't Call Me Dude 5.13c.  All I'm going to say is wow...This style of climbing takes some getting used to after living at the Red for 8 months.  The VRG is technical, long, and HARD!  After my first go I felt wrecked.  I was pumped as all hell and felt like I sucked.  My second go felt much better.  My foot blew off a foothold low and then I proceeded to fall off the slab because I was too pumped to hold on!  I have NO endurance right now.  PURE FAILURE!   It was awesome.

Loadin' Up on Chalk

Saturday was supposed to be a rest day.  We woke up early and after a lazy morning at a local coffee shop a few of us went to explore the boulders at Moe's Valley.

Camping at Moe's Valley

Clay was super psyched to find a problem called Gription V9.  I was thoroughly worked at this point but decided to bring my pad and shoes at the last minute.  We eventually found the problem and I was psyched that I didn't leave my shoes.  This problem is one of the coolest climbs I've ever been on.  It climbs triangular slopers out a black face with the crux revolving around a killer swing.  I eventually figured out how to hold the swing long enough to kick my foot on and top out.  I worked my way back to one of the main areas where I had seen a problem called Linder's Roof V10 early that day.  The climb is a straight up crimp problem and I thought that I had a shot at flashing it.  I made my way out the steep face and threw for the finishing jug, hitting low.  I stalled on the nothing-hold and tried to bump into the jug, only to have my feet dab the ground.  So close! I ended up doing it after a couple more tries.  

Linder's Roof V10

The next day I decided to man up and climb, even though I was destroyed.  After warming up I made my way over to a problem called Show of Hands V11. I was so wrecked from the previous three days that I honestly didn't think that I had a chance. But after figuring out the beta, I managed to inch my way to the top in a few tries. 

Show of Hands V11

Right now I am back in SLC resting.  I'll most likely end up climbing at the gym tomorrow, and resting again the next day, before I head down to Southern Utah again in a few days.  There is so much that I want to do out here and it seems like I have so little time.  I can't wait until areas around Salt Lake are good...Little Cottonwood, American Fork, Maple, Joe's...its gonna be sick!

Some shots of Hayley killin it:

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