Monday, March 12, 2012

Goin' Down South

          It's not summer yet.  Dammit it FEELS like it's here but it's just not summer quite yet.  That being said and with the weather behaving so uncharacteristically warm for this time of year, we've been making regular pilgrimages down to the St. George area the last few weeks to take advantage of the superb climbing temps at the higher altitude zones.  A trip to the Grail, and two more to the Utah Hills have yielded multiple sends of some absolutely stellar routes on impeccable limestone walls.  With more and more climbers making the journey to the St. George/Mesquite vortex to confirm the rumors of endless walls of limestone, we've enjoyed numerous days now with friends from near and far.  True to the nature of higher traffic areas, the local land managers (specifically the Utah Hills BLM) have also taken a sparked interest in a few of the more popular areas and the user groups that recreate within the areas.
           Areas like the Cathedral and Black and Tan will more than likely be subject to camping and parking restrictions in the near future.  You can learn more about ongoing developments with the Southern Utah Climbers Association HERE.  It's important for climbers as a user group to "practice what we preach" and exercise good stewardship of the land.  Staying on trails, packing out all trash (whether it's yours or not... this means climbing tape too :), minimizing our footprint by carpooling and not parking like idiots (I know how excited we all get when we pull up to an parking area when we go climbing, but let's remember to park like drivers who deserve licenses).  These are all behaviors that will speak volumes to "the Man" and will set us apart from the throttle sport enthusiasts as people who enjoy and care about our public lands.
          Let's all do our part to maintain a good standing with land officials and keep access to these amazing areas open to climbing.

The massive Grail wall in Lime Kiln Canyon.  The unbelievably perfect, two pitch route Vesper .12b is on the left. It follows the diagonal "crack" up and right.

Kevin on Three Pump Chump .12b at Sunset Alley.

The shaded side of the Alley.

Leif sending Movin' On Up .13b on the flank of the Blank Wall.

Killer chert features on Movin' On Up.

Perfect blue rock.

Thanks Kevin for picking up the camera~