Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ahhhh Spring!

While the grill's warming and Lindsay's sinking into a deep glass of Pinot, thought I'd write to catch all four of you (that's how many people we think check this little bloggity blog) up on what's been going down on our recent trips to St. George.  The last trip was a six day tour, we hauled "Gwendolyn The Ivory Palace" (that's the name of the Scamp) down with us and set up shop in Moe's Valley.  For the most part the trip was a success, not a ton of sending going on but we each made some significant progress on new projects and saw some new climbing which is always exciting.  We split our time between the VRG and the Hurricave.  To be fair neither would be ranked in Americas top ten climbing destinations but we enjoyed the hell out of each area.  We've been forcing ourselves to climb in the VRG despite the less than desirable interstate not 200 yards below.  The setting is truly horrid but I challenge anyone to show me more bullet stone anywhere in the world.  Once you focus your mind on the moves at hand, forget the traffic, and really dig into the moment, it's some of the best climbing you'll ever do.

Unfortunately, the El Nino pattern leaves the mountains dry and desert wet.  I know the last two words are as much of an oxymoron as anything and I wish it weren't true; alas and alack, much of the St. George area is under the seemingly constant barrage of spring precipitation.  As a direct result, the porous nature of the sandstone and even the limestone holds the moisture in for days after the storms have passed.  The VRG is no exception to this rule.  I like to think that we would have single handedly destroyed that crag, sending every route that got in our path... luckily I can "think" this because we were both spat off our routes in places we shouldn't have been due to wet holds.  I fell within a couple of feet of the anchors on my route and Lindsay slipped (almost violently) out of the jug rest on her route.  Shit.

Luckily, the Hurricave isn't far away and it stays dry when all else is wet.  Crazy steep and chock full of hard routes, the couple of days spent there left us feeling worked and a little beat down... both good things.  I was able to squeak out a last ditch, hail mary ascent of a really fun .13a called Cliff Dweller.  Lindsay came heart breakingly close also, the fatigue of previous days and an abundance of bees thwarted her final attempt.  Damn.  Though the rock in the Hurricave is total choss garbage, the style of climbing it offers can't really be found many other places in the states.  Very steep, big feature climbing seems to be the name of the game there, with some tufa's and small edges thrown in for good measure.  While not a destination crag, it certainly serves it purpose and we were damn glad to have it as an option.

So we left draws on projects and with a sunnier forecast we head back down on Thursday to conquer the freeway, the bees, the rain and our routes.  Until the next update enjoy the pics!



Mom said...

Nice pictures - - again enjoyed your writing - - someday you should write a book! Although the words "almost violently" in describing one of Lindsay's falls sent shivers up and down my spine, being her mother and all, I'm glad you got in lots of good climbing in spite of the weather. And don't stop writing in your blog just because there are only 4 of us who read it on a regular basis - - we 4 are very important people! Love you guys!

Tyler Willcutt said...

I hope you included me in the 4. I wish you would write more too! Listen to your Mom!

brian-dunnohew said...

Hey guys, hope the rest of your trip in Southern UT was great. Good climbing with you two. Good to climb with a psyched crew for once. Maybe we'll see you in AF sometime.

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