Winter trad climbing in Utah

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engineer1984
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Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby engineer1984 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:29 pm

Hi,

I moved here last December and filled my winter time with skiing which was great, but I guess my addiction is more towards rock climbing. Never tried ice.

What desert location stays warmest the longest? Swell, Moab, Buckhorn Wash, Zion, etc? We went to Red Rocks for New Years and that was good: warm in the day and somewhere in the 30's / 40's at night. Do we have to go that far south?

I don't know all the desert climbing areas, but I'm getting my bearings. Feel free to turn me onto an area I've not mentioned.

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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby grk10vq » Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:48 pm

december: best time for local imo

Image

january: st. george

Image

february: ibex

Image

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boissal
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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby boissal » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:29 pm

+1. November/December is LCC season with some sunny BCC thrown in. No better time to crush slabs.
Jan/Feb/Mar is St George and if you keep your eyes on the weather Ibex, the Swell, Moab, the Creek, etc... Red Rock is too far and too full of beaters.
The nights may be painful but the days are worth the effort.

Don't ignore the skiing though, you can't have moved here just for the choss?
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engineer1984
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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby engineer1984 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:39 pm

Thanks for the beta!

Yeah, I fell in love with LCC this summer. Then fall came and we started going to the desert every weekend, then I fell in love with that.

Anyway, I'd love to get Dorsal Fin this year, but I really need to hit up LCC some more to get the ol' balls ready for the heady lead. Climbed Kermit's wall and fell on the .10, then TR'd the .11 next to it and got my butt kicked.. Zoso gave me some good advice on climbs to try get the slab head ready.

This Sunday I'll be going out to LCC. Wahoo!

Do you guys trad climb a lot in BCC? I haven't done any besides Stuart's and Outside Corner... guess I tried quartzite a few times and thought 'F this'. Maybe I just have a bad attitude? Goodro's looks neat, TR'd it way early in the season because I was afraid of the grade, could probably do it now without too much difficulty. I'm rambling.

So St. George is warmer than Moab, Swell, and 'The Wash' down by Lake Powell?

(Skiing is fun, I just totally suck at it since this is going to be only my 2nd season)

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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby boissal » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:42 am

engineer1984 wrote:Maybe I just have a bad attitude?

This. BCC trad is brainy as hell, none of that plug and go bullshit you find on granite. You have to hang around scoping tons of in-obvious placements and get hopelessly pumped (and scared) in the process. When you get a piece though, it's typically bomber. There are lots of steep mixed routes to work which you can treat as sport climbs once you've sussed out the gear. Quartzite gets a lot of hate from the granite purists, it's an acquired taste but you'd definitely be missing out big time if you avoided BCC all together.

LCC in the summer blows chunks. Sure you can make it work but why would you want to climb 5.7s which feel like 5.10s lathered in grease? The season starts in October and ends when there's too much ice to put gear in cracks. That's when you get on hard slabs. Punany, that 11 to the right of Kermits, may only be sendable at night in January. I wouldn't get on the Dorsal if the temps were much higher than 50... but I like my granite sticky and I'm real scared of it. There was a thread on here or the Proj with a solid slab circuit to get ready for stuff on the Fin. Get on the Thumb before the season's over, that will give you a taste of things.

Moab, the Swell, the Creek, are cold. They're pretty high up and exposed, kinda hit or miss in the winter. It all depends on how much you want to do and how ready you are to spend long cold nights. Same for Ibex, I think I've climbed there every month of the winter but I wouldn't want to spend the night in January even though you can climb in a Tshirt during the day. St George is pretty much guaranteed to be good. The place is toasty. Never been to the Wash.

PS: leading Goodro's is considered poor form, it's for TRs only.
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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby ddriver » Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:14 am

BCC trad is way worth the effort. But honestly, what trad isn't?

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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby BackClip » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:04 pm

S-Direct should be a good one this time of year. Also try the Wave of Mutilation. Also most def do the Fin arete before winter hits....sooo good.


Also what do you like better in Red Rocks? Crimping or high stepping?
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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby engineer1984 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:18 pm

Lol, so far my favorite sand stone is in the swell. Need to get on some Moab towers though.

Did Tarzan in lcc Sunday, talk about a one move wonder!

Thanks for the slab beta, s direct is super run out, isn't it. Gonna have to get my balls up to slab par.

Any recommendations for bcc trad in the ten range?

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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby boissal » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:19 pm

engineer1984 wrote:Lol, so far my favorite sand stone is in the swell. Need to get on some Moab towers though.

Did Tarzan in lcc Sunday, talk about a one move wonder!

Thanks for the slab beta, s direct is super run out, isn't it. Gonna have to get my balls up to slab par.

Any recommendations for bcc trad in the ten range?

Tarzan is a tough one move wonder for the grade. I've seen a few people tap on it...
S-direct is runout and intimidating but not that hard, I'd definitely log some miles of slab before heading up there though. A fall could be ugly and retreating would be a major pain.

For BCC trad, head up to Penitentiary Wall to scare yourself and practice your nut craft. Glass Ocean has some great offerings, the Aqueduct is good, Psychobabble, Strone Crag, Margin for Air... it's probably easier to find good mixed routes than pure sport lines in that range!
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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby engineer1984 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:16 pm

I'm just going to have to repeat to myself "R rated routes are my friend, R rated routes are my friend"

Thanks for the beta, these look really cool. I may do Eleventh Hour this weekend..

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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby boissal » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:36 pm

engineer1984 wrote:I'm just going to have to repeat to myself "R rated routes are my friend, R rated routes are my friend"

Thanks for the beta, these look really cool. I may do Eleventh Hour this weekend..

It's gonna be full-on alpine up there, the season may be wrapped up for Sundial...
As for R rated routes, they're your friend until you eat shit. Take baby steps and you'll get there in one piece.
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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby engineer1984 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:43 pm

Just got back from Tingeys terror. Super easy, fun. There were tons of great looking sport lines up there that don't seem to be in the guide book. Bolts everywhere.

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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby tag » Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:03 am

engineer1984 wrote:Thanks for the beta!
Climbed Kermit's wall and fell on the .10, then TR'd the .11 next to it and got my butt kicked..


IMO, you'd better be able to hike Kermit's before you try the Dorsal, or even S-Direct. Try Barefoot in Barbados or setup the TR on Thin Slab to the left of Barefoot. (You can scramble up a gully/trough to the left.) Head over to the Lizard Head and do Errant Edge, Red Neck Slab etc. Tons of single pitch to get your slab dialed in before committing to long multipitch routes. If you want to do a fun link up to start to work on multi, do Crescent Crack to the Final Link, rap and do the Coffin, then try Exsqueeze Me on TR. To the right of the Coffin there is The Viewing (10a R) to get your R lead head. Or you could rehearse it on TR as well. Finish up doing Closed Casket.

Edit: If you do the Cresent->Final->Coffin link up, take your stuff with you or hide your pack really well. I stashed mine in the trees up the trail a bit from the base of Crescent a few years ago and it was stolen. Pro tip: you won't want to do the 2nd pitch of Crescent with a ton of baggage.

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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby engineer1984 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:16 pm

I agree with you about being able to walk 10 slabs if I'm going to have a decent shot at cleaning Dorsal.

Hard to find slab friends, everyone seems (acts like?) to hate it. Going to the Swell this weekend as I have a friend that loves desert climbing and I've become quite fond of it myself too.

I have one partner to go with for slab and we just don't always work out time wise. I need more slab partners that want to do 10's and 11's. I mean, right now I may have to TR some of these, but still..

excuses, excuses, excuses..

How many of you climb slab regularly? As mentioned before I fell at the varnish section of Kermit and I had a hard time with Punany on TR, but if any of you would be up for climbing, I'd be more than happy. I'm not going to pretend I'm a rock God or never get scared or anything. I still haven't tried an .11 in LCC (was supposed to try equipment ovehang this weekend, but weather was supposed to be bad so we stayed in Ogden), but I did pretty well on Static Cling (11a on Wallstreet), not clean, but felt like it would go down... Got absolutely shut down on Scarlet Begonias (11a? in Zion). Actually haven't even tried the classic .10's in LCC because friends and I started visiting the desert on weekends or we end up taking out guys that just want to cruise on some easy stuff. So anyway, tired of talking about myself, starting to feel like a resume.

I get most Fridays off if you need a partner. I'll even be a belay bia on something if you have a hard project you want work, as long as I get to follow / TR. BCC, LCC, Provo 22 pitch sport climb, whatever.

Thanks again for all the beta, everyone is pretty damn helpful on here.

Cheers,

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Re: Winter trad climbing in Utah

Postby boissal » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:01 pm

engineer1984 wrote:Thanks again for all the beta, everyone is pretty damn helpful on here.

Well that's a first...
That GRK character has a love/hate relationship with Punany and would probably take you up on your offer if he didn't hate people so much.
I'd need a gun to the head to try it again, I cracked my right butt-cheek on it a while back. Come to think of it, it would take a lot to get me on any slab these days. Too scared.
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