A blog about climbing full time on the road.

matthewandcassie's items Go to matthewandcassie's photostream

Sunday, November 28, 2010

winter weekends


Winter has hit the Wasatch a bit early this year with a couple big storms before thanksgiving and it's been snowing like crazy all day today. As much as I love the snow and skiing, I wasn't ready for the abrupt end to the climbing season. Even though conditions may not be ideal for climbing in the wasatch for a little bit, we're still going to try to make the most of our last season of winter bouldering in Utah. Since our last trip to Escalante, we've made a couple trips out to Ibex to crystal peak for some remote and rarely climbed boulders, but beautiful lines and scenery. One weekened we scouted the place out for the climbing club and the next went back with the club. Although only a very few members were brave enough to brave the drive and the cold, it was fun to have a smaller group and there were quality problems for all of us to send and plenty for us to want to come back to as well.

I've made a couple trips to Moab in the last month as well. The first was a visit from my parents. We were originally planning on going out to Escalante with them, but the weather wasn't cooperating so we decided to head to Moab instead. We camped at Fisher Towers, arriving just before an amazing sunset the first night. We hiked around fisher towers, watched people climb ancient art. Which even though we've done it before, still makes me slightly nauseous looking up at it and thinking about how it felt to do it. Amazing, but terrifying!. This trip was just for hiking though, there's a great trial that goes along the base of the titan and other towers, ending at a ridge overlooking the fisher valley. The next day we hiked out to corona arch which is downriver a few miles from Moab. It's a nice short hike along the slick rock to two amazing arches with the added benefit of being outside of the park, so no fees, no crowds and Mojo could join us.

I went back to Moab for a week for my favorite work conference. The desert fishes council. Yes, fish in the desert, that's what I work with and they are some of the craziest and coolest fish and a great group of people from southern Oregon to Texas and Mexico. You have to be a pretty great person to love the suckers and chubs of the world. One of the highlights of the meeting has to be Phil Piester who is one of the founding members of the group, one of the founders of the endangered species act, and has a great story about holding the entire population of Owen's Valley pupfish in his hands in two 5 gallon buckets. These fish are still alive today because of him. Since the world headquarters of DFC is in Bishop, I plan to contact Phil and other fish folk on our travels next year and hope to see some other fish and habitats outside of Utah as a nice diversion from climbing from time to time. We were supposed to end the conference with a day long float down the Colorado on the daily stretch just outside of Moab. Although the day started out nice, partly cloudy is really beautiful in the desert and cast some great light on the towers, the 70% chance of rain and 40 mph wind forecast soon caught up with us leaving my boat in an eddy, pinned by the wind against a rock and the bank, unable to move for about 15 minutes while we all hunkered down facing upstream to avoid the hail pelting our faces. The wind and weather got so bad that 4 of 5 boats didn't make it to the planned take out instead tying the boats up and hiking out to the road and walking the remaining distance to the vehicles. Probably not the trip everyone thought they had signed up for, but memorable non the less.

This weekend, the weather and me getting over a cold tried to keep us from climbing, but Matt convinced me that 34 and mostly sunny at Triassic really was perfect bouldering temps and would be warm enough. I believed him so we headed over yesterday. The day turned out great. I made progress on my nemesis, "some get two fingers", but ran out of skin before I was able to finish it. Matt was on a sending streak, finishing some get two fingers (he got it years ago, but later realized he started it about 3 moves after it was supposed to start). Matt also finished his longstanding nemesis "thud", which is very short and powerful. He also sent a cool crimper problem called "Ronald McDonald and Me" V6 in just a few tries.

So while there hasn't been much blogging lately, we've been busy. Right now we're just trying to finish up our jobs and are so psyched to leave on our trip and next adventure. Unfortunately no pics from either of the moab trips right now. Our computer died and we don't have any good photo sorting/editing software on this one yet. We should be getting something soon and will add some pictures next week or so. You can find more crystal peak pictures here.