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Eric T

[TR] Desert Air, Winter 2014 - Paradise Forks, Mt Lemon, Jtree, Red Rock 3/18/2014

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Trip: Desert Air, Winter 2014 - Paradise Forks, Mt Lemon, Jtree, Red Rock


Date: 3/18/2014


Trip Report:

Mike Rynkiewicz and I rolled out of Seattle at 2pm February 11th and drove straight through the night to Las Vegas; we were clipping bolts on Cannibal crag by lunch on the 12th. If you’d like to feel the vibe of our trip open this song in another window, it’s Gramatik.




We wanted to get on some big classic climbs in RR and started with Levitation 29, Ixtlan and Cloud Tower, we broke up those days with some craging.



Above:Mike and I at IBM Boulder enroute to Levitation 29



Mike leading out on Levitation 29




Mike enjoying a beer after Flashing Levitation 29





We had been invited to be part of the world record Slack line attempt with Andy Lewis and Aerial Artist Jona-Marie Price. This would be an attempt to slack line between two hot air balloons and do some base jumping while Jona Marie hung from the apex of the Balloon performing.















We had heard of “Sketchie Andy” and were stoked to meet him and his crew. I expected to see some crazy stuff but “Sketchie Andy” wasn’t Sketchie, in fact he was calculated and very experienced rigger who knew exactly what he was doing. His crew had the best vibe, among them was Jonathan Siegrist the hard man climber that hangs out with Caldwell and Sharma. He was so humble and only wanted to hear about what we were climbing.






This was no easy line to walk; the balloons were shifting up and down continually and slowly rotating. Other elite slackers with them could stand up but not take a single step. Andy tried it once and fell grabbing the line on the way down. Andy gained his composure made a few quick adjustments and walked the slack line between two hot air balloons like a Fucking Boss!!!! We all cheered and high fived his success, it was a very cool moment to witness.


Mike and I then turned our car south to Paradise Forks AZ at 7000ft amsl just a half hour from Flagstaff. We found P-forks frozen and deserted. Camping is free and there is flat ground and fire rings but no water. One has to rappel to get into P-forks as it’s a basalt canyon below flat forest. We didn’t have a guide book and starting mystery leading on the prow. We warmed up on 10’s and 11’s before Mike fired off a 12.b with one fall and some choice words. Its classic basalt trad climbing, most of it hard.























The only way to get water was to smash thick ice with big rocks and haul the pieces up the cliff in our bags before melting and boiling it on the fire. After a few days of this we decided Jtree sounded good and packed it up.



We met our Friend Nate Milke and his trusty motor home which he calls “Sir Craig a-lot” at Hidden Valley campground and it was on. Mike would get up in the morning at day break and solo 10 to 15 pitches before coming back to get me for out full day of climbing. After hanging with him for a few weeks I nick named him “Wall Street” because this guy’s all business. He won’t stop until he can’t see the holds and that’s not an exaggeration.















Above and below is Mike's Dad M-Sizzle topping out his first ever rock climb!!! That's what true happiness looks like.





















Mike Free soloing Hobbit Roof 10.d at J-tree


We took a day to hike into the Wonderland of Rocks and check it out, this is a must see if you’re in J-tree. We made our way to the top of Astro Dome where some mad Man set a high line and the bolts remain if you’d like to try it….



This is take from Astro Dome in the Wonderland of Rocks Joshua Tree National Park.



After more than 10 days of Jtree it was time for a change and we headed to Mt. Lemon on the out skirts Tucson AZ. Mt. Lemon is in the Santa Catalina Mountains and is comprised of Granite and had different crags from 2500ft to 9000 ft all with their own different character. We climbed Steve’s Arête 5.11 at Windy point and loved it. We then climbed on troll wall where the holds were cryptic and mostly side pulls making the climbing challenging. After some days the nights turned colder and we awoke to a very windy morning and decided to come back to Red Rock.


1-DSC03655.JPG Steve's Arete











We simul climbed Frigid Air Buttress then found our way through the maze to the base of Bridge Mt before simul climbing The NE Arête to summit at sundown and walked back by way of Rocky Gap Road, it was a long and adventurous day at RR.








1-DSC03696.JPG A tree and pond in the maze at Red Rock


1-DSC03709.JPG Bridge Mt. summit


1-DSC03717.JPG Arch on Bridge Mt.


1-DSC03721.JPG Bridge Mt.


1-DSC03727.JPG Bridge Mt.


1-DSC03738.JPG Las Vegas past Bridge Mt.


1-DSC03688.JPG Nevada Hot Spring


1-DSC03687.JPG Red Rock at dawn.



Mike R & Eric T

1-DSC03759.JPG Jessica Campbell and Mike R. between boulders at Red Rocks


1-DSC03750.JPG Jessica flashing....







Mike on the Sword


Jessica on the Sword


Jubilant Song on Windy Peak




We’ve been out for 30+ days and have that much left in us. Were waiting for Joe’s and the Creek to warm up a bit before heading out east to continue…


HMU if you're in the desert.....smithrock@gmail.com



Edited by Eric T

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Wow what a trip! that's a lot of TR! Very cool pics and videos! That burner going off behind Andy had to be pretty distracting, along with the rest of it...


The pic of the juniper was cool too.



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Right on Eric! You guys should go to Adventure Punks, Drifting, or Velvet Tongue if you are still in Red Rock!

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"Right on Eric! You guys should go to Adventure Punks, Drifting, or Velvet Tongue if you are still in Red Rock!"


Thanks Blake! We'll check those out for sure. We did Resolution Arete yesterday c2c and loved it! Rumor has it that you're instructing at the Rendezvous next week. We'll still be here and we'd both like to climb something with you if you have the time.

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