Pleasantly Sandbagged in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree is, I think, the most beautiful place I’ve ever climbed. But fuck me those grades are stiff!

I climbed in Joshua Tree a few years ago, and have basically been itching to get back since the day I left. There is something about the place that really feels other worldly. The weird forest with bulging, rounded rock formations on the horizon looks like a science fiction set or a Neptunian moon. It’s a very cool place to go climbing.

The way the Red Rocks trip worked out left us out of time in the camp site (14 nights max) and struggling a bit for cheap accommodation near the climbing. We only had a few days left in total for this leg of the trip, and so it was the perfect opportunity to get out and check out somewhere different.

I think you could probably spend multiple years climbing in Joshua Tree and not get bored. We only had three days, so we couldn’t even scratch the surface. The highlight for me was climbing in Real Hidden Valley. I think that may be my all time favourite climbing destination – perfect granite in a stunning setting. We did a shaded two pitch route that will definitely stick in the memory for a long time.

The climbing in Joshua Tree was every bit as good, and every bit as hard, as I remembered it to be! I’m still getting reacquainted with placing trad gear after a long lay off, so there was some additional and unnecessary terror from that side of things! One of these days I’ll get a trad head on me…

Like this post, the Joshua Tree trip was a short one. We mostly stuck to roadside and relatively straightforward trad routes. I tried one absolutely nails sport route, and we ran out of time to do some bouldering. There is so much that I would like to do here, I definitely feel like I have unfinished business in the park. Watch this space….

2017-03-07 11.08.00

 

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