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Monday, August 23, 2010

Mike's visit to Utah


Last weekend our good friend Mike Loh came into town. We were originally supposed to meet him in Idaho at City of Rocks for a weekend of stellar granite climbing, but alas the van figured that it would rather sit in the shop for the weekend. Just as we were leaving SLC the engine temperature alarm came on and we decided to get it towed back to our great mechanic Wayne's VW. Fortunately we found out today that it was just the thermostat which goes bad eventually and it was pretty inexpensive to repair, also good news was that we got the gas lines replaced which will resolve some of our leaky fuel issues when filling up the tank completely, unfortunately that one wasn't so cheap to do.

After bailing on City we left Mike a message that we wouldn't be able to make it and that he should come down to Sandy for some Utah climbing. After some missed connections we finally got in touch with Mike, gave him directions to our place and were planning our Saturday of climbing. We were all in agreement that cool temps were the primary concern as the Wasatch Range was supposed to be baking around 96 degrees. With that in mind we opted to go back to the Uintas. The Uintas are a great high mountain range that runs East West across Utah and at 13,000 ft has the highest peak in Utah. The crag we chose is called Ruth Lake and is the easiest to access (only a half mile hike in) and boasts some of the best lines for sport climbers (which we arguably are). We hiked into the wall and promptly onsighted or flashed everything we hopped on up to and including 5.10d. I mention the grade specifically because I'm pretty sure that is Cassie's hardest flash to date and was done after a good deal of time not climbing on ropes at all so our endurance for anything over 20 ft is pretty much shot.

Cassie clipping the bolt before the hard section.
Scalp Fest 5.10d

Mike in a comfortable hand jam. 
Sweat Lodge 5.10b


Near the end of our climbing day I went down to Ruth Lake with Mojo to let him have some fun running around while Cassie and Mike finished climbing. The wildflowers were outstanding and so was the light. I'm really happy with the way some of the pictures came out, and it's all thanks to that evening low light that makes everything look surreal.

After climbing we went into Kamas and had dinner. We left not realizing that both Mike and I had left our credit cards in the bills. The next morning while trying to pay for breakfast the truth was shown and Cassie had a good laugh at our incompetence.

With such a stellar weeekend spent among friends we all agreed that we should really get together and do that type of thing more often, and so tentative plans have begun for a trip in the future. Can't wait!

Click here for the full set of pictures from the weekend.