Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Travel Journal... Joshua Tree, California

Joshua Tree, California is one of my favorite places; not only for the rock climbing, but also for the desert beauty.  I haven't been there in three years... one year I was pregnant, last year the Kid was just beginning to walk and it would have been a challenge, and this year we just don't have the extra money for a road trip.
But, I try to write about our climbing trips so I remember some of the little details.  When I go back and read my journal, I realize how much I would have forgotten if I hadn't written it down...

February 11, 2007
8:58pm local time
Joshua Tree, Ca
Safari Motor Inn, room 105

Ahhhhh yes - returned to JT yesterday.  As I said in my last entry, we booked this trip during our last trip here.  We walked out to Slashface yesterday when we got into the park.  It is is pretty crazy highball, and we only had one pad.  John got on it, but it was dicey with only one pad.  The walk to the boulder was at least 20 minutes off the geology road, which would have been a long walk back if one of us had a busted up ankle.  I chickened out and didn't get on it.... I'll save that one for when we have like four pads.

We walked out to Ionic Strength today.  

When we started out for it, I asked John how far it was... 'like 20 minutes'.  We found it two hours later.  I was a little pissy because I didn't bring much water or food, and I was hungry and ended up getting really thirsty.  I got really pissy when I saw the climb.  I knew the grade, 5.12a, when we started out, but what I didn't know was that there aren't other more moderate climbs nearby.  I am not a 5.12 climber; yeah, I'll get on them and work it, but I had never finished a 12.  

Ionic Strength is a very intimidating climb.  Very Intimidating.  You climb the arete and the face is just blank from the ground, and then it gets vertical.  It isn't even an easy climb to start;  you have to walk out over this void with hands on one rock and feet on the other.  Throw up a heal and pull over a lip, then you start the climb.  Climb the arete, and the 'holds' (really potato chips) run out just as the climbs gets vertical.  Sh*t!

John turns to me, and tells me that I need to climb it first, since he may not be able to do it twice (like if he went first, then me, then him to clean the anchor, and the anchor situation was a whole other thing.)  So I climbed it, not clean by any means, parts were in good style, parts were total cockroach style, and I finished it.  The hardest climb I ever finished.  

Tired.  More tomorrow.


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