Two weekends ago was the beginning of my spring break.
The plan was to climb Rainbow Wall in Red Rocks and then a big wall in Zion and then some more granite climbing in Unaweep Canyon outside of Grand Junction. Little did I know that we would get pretty tired doing all that.
It kinda was a blast back to the old days, when I would try to do a lot a climbing and drive a lot too. Kind of a dumb combination, but you have to go to where the climbs are and sometimes they are far apart.
Anyway, Friday night we hopped in the car after work and headed to Vegas from Junction. We made good time because we forgot about the time change (in our favor) and slept at a friends parents house. I hadn't seen them in years and it was good to get back in touch. Oh yeah, I was surprised due to the fact that they had 12 cats! wow was all that I could say.
After not the best nights sleep, we entered the park seconds after it opened and hiked the 2 hour slog to the base. To our surprise we were the third party at the base. One had started, another was about to and we were in between. The two parties had spent the night and were amazed that we had hiked in that morning. We were lucky enough to pass the first party on the route and be back on the ground a little after noon.
The Rainbow wall was a wonderful experience. I had wanted to climb that route for a long time and was happy not to fall on any of the pitches. I was kind of bummed that it wasn't a bit harder but it is a great climb never the less. As with all long routes there is a couple hundred feet of junky ledges in the middle, but the long uninterrupted dihedrals full of bolts and good gear placements were super fun to climb. I only found the route to have a few technical moves and the rest was plug and chug fun climbing.
We arrived back to the car and stopped for a pizza in Vegas before we drove to St. George for our Zion adventure. My old roommates house was where we were crashing and it was a blast. With five kids, there is always a great energy in the house and lots of life!
We woke up early again and drove into Zion and headed up a route called Silverback. It is next to Monkey Finger and is a bit harder with a 12+ crux at the top.
All that I can say is that it is one of the modern day classics and one of the best climbs in the park. It has chimney, overhangs, off width, fingers, hands and face climbing. One of the best climbs I have done in a long time. The crux pitches are at the end of the route and I suggest that if you can climb 5.11 to climb up to the hands pitch at mid height for one of the best crack pitches in Utah! Yes, it is that good. My partner said that he didn't believe me as I was proclaiming the pitches greatness but after he began the perfect hands of the pitch, he was a believer!
Anyway, we struggled up the rest of the route and came down in the dark under a partial moon reflecting on the days movements, excitement and effort.
After some food we headed back to Grand Junction arriving early in the am. We managed a tired day of climbing at Unaweep on Monday and called it a successful trip. Ah to the weekend warrior in you!
Photo's to come.
piz : )