Well, here is a quickly update on the most interesting adventures from the last two weeks...
A couple weeks ago, Susan and I went to the Saint George, Utah area to climb for 5 days. We (in standard fashion) forgot to take photos. I'm not sure why this happens...we mean to bring the camera and take some photos but we always get to distracted with the actual climbing and then the next thing you know the day is over and we got nuthin! Crap.
We climbed at some really nice areas we had been to before like the Black and Tan Wall but we also got to sample some new (for us) areas too. Always fun.
Our favorite areas of the trip were the Turtle Wall, a steep sandstone crag, and the Prophesy Wall, a multi pitch, vertical sandstone wall. These walls are great "vacation" areas as they are sunny crags with short approaches complimented by super juggy, friendly to the skin sport climbing. Super fun routes and soaking up some sun...perfect.
Our least favorite crag of the trip was The Solstice, located near the Black and Tan area. This crag sucked! I had heard great things about the interesting climbing on chert knobs on long routes in the sun. Sounded great...but not so great to climb on for us. I really did not like the chossy nature of the rock. It was crumbling choss even on the best lines. At first it wasn't so bad as my head was fresh but as we climbed more routes my psych and focus tired and the routes became scarier and scarier to lead. By the time we left the crag I was over it and vowed to never climb there again. Honestly, with so much unbelievable rock around that area I couldn't believe that they wasted so much time and money bolting these lines. Especially with some other amazing walls around there that are steep and beautiful just waiting for new lines. I even hiked up to a beautiful wall near there that had some bolts on it with red tags that hadn't been finished that was as good as anything in the area. And saw other walls that hadn't even been touched yet. Hopefully, these walls will see the attention they deserve and the chossy walls like The Solstice will get passed by...what a waste. That being said, I'm sure there are people that like The Solstice. They must have mutant brains to keep cool in all that choss. My mind is weak now that I am an old rickety 36. Har.
Big highlight of the trip was going to the Patempe Hot Springs, on the Virgin River, near the town of Hurricane. This was a birthday present for me from Susan and even though I'm usually not into people making a big deal about my birthday this was a great present!
As seen in the photos below, the hot springs were very scenic, perched on the edge of the Virgin River in a deep canyon. Best part of the whole thing is that it is a pay hot spring and it is private reservation only, meaning Susan and I had it reserved for three hours just to ourselves! Sweet!
Photo above shows the hottest pool (about 107 degrees). Upper picture shows middle and lower pools that were about 104 and 101 degrees.
We spend the evening exploring the pools and enjoying the different temperatures. Oh man, do I love hot springs!
The next week went by quickly... I had to work a ton after our trip to Saint George and then was reving up for another super busy week of work when I found out that my Grandma died on my fathers side. I had a bit of adjusting of the schedule to do but with the help of friends at work and my family in Washington I was able to get work figured out and get a plane ticket to Portland, Oregon (the closest place I could get a ticket to Morton, Washington-my destination) on such short notice.
The next thing I knew I was in Morton hanging out with family I hadn't seen in a long time. Great visit as I don't get to hang out with my dad's side of the family and I got to visit with just about all of them during the trip.
They had a "Celebration of Life" for my grandma, Hellen and I was glad I could make it. Being there with the family and hearing them share their stories and memories was wonderful. I was happy to be apart of a family that could come so close on this day even though we don't see each other much the rest of the time.
I also squeezed in some nice runs in the beautiful scenery that is western Washington. Pretty much all the running was on old logging roads but they were plenty scenic for a desert dweller like me. Below are some photos that show the typical scenery along the runs. Thanks to my parents for riding their bikes with my on my first run there. What a beautiful area it was!