Sunday, May 28, 2006

Climbing and Rafting in the Moab Area - Part 1

Adventure Report: Nathan Smith, Ambassador and general climbing bum/student raves about southern Utah. This is part one of two posts from his recent trip.

Recently returning from 13 days in the Moab area, I'’ve realized how incredible this part of Utah is during this time of the year. Temperatures and traffic typically decrease in the winter months and pick up to extremes in the summer. Now seems between the two. Nate Smith on top of Off Balanced Rock in Arches National ParkClimbing and rafting were our two chosen activities for this time period.

The Climbing

Five days were spent rock climbing in Arches National Park and along Wall Street off of Potash Road. In Arches, we climbed Owl Rock, Off Balanced Rock, and made an attempt on the Three Gossips. All was great for Owl and Off Balanced Rock. We even hauled the small Black Diamond Stubby Haul Bag up the chimney of Off Balanced with a Coleman Party Grill and enjoyed a barbecue looking down on the famous Balanced Rock.

Our attempt on the Three Gossips was delayed for a Grilling dogs with the Road Trip Party Grill on Off Balanced Rockfew hours while waiting for a group of five climbers to make there way up the route. I was a little surprised to find a group this big on this line. We found the ledge after the first pitch crowded for just two of us. Also with only one option for an anchor, it wasn'’t possible to belay a lead up the second pitch while belaying a third, fourth, or fifth up the first pitch. The route is in the shade during the morning and early afternoon. By the time I reached the anchors atop the first pitch, we were in the sun and out of water. Maybe an earlier start will get us ahead of groups this large in the future.

We ended each day with a climb on Wall Street on Potash Road. Completely in the shade by the late afternoon, I was shocked to not find a crowd of climbers. The rock was still warm, and the outside temperature enjoyable. I've always found that regardless of the conditions, it is always a good time climbing on Wall Street.



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