Saturday, July 26, 2014

Drowning in a Sea of Granite.

My annual Yosemite trip is complete, my fingers are trashed, my body is weak, and my pride has been humbled. I think I spent too much time in the desert to be properly prepared for the idiosyncrasies of granite climbing, but we all got problems...

We left for our trip on Sunday morning. Post Speedgoat 50k shenanigans almost left me in the hospital due to dehydration but a rally on Saturday night had us ready to go by Sunday. We camped outside the park that night and entered on Monday with warm weather and roaring waterfalls (an anomaly this time of year).

A nice summer storm turned on all the faucets.

Monday we spent introducing Mark to the park. Here he is leading up Jamcrack (5.9), one of my personal favorites as far as access and aesthetics go. 

Since the falls were running  we went over and went up Super Hands (5.8).

Me leading

More of the same

Dancing in a sea of granite.

Mark gives it a go as the tourons look on.

Chesy climbing

Mark pulling through on Conductor Crack (5.10d)

Sewing up Chruch Bowl Tree (5.10a/b)

Mark heads up the 1st pitch of Center Pillar of Frenzy...we both thought this was a serious 5.9.

El Cap from the base of Middle Cathedral

Mark cruising up the first pitch of After Seven (5.8). We rapped from the tree at the top of the 1st pitch and went over and played around on Nutcracker. 

Chesy on the alt start to Nutcracker (5.9) the only pitch we did. This was my lead I lost my footing several times at the crux, luckily a nice ledge arrested my fall every time.

Looking up at the 3rd pitch and 3rd roof of Commitment (5.9).

Mark pulling through...I thought the second roof (at the end of the 2nd pitch) was way scarier, less protection/ more ledges to hit. 

Essential Half Dome pic

Essential Travis and Chesy pic

Mark leading Grant's Crack (5.9)

Me leading Stone Groove (5.10b)

One more of the same

Chesy coming up Lunatic Fringe (5.10c)

Pulling through on great fingers.

One more of the sequence.

Mark follows my trail of blood on Moby Dick (5.10a)

Chesy does the same

Two idiots rounding out the trip on Pine Line (5.7)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Poison Spider to Golden Spike

 Last week I reignited my blinding obsession with the desert. So this Tues. Todd (Curza lawyer) convinced me we should go down south over the weekend for a relatively long run. A simple internet search through the irunfar database led me to the Poison Spider Jeep Trail. I was vaguely amused, compounded with a 60% chance of thunderstorms I really had no desire to stray too far from the Wasatch. But Todd was persistent and he’d never been to Moab nor any of the southern deserts and got me to accompany him.

As it happens too often my trepidation was completely unwarranted. We started off at the Poison Spider Jeep Trailhead, temperatures were perfect with a light rain falling, right alongside the canyons of the Colorado and the Colorado itself, we climbed 800 vert and then were on glorious slickrock for roughly 10-15 miles, which we took to further to the Golden Spike trail to round out our round trip distance at about 20 miles.

Most of the trail we had largely to ourselves, and when encountered the 4x4's and modern dune buggies provided both entertainment and motivation, as most of the passengers were constantly cheering us on as we passed. On that note if you're in any shape whatsoever I strongly suggest doing this as a run as online somewhere it says traveling by 4x4 takes roughly 10 hrs we were done in a leisurely 4. 

 Todd starting out

Sandy running through various oasis' 


The Corona Arch off in the distance (dead center of the's hard to see) (those are railroad tracks far below)

 Small canyon exploration


Jeeps negotiating some pretty hairy terrain


Monday, May 19, 2014

Another Fun Filled Desert Weekend

After several phenomenal weekends of skiing and more or less a great spring skiing cycle in general...I've had a lingering desire to head back to Indian Creek before the shade searching days of summer set in. This coupled with the fact that several of my friends were posting amazing photos of the southern deserts forced me to reiterate the idea of a climbing trip to Chesy and Mark. We left Saturday morning in light of a cancelled Grandeur Peak Fun Run and found exactly what we came to the desert for; torn skin, blood, sore forearms, and shoulder rashes that you can't quite tell if they're from a dihedral or a sun burn. 

Desert flowers 

Nak would just about lose it every time one of these guys would dart across the trail.

Now for some climbing photos: We arrived in the early afternoon on Saturday and decided to start at Supercrack given the lack of cars we saw in the parking lot.

Chesy on the 5.11 portion of Incredible Hand Crack...I can't imagine doing that roof as a fist crack (hence 5.11 for her) but she crushed it! 

Mark leading up 3 a.m. crack 

Nak being lazy 


Me leading Scarface

More of the same

Nak giving a real attentive belay 

Mark finishing up Scarface 

 Chesy giving it a go
Wavy Gravy 

Nak was much more interested in the local animal habitat than anyone climbing 

Roof spanking

Tips spanking 

Spanked...The End