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markwebster

jtree xmas 2008

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This is an abreviated version of my trip report. You can find the full report with many more pictures, and even two videos with live music here.

 

jtree xmas 2008 with videos

 

 

We left Washington during a 4 inch snowstorm, but before the big 9 inch dump. We picked up Heather in Oregon and arrived in Red Rocks shortly after a 6 inch snowstorm. We met Paul down there and climbed for 3 days before the weather turned sour and we headed to Joshua Tree. We arrived at Joshua Tree on the evening of the 23rd and spend the day at Indian Cove. That night (xmas eve) we camped at Hidden Valley which was windy, cold and deserted and once again drove down to Indian Cove for the warmer climbing. When we returned to our site at Hidden Valley that night, we found both our tents shredded. Heather's tent had bent poles but was salvageable. My 24 year old Eureka was completely destroyed and James and I took turns sleeping in the bivy sack/truck canopy for the rest of the trip.

 

This is Heather and James following birdland at red rocks. I was disappointed in the red rocks rock quality. If you can picture a mud puddle that has frozen, dried out and then crackled up in the sunshine you have red rocks sandstone. You can see it in this picture. The wacos (crackled mud) make for delightful climbing but I couldn't shake the feeling that my protection was less than optimal. I doubt if I'll ever go back. If I want sunny winter climbing, Joshua Tree is a shorter drive with better rock. If I want summer climbing, Yosemite is 8 hours closer, and Yosemite granite is as good as it gets.

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Heather and I post holing our way toward the Birdland route. My chacos were not the ideal footwear for this hike. I wrapped my socks in plastic grocery bags, but they ripped. 08122107HeatheMarkrPineCr.jpg

 

 

This is James rapping. James is a awesome climber and very bold. He has mastered the art of moving fast and light on rock. His rack is one quarter the size of my rack and has funny things on it called tricams which I feel belong in a museum. I, on the other hand, have mastered the art of carrying my el cap rack everywhere which provides us with a never ending source of amusing arguments on the merits of light and fast, or slow and safe. He climbs more than I do so I think he's winning the argument.

 

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Paul on the crux of Popes crack. It's a stiff nine. We also did Touch and Go that day. I found that to be a much easier lead than Popes Crack.

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Paul leading Sidewinder in Steve Canyon 10b. It had a hard start getting past a bolt, a moderate middle section and a desperate end. 15 feet above Paul's head you can just see a horizontal dike. There is a bolt at head height once you stand up on the dike. Then you traverse 20 feet left with nothing but sideways crimpers for handholds (in other words, no hands). The dyke is reasonable foot smears but the wall bulges out toward you, forcing you to topple over backwards as there are no handholds. Did I mention there are no hands? Very very scary, even to follow. A fall there on lead would almost certainly lead to a hospital stay as it's a ledgy landing. Brave lead Paul!

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One of Paul's climbing buddies found 4 hams in a dumpster diving expedition outside a Safeway. As Paul was on an extended dirtbag road trip, he took one of the hams and shared it with everyone, not telling us it was dumpster ham until after we'd had it for dinner.

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This gal followed Heart and Sole on Echo rock before we got on it. She was lovely to watch: a very smooth and graceful climber.

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Crystal at Echo Cove. We climbed together for a couple routes. She was a lot of fun. Crystal is in med school in Florida.

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This is Michelle. I teamed up with her and her boyfriend Joe to climb the flake on New Years day.

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Again:

You can find the full report with many more pictures, and even two videos with live music here.

 

jtree xmas 2008 with videos

 

 

 

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Nice TR. Funny how everyone says that the rock at RR is choas. I started climbing there and it never bothered me. Well, some of the lighter colored sandstone can be bad but the darker the better. Taken plenty of falls on all of it back in the day, never had any gear fail due to rock blowing out. Glad you had a good trip.

 

Anyone going to be in Red Rocks next month? I will be there from Feb 18-24th and hoping to get on some of the sun blessed longer classics.

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After logging hundreds and hundreds of days at RR, I still can't get it out of my blood. It is the best climbing area in the country. It does take a little time to get used to the rock, but once you are...there's no place better...

 

Jason

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It is the best climbing area in the country. It does take a little time to get used to the rock, but once you are...there's no place better...

 

Agreed.

Nice TR. Pope's Crack was one of my favorite climbs in J-tree.

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Good on ya for sticking out the tough weather...we went down on the 12th, had two OK days of climbing at Red Rocks and then moved to Jtree when the weather crapped out on the 15th. When we got into Morongo Valley it was totally dumping snow....and I mean dumping! There must have been at least 8 inches on the ground in Morongo Valley! Anyway, we checked the forecast and got so discouraged we changed our flights and flew home out of Vegas on the 16th. We drove around the loop road at Red Rocks on the morning of the 16th and there was a good foot of snow at the highpoint of the loop road! I've been down to Jtree and Red Rocks three times in December now and two of the three times has had atrocious weather! The other time it was t-shirts, shorts and high temps in the high 80's. When the weather is good there is nowhere better!

 

I love the photos! Looks like the women of climbing calendar!

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thanks. Climbers girls are fun to photograph, though I always ask permission. That's the main reason I lug around my digital slr to capture pictures of the awesome athletes out there. You have to be in good shape to climb above a certain level so the girls (and guys) are always in awesome shape. I married the prettiest one I could find in '79. She's still hot. This sport keeps you young.

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Climb something other than Birdland if you want to get the feel for RR. Personally i think Birdland was ok, but a poor representation of what RR climbing is all about.

 

I thought the 1st pitch had ok protection, but everything else was pretty bomber.

 

give it another chance yo.

 

JL

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It is the best climbing area in the country. It does take a little time to get used to the rock, but once you are...there's no place better...

 

Jason

Agreed, Red Rocks is amazing.

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