Sunday, August 31, 2014

31st Anniversary

Deb and I celebrated our thirty first anniversary a few days ago.  We spent most of the day over in Zion.  Due to Deb's recent surgery we couldn't do any big adventures, but we did hike Angel's Landing once again.  It was a nice sunny and hot day.  Later in the evening we made it to a play at the Shakespeare festival in Cedar City.  Just being together for the day was good especially since I had planned on not being home from my climbing trip.

Sawtooth Saga

I had been looking forward to a climbing trip to British Columbia in Alberta, Canada for some time.  Lots of work shifts at the hospital finally led to my two week break from work.  I met up with Andrew Fitzgerald in SLC after staying with my parents in Midway for a few days. I was able to sneak in a morning of climbing with my brother Ben on an "old school" route up Little Cottonwood Canyon called The Schoolroom before Andrew arrived in SLC.   We began the long drive north in his Subaru loaded down with packs and climbing gear.  While passing through Montana we made a last minute text to our friend Kirk in Canada to advise him of our arrival that evening.  To our dismay he shot back a text indicating that we might want to reconsider as the week long forecast was awful and our chances of climbing some long routes in the mountains was slim.  We immediately stopped by the roadside and began to look at other options.  We settled on the Sawtooth wilderness area in Idaho and detoured towards Stanley, Idaho.  Later that night we finally arrived but not until after experiencing two flat tires on a dirt road outside Salmon, Idaho.  Before the trip was over a third tire sustained a flat.  Needless to say, Andrew ended up purchasing a whole new set of tires before coming home.  The climbing in the Sawtooths was awesome.  We backpacked up to Saddleback Lakes below Elephant's Perch and made camp.  We climbed the Mountaineers route up the 1500 foot face on wonderful granite in a beautiful mountain setting.  The next stop on our trip was the City of Rocks in Southern Idaho a place where I have climbed before on several occasions.  The weather continued to be fickle and one night a fierce thunderstorm even ripped my tent fly.  We did still manage to get in quite a bit of excellent rock climbing on the granite domes at the "City".  I was able to get home a few days early since we never made it to Canada, and Deb was OK with that because I made it home in time for our anniversary.  Andrew and I still have plans to make another attempt to climb in the Bugaboos next year.  I did get out of the heat of St. George but actually enjoyed getting back to the hot sunny skies after this trip where it rained on us nearly every day.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Cedar Mountain Combo

This summer I have been driving up past Cedar City on up the canyon to rock climb and then mountain bike.  The climbing is at the Graveside Matter Wall 9 1/2 miles up the canyon where John Tully and I have been developing and bolting routes for the past several years.  It has become a very popular climbing destination and we usually run into other climbing parties whenever we visit.  It is a beautiful spot with fun climbing and cool temperatures in the morning hours.  Then after lunch I hop in my truck and drive further up the mountain to Navajo Lake where the temperatures are even cooler and ride a 15 mile single track through the pines and aspens on my new mountain bike (Santa Cruz Tallboy).  I have been able to convince several friends to join me on these adventure days.  We enjoy getting up out of the hot desert to breath the cool mountain air.  It makes for a great 2-sport day.  Tomorrow I begin a work stretch extending over the weekend.  Will ride the mountain bike early in the morning and swim laps at the health club (Summit) in the evenings to endure.  Summer is great!