Wednesday, November 18, 2009

11_05 to 11_11 Dave and Kenny in J-Tree

My friend Kenny and I had planned a trip to Josh a few months ago. We haven’t had a chance to really climb together since the late 80’s, so it was bound to be a really fun trip!

I flew into LAX on the evening of Nov 5 and Kenny picked me up in his pop up camper. We bolted straight for Joshua Tree National Park for 5 days of climbing. The first step was to escape the endless traffic and urban sprawl of the LA basin…

Once that was accomplished we arrived in the high desert region and then it was just a bit further to Joshua Tree. A quick stop in Yucca Valley for supplies and we were in Josh by 9pm or so. The campgrounds were pretty full, so we ended up snagging a site at Jumbo Rocks.

On day one we awoke to near perfect Josh weather and headed out to Hidden Valley for a tour de classics. After 7 really fun routes, we enjoyed a cold brew and the great views from the space station – another great day at Josh!! Kenny brought his pop up camper, so we “camped” in style – we even had freshly caught lobster tails for dinner (courtesy of Kenny the lobster catcher).

We also spent two days climbing out in the Wonderland, one of which required a long 2.5 hour thrashy hike to get to some supposedly great routes that turned out to be very lightly traveled and quite grainy…

Oh well, we got a lot of “fun” hiking in that day! Another day we climbed at the Hall of Horrors and the Oyster bar for some new routes. We also climbed with a couple of Kenny’s friends from Michigan as well as Peggy who came out from the coast. A good time was had by all!

The last day we climbed a few great routes over at the IRS wall before packing up, grabbing a shower and enjoying the relatively light traffic back to LAX… Back in Boulder late that evening, winter was rolling in again – it’s gonna be a long one this year me thinks!

Free Blog Counter

10_30 to 11_01_09 Dave and Indian Creek Sushifest

Dave here…

It was Thursday morning, Oct 29 and it was dumping snow in Boulder, about 20” so far. I checked the weather report one last time and took a look at the I-70 road cameras – it looked like the brunt of the storm was in the front range. So, with Callie out of town and the possibility of late fall climbing trips quickly fading, I packed up my Mazda with all the essentials for a 3 day trip to the desert to meet up with the Sushifest gang, do some climbing and chow down on some sushi.

After about 70 miles of somewhat treacherous driving to get over the divide, weather conditions improved, but it was still quite cold with snow squalls here and there. The landscape was really beautiful between the freshly fallen snow and the late day lighting.

I pulled into Indian Creek canyon just before dark and threw down my winter sleeping bag in a quiet side canyon. I watched the skies for a bit, then crawled in for a long cold night under the stars. Early morning conditions were less than inspiring as even the water bottles inside the car were frozen… I made some breakfast and read a book while I waited hopefully for the sushifest gang from AZ etc. to show up at the Cat Wall for some climbing.

About 11:30am the gang showed up and we headed up to the cliffs, an optimistic venture I might say, given the temps. However, once we broke out the ropes and the gear, the sun came out as well! The rest of the day was quite nice in the sun and we climbed a bunch of fun routes. Once we were all tired out and the sunlight was fading, we headed over to the sushifest site on some private land just outside of Monticello. It was fun to see everyone and the campfire was most welcome. After that, it was another COLD night out…

We returned to the Cat Wall on the second day and many fine routes were climbed by the gang. It was good fun and again, the temps on the sunny walls were just right for climbing. As the sun began to set, we packed up and headed back to the sushifest site where a fine fresh fish feast was awaiting…

Sushi fans enjoyed the great food and endured the very cold temps. Again, a large campfire was quite welcome! The next morning the crew was moving a little slow, but the temps were warmer. Everyone packed up to go their separate ways and another successful sushifest was now history.

I went for a hike with Roy, Malcolm and Phil outside of Moab for a couple of hours before heading home to Boulder. Another fine weekend adventure!

Free Blog Counter

Saturday, November 7, 2009

11_10_09 Back from Philly with an unusual souvenir!

I returned from the American Society of Criminologists conference in Philadelphia late last night. Such a great time seeing everyone, attending excellent sessions and launching new research projects for the upcoming years.

As is usual, I took my camera, but failed to take a single photo. I guess I could take one of me now, but trust me - You don't want to see my image now. My nifty souvenir from the trip is deep lung congestion, coughing and a fever. Blargh.

Lucky me. I'm only hours into feeling terrible and I'm so over it. Gack.

Free Blog Counter