Sunday, December 1, 2013

Aftershock from Mud

East Temple at sunset

After a delicious thanksgiving day dinner where I watched about 5 hours of football and did little more than a short hike and sit in a hot tub, Annie and I headed south for a much needed break from Salt Lake. With me being in school and traveling all over for PA school interviews, we have had less time than we'd like for fall travels south.

Friday we arrived in St George set on doing "Aftershock" 11b, the big brother to "living on the edge" down in Snow Canyon. I'm not sure why I decided to do this one, likely due to the short approach as I am not a big fan of frictioney sandy sport climbs like those in Snow Canyon. I pulled a Court and failed to bring my belay device to the top of pitch 1, requiring Annie to run the brutal 30 seconds back to the car to retrieve it, only to discover I had left it in Salt Lake, so a Gri Gri sufficed. Pitch 1-3 are pretty sporty bolting on soft, patina sandstone edges that felt pretty stiff for the grades. Nevertheless, we made it up the first 3 pitches before rappelling down after finding the 4th trad pitch to be of utmost choss and sandier than the Florida beaches. Wouldn't recommend this one to a friend honestly, but I guess it was OK.

Aftershock Wall. Our route climbs to the obvious hole in the center, then to the dark black crack above

Annie puzzling out the "10c" moves to the hole

Enjoying 5.7 Jugs after the difficult 11a crimps out of the hole on pitch 3 

We enjoyed a delicious but pricy(for us) Thai dinner and an evening temple session as part of Annie's quest to visit all the Utah temples.

Saturday we made the voyage out to Zion despite the throngs of people. Luckily we had picked what we hoped would be a relatively reclusive destination. We ended up running from the East Rim out to Cable mtn and then over to Deertrap Mtn, a casual 23 mile 3600' vert day. The only problem we found was the mud.

There are 3 kinds of mud: 1. pudding mud, 2. wet cement mud 3. quicksand mud.

About 50% of the trail was pudding mud, 20% dry, and the other 30% was wet cement. It compensated for the lack of elevation gain by wading through the thick stuff. Nevertheless we had a great time and didn't see too many people. I thought about time trialing Angels(FKT is under :30!) but was deterred by sore legs and the traffic jams.
After 5 miles from the East rim, the cutoff to Cable is left rather than right down to Weeping Rock

Great view of Angles from Cable

As much as we enjoy the National parks, we rarely follow the counsel encouraged on the signs. 

Nice view of the Patriarchs from Deertrap

Wet cement mud. The pine needles act like rebar in real cement

We ended the day by eating at Smash burger. We left hungry so we went to Smiths to get some more food since I refused to pay another $7 for a second burger. Some will criticize us for always eating at the same places over and over again, but we ate at two new places this trip, plus a new mexican place with Nate a week ago, and frankly, there is a reason why we have "old and trusty". Either you spend too much and or you leave hungry. Here are 4 places where you can spend just enough and leave satisfied.

"Old and Trusty"
-Panda Express: $15 for both of us, usually quite full
-Subway: $10 for both of us, almost always full
-Cafe Rio: $18 for our standard choices, never leave hungry
-Little Caesars: $5 baby. Hot and ready's never let you down.

Burger joints and fancy sit-downs always disappoint the hungry runner/climber. 

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