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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