We kicked off our adventures in 2016 early this year with a a climbing trip Joshua Tree! The goal was also to celebrate the Hubs’s 30th birthday in typical dirtbag style, with great food, laughs, and close friends + family. Our friends posted up on Thursday, and Chris and I charged down the East Side that evening in “worst case” stormy weather! No pictures from the drive at night, but let’s just say when you are assisting my spotting snow poles as the wind gusts, and is creating white out conditions as you are going down Mono Pass… well I just hope you never experience that. However, determined, and white knuckled, we charged on and arrived in Alabama Hills for 6 hrs of sleep. The next morning, January 15 we kicked off the birthday festivities with breakfast in Lone Pine and a few hours later we arrived in Joshua Tree and got to climb the rest of the day!
The “Birthday Boys” Recap:
- Eggs Benedict at Alabama Hills Cafe and Bakery
- Climbing in Joshua Tree, including a LEAD
- Beers with Friends
- Sunset in the Desert… with beers
- Camped at Jumbo Rocks
- Camping Surf ‘n’ Terf Dinner | fresh HUGE lobster tails, steaks, risotto, garlic bread
- Homemade, Milk Bar Birthday Cake
- 11 friends + family singing Happy Birthday
The weekend continued. I got up early to watch the sunrise, after rolling out of our cozy bed in the back of the Subaru. Who needs a tent when you have a Subaru Outback, and the best Marmot Helium bag. I wondered the trail towards Skull Rock, and watched the pink fade while the wind disappeared to start off a perfect day. We found our spot and took over some slabby routes, while a few of the group frustrated themselves on Big Moe, and his BIG dyno move. We hadn’t noticed it the previous day, but the other routes in the area were our first lesson in “the first 15 feet doesn’t count” as our friend put it. It seemed to be the trend the rest of the weekend. Our 5.8 and 5.9 routes seemed to start with crazy 10a high step moves, which a few of the dirtbagger’s we met called V0. Lies! Or maybe I just need to climb harder?
Funny enough we ended our first two evenings, practically in the dark, with friends swapping leads on Lazy day at Hall of Horrors. It was a good heackling spot, good fun, and a killer spot to watch the sunset over the boulders and Joshua Trees. On our last day, we arrived back at Hall of Horrors to get some serious wide, and finger crack sessions in, that included a lot of jammn’. See Chris (bellow) leading Nurn’s Romp. It was such a fun climb… after you got 15 feet up. Before that, well I just cursed a lot, and ended my first attempt in tears. I beat the beast later, but geezzz what a burly move to start.
But, those sunsets sure did make it all better!
Funny enough we spent the whole trip outside of “The Real Hidden Valley.” On our last night, after we realized scrambling up “The Eye” with 20-30 other people was a bad idea, we took our beers and flip flops for a guided tour with our self proclaimed Southern Californian. I wish I had better pictures of the valley, but the sun had already set, and we had a low glow that no picture will ever do justice.
We sadly packed up our things on Monday morning, still in disbelief that this had been our first trip EVER to Joshua Tree. The best part… we will be back, and that morning the sky set a blaze with pinks and reds, as the desert said good-bye to us.