Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lunar Ecstasy, Zion NP

Last week I had a random Thur and Fri off, so brother JD and I made a dash to Zion to get back on something steep and beautiful.

This is what we found

Our route, Lunar Ecstasy, ascends the dark varnish on the left of the large pillar (Moonlight Buttress). At grade V, 5.10 C2+, and a touch harder than the routine Zion trades, we thought it would be fun to commit and try to make it off before night fall.

We caught the first shuttle and were on route around 8:00 AM, just in time to catch the early morning light.

The Great White Throne and Angel's Landing

A look up canyon with classics Space Shot and Desert Shield visibile.

The first few pitches are a nice mix of free and aid. Here's JD freeing the 5.10 slot of pitch three.

A look up at pitch five and a couple sketchy moves over the belay ledge.

Ecstatic on ecstasy

Looking up pitch six. Steep.

Jugging up Pitch 7

JD topping out the route with a bit of daylight to spare. STEEP.

After getting down, JD and I went to the nearest faucet and downed two liters of water each. Waterlogged, we met Zack in town for some dinner, and then I had to drive through the night to make it to work the next day. I made it to a rest stop between Beaver and Nephi, slept in my car, and then zipped up I-15 to work, just in time.

The other guys? Those lucky bastards stayed and climbed the ultra classic Moonlight Buttress. It's alright, I'll be back for that one soon. Southern Utah is such a beautiful place, I always come home feeling alive and blessed by the wild travels.

Anyone up for a desert big wall?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A little bit of this and that

August sapped the life out of me. 80 hour work weeks and 90 degree weather disagree with my system. September has revived my soul as the temp has mellowed and the work demands are more reasonable. Little brother JD is in town for the month, but is here for school so the adventures have been tame and sporadic, but will hopefully pick up toward the end of the month. Here's a little of what's been going on.

I've been loving various MTN Bike rides along the shoreline, Bobsled, and the Crest trail...that is until the rear shock just popped off of the frame on my otherwise awesome bike.

That makes two bikes and my Dynafit boots that have all malfunctioned on me. Maybe I'm the problem. No finesse...?

Got out for a nice day in the mountains with lil JD (wifey) when we went for a run up the ever scenic Mt. Timpanogos. Jessie did great on all sections except the rocky switchbacks just before the final summit ridge. We had a "discussion" about the safety of hiking rocky terrain which resulted in her deciding to stay put while I tagged the summit.

Lil JD hunkering down

The other JD and I had a busy Saturday, running a trail marathon and then jumping out of an airplane for the first time in what will hopefully set us down the path to one day do this

I've also been out climbing a few times, which has been great since this summer has been a bit of a downer climbing wise. From the Black Peeler Buttress, I got a good look at Coalpit #4, which really didn't look any better than when we skied it back in March.

And, today I went up Olympus with brother JD and our pops. Our old man is really getting back into the climbing/mountaineering, and wanted to up the ante by getting comfortable placing gear, building anchors, and setting off to realize his own adventures. So we had him lead all six pitches up the West Slabs, cleaning some bomber pieces and finding some gear that looked like it had just come out of the shit factory.

Mike D trying to figure out how to place a cam on lead.
High on the West Slabs.
Alpenglow top out. Father and child.

September is most definitely one of the best months of the year. And while this one is quite a bit more low key than last year, the adventure inertia is building. Gonna have to fill up the tank before work destroys me again in November.