Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Sample Tour

Road trip!

Kyle and I are on the road for the winter and back to living in our 13ft fiberglass Trillium trailer, "Trilly", who is hauled by our trusty truck "Gandalf". Life is perfect and for the first time in years, both Kyle and I are injury free (as one can be) at the same time!! Yip yeeoooo! But as I've been overcoming some major health issues this year, our motto has been "slow and steady" with strong focus on patience as we have all the time in the world, and to ensure I don't have a repeat on last year. Staying positive and slowly finding my flow again though! And for the first time ever, we are on the road all winter long... we have officially achieved the endless summer goal :)

We departed early November and our first stop was Boulder, Colorado....

New routes! New routes! Both Kyle and I had actually never climbed in Colorado before, so we were so stoked for new climbs/rock/places. We set up camp at the Boulder Adventure Lodge and sampled several of the varying rock types/styles and areas that surround Boulder. Colorado was having an incredibly warm November so we learned very quickly that Eldorado Canyon is too hot for such temps unfortunately, so we climbed shady stuff at other areas or sunny spots at higher elevation. We checked out a ton of the different area's in Boulder Canyon and loved the granite sport climbing there, especially the Animal World and Upper Dream Canyon. We also checked out the Flatirons, did some bouldering at Horsetooth Reservoir and sport climbing at Clear Creek Canyon also. It was so great to have a couple weeks of fitness building after a long rest from climbing. We kept an "in a day" rule for our stay in Boulder, no projects, so I was stoked to put down a ton of routes up to 5.12d with my favourite route of our stay being Hands of Destiny, a 5.12d at Boulder Canyon.

Stretching out my legs in Eldorado Canyon, after the 24hr drive to Boulder, Colorado

Classic granite sport climbing at Animal World in Boulder Canyon

Kyle Thomas samples the Horsetooth Reservior bouldering circuit

Hudson Mayhew high off the deck at Horsetooth Reservoir

The Flatirons, Colorado
Kyle soloing the classic 5.0 on the Flatirons.

Perfect hands on this 5.10 trad classic in Eldorado Canyon.

When the temps cooled down we thought it was finally Eldo time but unfortunately camping then got really cold and damp. These two wussy Canadian's can't handle that winter camping shit! So we fled to where locals said it is always warmer/dry in Colorado... Shelf Road. Shelf was a great little spot. Nice BLM camping and a well maintained recreation area with abundant pocketed limestone sport climbing. We stayed here for a few days and enjoyed a nice sampling.

Kush camping at Shelf Road, CO

It wasn't shocking that our next move was the Mojave desert. We made a very quick stop in Zion National Park in Utah; the weather window was too tempting to pass up. Neither Kyle or I had ever climbed here before suprisingly. It was an absolutely perfect day... we rolled in around noon, scooped up one of the last campsites and ran off to do an incredible splitter we found on mountain project called "Smashmouth" 5.11. It is a 4 pitch crack that starts as tight hands and slowly turns to fingers until the crack dies out. I felt rather 'off the couch' on this style so I was stoked to onsight it too. Good start to the trad trip!!

Kyle follows Smashmouth 5.11 in Zion National Park, UT

Smashmouth 5.11

Leading the second pitch of Smashmouth 5.11

Zion vibes :)

Next stop was Red Rocks. I had always wanted to check out the route 'Desert Gold' and wow what a dream line. As much as I wanted to be back on the 'Great Red Roof' after coming very close to sending last year, my wrist was telling me otherwise (undercling crux). Desert Gold was a perfect distraction. I have a huge disadvantage in that roof portion (Desert Reality 5.11d) as it is mostly cupping or tight awkward fists, upside down...absolutely heinous. Though I did every move somehow. I loved the "Desert Crack" portion, which is the first half of the route and goes at 5.12+. To comprehend the entire package was a little overwhelming with the roof being so difficult, but dreamy nonetheless. But as cool as this thing is, Joshua Tree had been whispering in my ear since we hit the road and before we knew it, we were driving through the Mojave en route to my home away from home, JTREEeee

Desert Gold 5.13

Most supportive hubby ever :)

Leading the choss but fun first pitch of Desert Gold 5.13

First time up Desert Gold 5.13.

Red Rocks, Nevada

Time to get schooled in JTREE!!!

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