Chasing the Sun to
With Koren, Paul,
Ian, and Heidi
weekend, Ian, Heidi, Koren and I met Paul in St. George, Utah for four
days of sport climbing and mountain biking. Originally, our plan involved
Indian Creek and sandstone towers, but cold temps forced us to seek sunnier
skies on the Internet. Paul's report that Red Rocks was overflowing with climbers
provided the final impetus to for a trip to St. George.
After our six
hour drive, we climbed on vertical and overhanging sandstone at Chuckawalla
Wall. This is a great crag, sporting a couple dozen lines and a 3 minute approach.
It was relaxing to clip a bolt every 5 feet, much different than Moab would
have been. In fact, I relaxed so much that I found myself wondering why I don't
sport climb more often. Of course, as soon as I did, some sadistic personality
inside me interjected with a list of scary routes that might cleanse me of these
impure thoughts. That was the beauty of this trip. I was going to sport climb
for three days without a hint of opprobrium.
Koren and Heidi
ended their day with a short loop on their mountain bikes. Ian finished strong
on an 11b. And I tested our rope repeatedly.
That night we paid $35
to sleep in a tent at Snow Canyon State Park. It was a textbook example of a
State Park raping the patrons with absurd fees. The climbing in Snow Canyon
was absolutely fun though. We climbed at the Dunes area on slabby sandstone.
The highlight of my day was watching Koren float a 10c with no falls.
Another highpoint was watching Ian get sandbagged on a 9+ that the book called
On the third day
we went mountain biking on a stupendous single track that offered lots of short,
steep hills. It felt like slickrock on dirt. Ian dug it the most, as this marked
his first time on a bike since childhood. I rode pretty well on the psuedo-scary
technical stuff; it feels like BMX biking. But Koren and Heidi cheated on the
long up-hills. They brought huge lungs that seemed specifically designed to
extract more O2 from the air. Ian agrees and he's a chemist!
Enough said!! :)
After the ride,
we found a BLM campsite 15 miles out of town for $5/night.
We spent our last
day at the Black Cliffs. The volcanic basalt offered a stark contrast to the
sandstone of the previous days. Where the routes in Snow Canyon had yielded
to a combination of foot smears and sandy palms, the Black Cliffs demanded finger
strength and quick decisions. The routes were too steep to hang out and think
about the next moves. Really fun medium though, with lots of big reaches between
tolerable holds. It was a nice way to end the trip.
Overall, I found the
climbing in St. George to be quite fun and varied. I wouldn't recommend
it as a destination spot, but if you have a few days, and you like to sport
climb, it wouldn't be a bad call.
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