Well, I finally made it outside again, this time to Joe’s Valley. This was my first bouldering trip since 2010 and overall I am pretty excited about the experience. It was great to get outside, climb hard and increase my motivation for the rest of the year.
Warming up - Jelly Bean - V1
The trip, while only 4 days provided a much needed break from work. My last climbing trip in 2010 with Jon Cardwell, included stops in Europe, Utah, Nevada, Canada, etc and feels like it was 20 years ago. Even though this short trip to Joe’s seems like nothing in comparison, I am grateful that I made the time to make it out to Utah. It is pretty different working full time, where I now have to prioritize, plan and set aside time if I want to climb. There are obvious differences between this most recent trip and the trips I used to take when climbing was my only passion, but I definitely wouldn’t say one is better than the other. Though this time I was more relaxed and put less pressure on myself.
Always worth repeating - Wills a Fire V6
Some highlights of the trip included gluten free pizza crust from R Pizza Place in Castle Dale; ordering not one, but two non-edible breakfasts (against the advice of my girlfriend); watching my girlfriend send her first V0, V1 and V2 boulder problems - it's always fun to see progression especially with someone you are close to; meeting up with old friends Jamie Emerson and John Lloyd, and making new friends.
Besides the relaxing side of the trip I had a pretty good time climbing. I sent Beyond Life V10. Objectively I am pretty please to do a V10 in 2 days. It felt like I physically could not have climbed much harder. This trip has given me a good idea of where I'm at, mentally and physically, and has honed my sense of direction.
Getting started - Beyond Life V10
And now for the crux!
It was fun coming back to an area that I had previously spent a lot of time at to see the new development that has taken place. Plus, the break between trips emphasized to me how far climbing has progressed in a short amount of time. When I started rock climbing at 7, you were considered a badass rock climber if you climbed V10, and now V14 seems to be the new standard, soon it will be V15.
Summer Tick List:
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado:
- Freshly Squeezed, Upper Chaos V12
- Blood Money, Upper Chaos V12
- Jade V14
- Reve de Wills Assis, Upper Chaos V13
- Top Notch, Upper Chaos V13
- Automator, Lower Chaos V13
- Both Sides of the Spectrum, V12
- Flux for Life, Elkland V13
- Tetris, Wild Basin V12
Mount Evans, Colorado
- Nothing, the rock quality is terrible. If I wanted to climb on aesthetic rock with poor rock quality I might as well go to Vedauwoo.
“Your reputation is what you're perceived to be, your character is what you really are”
Photo Credit: John Lloyd Photography