Utah

Utah

Posted on 03. Apr, 2013 by in Joe's Valley

Last week I finally got a break from school and work and made my way out to Utah with Wendy Everett. I’ve put forth so much effort towards developing the last few years I was looking forward to having some time to repeat established problems. I haven’t taken more than a few days off from work or school since Alaska, and it felt so good once again to be out on the open road with a little freedom, even if only for a week. Waking up with the sun every day is something I cherish and have missed. Not to mention the beautifully shaped sandstone boulders that seem to litter every hillside in Utah.

No Additives Boulder Mono Project, one of the prettiest pieces of rock around.

At the top of the list was Radiant V12, which is near Price, and about 45 minutes north of Joe’s Valley. Dave Graham has the first ascent and of the few repeaters all seemed to rave about it’s quality. It seemed like a good goal for a 7 day trip.

It’s often surprising how fast that time can dwindle, and what in my head was a full week of attempts was in reality at most 4 days on the problem. The first day for me is often not a good one (this was no exception as I was tired from the drive and our late arrival) and I banked on my unsuccess, taking the time to hike around, scope out some of the new boulders, and briefly try a couple of things, hoping to perhaps do the moves on something I could send later in the week. I was very impressed with Monarch V11, Superman V10 (which I found a few years previously but hadn’t had the time to try) and several other new recently established problems. A lot has changed since I had visited Joes last, most notably the number of people visiting the area. I’m not accustomed to having so many climbers around, but I don’t mind it either and it was nice to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones.

Helper, UT

The second day was my first in Barn Canyon, home of Radiant. Barn Canyon is a steep and quiet gash in the endless layers of sandstone sediment around Price. There was evidence as we made the 35 minute hike up canyon of mountain lions, which only added to the remote and wild feel of the place. The problem was bigger, on better rock, and more beautiful than I had anticipated. I felt very motivated and right at home. It was also bitterly cold, so much so that on one burn the wind bit so hard I actually stepped off, too jarred to continue. I slowly pieced together most of the moves in a long and enjoyable session. The sun was shining and the rock was sticky. After climbing all but the last move I called it good.

Uncertain exactly as to how to manage the next several days, but certain I needed to rest, Wendy and I made our way south to Moab. It was a great rest day, and I think in a different life I would spend my days exploring the remote red stone crevices where the skin of the earth has split so deeply.
Arches National Park

The next day I patiently decide to rest again, which was a tough decision with only a week to climb. Sometimes I manage to surprise myself. For years, my impatience seemed to rule my decision making in hopes that I could let my psyche take over and years ago I would have certainly tried again, tired as I was. But experience has taught me otherwise and I knew that if my goal was to climb the problem, an extra day would greatly benefit. So I hiked around some more, spotted Wendy, checked out some more new problems and waited for the next day.

Already it was Wednesday and somehow the week was coming to an end (we were to leave on Friday), just as it seemed to begin. I felt a bit of pressure, as it looked as though if I didn’t climb it I may not be able to get back again until the fall. I was prepared though, with liquid chalk (if anyone is interested I’ve switched from DMM liquid chalk to a company that doesn’t use resin in its mix) my best toe-hooking shoe (my Team shoe) some Lapis brushes and an extra Organic crashpad. I warmed up by climbing the technical end, which I hadn’t done previously. This time the weather was a bit warmer, but instead of making the holds more greasy, it just made it easier to try hard. After a couple of hours of effort, I found myself on top, relieved and elated.

Radiant V12, Barn Canyon

A couple of issues with the beta. I had originally done the end with a high right foot (which was one of the hardest moves for me) followed by a huge lock off on the left hand sloper to a bad slimper over the lip. The sloper was good with a perfect rounded thumb catch, but I found myself struggling to find the power to do the reach from the start. So on the send, I changed my beta slightly (just based on an idea I had come to earlier in the process) by dropping my left hand back down to a terrible sloper, bringing my left foot back on and dancing my way around as one so often does on subtle sandstone. I was happy with myself for sticking to it even when things seemed desperate, as I relied on my experience and tenacity to get up this amazing boulder. I do have uncut footage of the ascent, but unfortunately my camera battery died and my iPhone (shooting as a back up) was out of focus. I’m happy to share it with anyone who would like to see it. It’s worth noting that The Hurl of Great Price V8 just to the right is an outstanding problem as well, FA Isaac Calderio

I finished out the trip by climbing Lactation Station an excellent V10 on very nice rock in Dairy Canyon.

Wendy finished her project Wills of Fire V6 quite possible the best V6 in Joe’s, if not all of Utah, and we were both happy.

Wendy sends Vertical Ice V6

The weather was warm and we decided to bail. It was a short but good trip back to Utah which only solidifies my opinion that sandstone is better than granite. I can’t wait to have some more free time to get back to Utah. The scenery is spectacular, the rock incredible and the locals are friendly. I still have my eye on a number of problems around here, and I look forward to trying to finish them before the heat of the summer returns.

For more information about what’s been going on in Joe’s and the surrounding areas, check out Scott Hall’s website The Climbing Collective.

6 Responses to “Utah”

  1. kevin murphy

    03. Apr, 2013

    Pleasure to read. Keep up the good work.

  2. B3

    03. Apr, 2013

    Thanks Kevin! Hope you’re well.

  3. Chris Simmons

    03. Apr, 2013

    Really rad write up! Got me stoked to try to make a trip out there before summer as well!

  4. Wes Walker

    05. Apr, 2013

    Jamie, always a lesson to take away from your writing —> Patience is a virtue, don’t push it and get ancy, rest is GOOOOOD. nice job on Radiant dude!

  5. Sherod

    06. Apr, 2013

    Great read . The mono problem looks cool. I want the fa haha

  6. sidepull

    09. Apr, 2013

    Awesome post. Makes me long for Joe’s Valley and the Price Boulders – it’s been years!

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