A lot has happened since my last post here. Sarah and I have since moved out of our apartment in Crested Butte and for the past several weeks have been enjoying some good climbing around the southwest.

We began our trip by packing in likely some of the worst winter weather of the 08-09 season in Crested Butte. Attempting to equip the car for sleeping and extended travel was the first crux of the adventure. A few hours later we were off to Jack’s Canyon, AZ for some early season sport climbing to kick off our trip. Unfortunately we were greeted here with wind and multiple forms of precip. Check out the clip below from a particularly noteworthy moment during dinner.

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That is Sarah, me, Louis (the dog), and Johnny all lounging in our Honda Element. It was the maiden voyage of the Element, and as you can see it was quite comfy! more on that later.

John in his technical apparel

John in his technical apparel

Sarah and Mike climbing a fun slab.

Sarah and Mike climbing a fun slab.

After toughing it out for a few days by climbing in our techy clothing and belay parkas, the weather finally improved and we had a great few days clipping bolts and gawking at the many strong climbers in this outdoor climbing-gym-like scene. I have to admit, closely spaced bolts on 5.10 cracks and steep walls with large holds are really nice features to have at the start a climbing trip. Johnny MacKinnon of CB mountain guides, and current resident of a silver Subaru wagon, joined Sarah and I for some bolt clipping.

Mike Bromberg on a Jacks Canyon 5.10

Mike Bromberg on a Jack's Canyon 5.10

Louis inquiring about snacks.

Louis inquiring about snacks.

From Jack’s we headed out to Sedona for the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Sedona is home to some truly fantastic sandstone tower climbing and is somewhat infamous for old school style traditional routes on often very soft stone. Johnny and I decided to do “Dr Rubo’s Wild Ride” a more popular 4 pitch 5.9+ outing on the “Summit Block Rock” feature. I’ve done my fair share of Sedona climbing mostly back when I was a student in nearby Prescott, and I would have to say that this is one of Sedona’s best. The second pitch was an exceptional handcrack!

Johnny blinded by the light!

Johnny blinded by the light!

After climbing in Sedona for the day, Johnny headed in his own direction and we drove down to Prescott and our alma matter Prescott College. Not much going on down there in the way of climbing, as the magnificent Granite Mountain is closed in the spring for peregrine falcon nesting. A little library time and some quick visits to local haunts, then To VEGAS!

As you may have gathered from previous posts, I like climbing in Red Rock Canyon! and by like I mean LOVE! almost enough to move to vegas. The last week of our trip was spent in the glorious sunshine of Red Rock canyon. We had a campsite filled with friends old and new and it felt great to relax, climb and catch-up over countless cups of coffee…

Sarah on "physical graffiti" in Calico Basin

Sarah on "physical graffiti" in Calico Basin

Louis equally engaged on the same climb...

Louis equally engaged on the same climb...

That is about it… I am preparing various toys for my next trip (a CMC rock course) to back in Red Rocks. I’m in the middle of applying some of that new Five-Ten Stealth Paint stuff on my crack climbing shoes. And I just built a sleeping platform for our house on wheels (the element) so check back for some entries about that stuff.

Just a few more weeks before Mountain Pro becomes Montagne Pro in Chamonix!