City of Rocks

adventure date: September 18th - September 21st , 2014

City of Rocks is heaven on earth. Probably one of my favorite climbing getaways. Hofe and I had a blast exploring there the last few days. Just under 3 hours drive from Salt Lake City this National Reserve is packed with more climbing than your can even handle, and so unbelievably fun. Really though. You HAVE to go! Climbers come from all over the world, we met climbers from Germany to Alaska.

The day we rolled into camp it was POURING rain. Luckily it died off so we could set up camp and explore before it got dark. Also we really like kissing in the rain...

We found this awesome little bouldering spot (see pics above)... as long as you don't fall. Heel hooks are my jam. They come in handy quite a bit when you are my height. But they make for real awkward photos. It sure would be handy to have three arms though! Imagine the things I could climb!

Our first day there Hofe and I decided to head over to Castle Rocks and conquer a multi pitch that we had to bail out early on the last time we were there due to weather. I made the AWFUL mistake of reading an article in Climbing Magazine on our way to Idaho about climbing accident/horror stories so I was a quite nervous at the start. After leading the second pitch though I started to relax. On my fourth pitch I was going to lead Hofe reassured me before I headed off that it looked liked the easiest one so far. The first to clips were, and I moved pasted them no sweat. Then the feet and hand holds melted away and it turned to slab. If I'm bouldering I enjoy slab, its fun. But when leading (especially a few pitches up) I think the slab best be left to lizards. I slowly started moving my way up, smearing my feet against the granite. The next bolt was still a good six inches out of reach. I could hear a bird in the crack just to my left and was anxious waiting for it to swoop out and scare me off the wall. I barely stayed balanced as I reached further and further and finally managed to clip the draw. I breathed a sigh of relief. (i'd been holding my breath so it was a big one). The next bolt left me in no better position. I was instantly stressed again and didn't think I could handle that for the rest of the climb until I reached the chains.  I was already so close to falling I wanted to give up, go back down to the last chains and have Hofe lead this pitch. With the gusts of wind must have come a gust of confidence because the next thing I knew I was moving up the slabby rock with precision movements. The next clips were as crappy and far as I expected but I got them! and made it to the chains with out falling! Best feeling ever! Don't get me wrong I was nervous and terrified but to over come that and not give up felt awesome. I love the mental challenge climbing gives you and the high you get when you push yourself past your boundaries. Now if I could just be that way all the time... This ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip. The view from the top was incredible! I was kicking myself for not bringing the camera up but was too nervous of it getting banged up. After being on the cliff for a view hours in the sun with no water or food we were exhausted by the time we made it back down. We scarfed down what food and water we had and collapsed and took a nap in the shade.

We spent the rest of the afternoon climbing until we were out of water and couldn't handle the heat  any more. Such fun problems though! I love the climbing in City of Rocks/Castle Rocks. The holds are just unbelievable. My fav. That evening we went to a presentation one of the forest rangers gave on how the rocks and holds here are formed. Geology is pretty dang neat. And City of Rocks is Geology at its finest.

I climbed up to the top of a big rock that evening to do some yoga. Talk about a peaceful place to get your yogi on. So good. Hofe even join me for some couples "yoga" and we entertained the old ladies who's campsite was across the way. I could barely hold poses I was laughing too hard. Hofe and I watched the sunset from this same spot and it was the perfect way to end the day.

That night our pals Jamie and Kerri came to the city to join us for some climbing.

We started the day off climbing "Too Much Fun". The name fits this route perfect, it really is too much fun. Its the tallest route I've lead (aside from multi pitches) and is a blast the whole way. If you ever go to City of Rocks it is a must! Best to hit it first thing in the AM since its popular.& make sure you have 2 ropes for the repel.

Just a little short person beta.

Later we headed over to Transformer Wall where Michael found this awfully sketchy climb. The book said it was a sport route so we didn't bring our trad rack. The first clip was a good thirty feet up. Since the start had no feature (you can see in the second pic down) Hofe had to climb up on top an outcropping of rock and extended our stick clip as far as it would go, and could still barely reach it.

The climb was a 10c so once you got past the hold-less start the rock feature was pretty decent. Then the bolts became further and further spread out. He was a few clips up when he couldn't see the next bolt. We all sat for awhile searching the wall above him trying to find it. We realized there wasn't one. The chains were still a good 35+ feet above Hofe. (there could have easily been four bolts in between). I would've totally wussed out, but Hofe being the brave soul he is kept going. I was so nervous watching as he worked his way up and over the hump. So nervous. It just went on and on. I could not believe how run out he was. It was definite deck potential but I tried not to think about this. I was holding my breath & was so nervous I couldn't even take pictures. You have no idea how relieved I was when he finally reached the chains and clipped it.

Can I just say peanut butter is a camping and climbing essential! plus check out that cool swirl. all those health nuts are all into almond butter slapping it on every thing they can, but nothing beats good ol' peanut butter (don't sweat its natural). I mean is almond butter really that much better for you?

We were pooped from climbing all day in the sun but decided to climb one more rock, Bath Rock. Bath Rock is one of the more "famous" rocks here, and made for the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Hofe and I had never climbed it though in all the times we'd been to the City. With all the climbs at City of Rocks you could come over and over, and never climb the same thing twice.

You don't need gear to climb up bath rock. We free climbed it and even though it wasn't hard it was way fun. Don't worry Mom I'm not going to start free soloing.

Bath Rock gets its name for a large pool of water on top. You wouldn't want to take a bath up there though because it is the greenest slimiest water you've ever seen. Old Greg would be all over it.

The top of Bath Rock offers a great view of the national reserve.

Unfortunately the rain striked again and we had to pack up early.

It was a bummer to leave, but are planning on another trip before the ice season.