Recently laid siege to Joe's Valley, weekend warrior-style (WHY can't we ever get out of town on Friday before 7pm when we have a 7+ hour drive ahead of us??). The last time I stepped foot in Joe's was about 8 years ago on a failed spring break trip, which involved driving from Ohio to Utah with only about 4 hours of climbing. So, for all intents and purposes, it was my first trip there.
Pocket Rocket to the Planet of Fire with Trent's Scary Monsters - Robin Maslowski
Not only did Joe's provide a much-needed break from work and even-more-needed sunshine, but my boyfriend and I went on a highly enjoyable tour of the area's moderate classics. Some of the highlights included Scary Monsters, Planet of the Apes, Chips, Kill by Numbers, Pocket Rocket (I didn't stand a chance in heck of doing this one), and Wills of Fire. I'm pretty convinced that Wills of Fire is one of the best V6s in the country. We tried to come up with a V6 in the U.S. that does a better job of meeting our criteria for a "classic": aesthetic, reasonably tall and proud (i.e., no dirt-burglar), interesting moves without much fluff for the grade, not gimmicky, and not three grades harder for short (or tall) people. Aside from See Spot Run in Hueco, we couldn't think of anything off-hand, but I would love to have people post if they think of something better.
To sum up the weekend, here is an entertaining blog post from my friend Justin Roth with Petzl, who also took the lovely pictures: http://thestonemind.com/2012/04/02/spotting-youre-doing-it-wrong/. There was still a good number of 3-star climbs we left untouched. Joe's was warm that weekend and pretty much out-of-season now, but I'm absolutely looking forward to going back next year.
On a separate note: Handsfree sunscreen (see picture) is one of the most genius inventions ever for a climber. Just get someone to help make sure it isn't still smeared on your face. A great gift idea for a climber. That, a horsehair brush, and maybe a 6-pack of Avery, and you're done.