Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Last weekend we headed to St George with the Utah Climbing Club to check out an area known as Soul Asylum. It gets its name from the burnt surroundings. There was a fire in the area a few years ago and the total lack of green vegetation combined with burnt black trees does give the area an strange feeling.
The weather turned out to be quite cold so climbing was a bit brutal. We took Friday off so that we could get even more climbing in, but upon arriving the wind was so cold that our hands were going numb in a few short minutes. This might have been a blessing in disguise though as all the limestone was so sharp that grabbing it might have been painful if we could have felt anything. Most of the bolting there left something to be desired (namely safety) so we opted to just toprope routes instead of leading much. My hand hadn't fully recovered from my lead fall and I was certainly nervous about hurting it more so that didn't help either.
On Saturday we woke up to sub-freezing temperatures. Heading to the cliff we were looking forward to being in the sun and were happy that it's rays helped keep us warm. In the shade however things were really cold. We climbed a couple problems before I tweaked my hand and opted to just belay for the rest of the day. Cassie got on a bunch more routes and was really enjoying the limestone, but the sun was retreating fast and cold temps soon set in again.
The routes in some cases were quite long (100ft+) and definitely gave one a sense of accomplishment upon reaching the top. At the end of the day Cassie tried a 11d but stopped after getting extremely cold. I think she could have finished it if the temperatures had cooperated.
On Sunday we all went into town to a great local place called Jazzy Java and had breakfast. Afterwords we headed to a crag in town called Turtle Wall. The theory was that this wall received lots of sun and with the lower elevation we might not freeze as we had the couple of days before. We weren't disappointed. The weather was fantastic. Hiking to the cliff we were pleasantly cool. By the time we were climbing it was t-shirt weather and we were thrilled to soak up the sun's rays.
Climbing with Chris, Christian, Julie, Sara, and Brett was a lot of fun. The group was in high spirits and very encouraging. Chris completed his first lead outside (a 5.8) and Christian onsighted his first sandstone 12a. I was happy that my hand was feeling a little better and was able to flash an 11a. Mojo enjoyed chasing the lizards. We'll definitely be heading back to that crag. There were a bunch of routes Cassie and I would like to do. A good time was had by all and we celebrated with a trip to the in-and-out for burgers and fries.
Just last night we got about 4 inches of snow here at Sundance, so winter isn't over yet!!!
Posted by Matthew and Cassie at 9:38 PM
Well it's been a bit since we've posted last. The lack of posts has not been because of lack of stuff that we've been doing. I'll attempt to recap the last 4 weeks to bring everyone up to date.
Cassie went ice climbing with the Utah Climbing Club back in early February and said it was the first time she didn't dislike ice climbing. That's a step up from our -10 degree days of swinging the ice picks in alaska, so it's a good thing. She went down to climb at Maple Canyon which is normally our rock climbing sanctuary as it has tons of good sport routes. In the winter snow falls on top of the canyon and melts down through channels forming low angle to steep waterfall ice. Perfect place for beginners as routes can be toproped.
The next few weekends were spent skiing and enjoying the fresh powder. Each weekend had pretty good conditions so we stuck around here instead of heading to the desert for climbing. Also since there was so much snow even the desert climbing was hit or miss.
My friend Chris and I did go to Ibex one day for bouldering. Cassie didn't come because herfriend Nicole was visiting from out of town so they ended up skiing that weekend.
I spent one day skiing with a new friend from my company's German office. Milos hand't been snowboarding in a while, but he picked it up again quickly and soon was tearing up the runs at Sundance.
Other than that we've just been climbing in the gym and trying to get in shape. Two weeks ago I took a big fall in the gym because I skipped a bolt and pulled slack out at the anchors, then let go (intentionally) to take a fall. I'm trying to get over that falling fear and I thought taking a big (30 foot) fall might do it. Unfortunately the rope ended up coming behind my leg (it wasn't behind my leg when I fell) and caused me to flip upside-down. I grabbed the rope in midair to steady myself which bruised my right hand pretty well. It was swollen for about half a week. Right now it's getting much better. I think a couple more days will probably allow it to fully recover.
Well that's the super short synopsis of the last few weeks.
Posted by Matthew and Cassie at 9:22 PM