Friday, November 3, 2017

Joshua Tree National Park 2017 - Day 4



Shaka from the top of Intersection Rock, Joshua Tree National Park


Amazing first day with Seth Pettit of Mojave Guides!!  My climbing goals for this trip is to learn how to climb Crack using hand, finger and toe jamming! Today I got to learn all this and, I have to admit, it was very intimidating. But I slowly got the hang of jamming hands and/or fingers and stepping my feet up. I got to climb and practice these new skills on 7 pitches. Oh, the rock friction here is beautiful - just so, so sticky! Enjoy a some photos taken of my day.

I met up with Seth at the Joshua Tree NP Visitor Center in the morning and after a quick check of gear, we headed to the Trashcan Rock at Quail Springs. His girlfriend Simone (Education Tech with JTNP) dropped by with Bernadette, the only climbing ranger at JTNP. We chatted for a bit and Bernadette said she used to live in NH and had climbed at Whitehorse and Cathedral Ledges!





Seth taught me how to wrap my hands in climbers tape, and then showed me some  hand and finger jams.

In addition, Seth taught me to lead belay using the "pistol grip" of the Grigri 2 and he also showed me how to set up the Grigri 2 in "guide mode" for top belaying.









He also pointed out some different features on the rock. Like these "dishes".









On the West face, I followed Seth up B-3 (5.3), jamming my hands and feet whenever I had the opportunity. Top rope was set up on B-1 (5.1) so I could get 2 laps in, again jamming my hands and feet whenever I could. 










Then I got to finish off with climbing Tip Toe (5.7) on top rope, a really nice face climb up a thin dike between B-1 and B-2. 

We took a break for lunch in the picnic area of Hidden Valley. After lunch, I followed Seth up Easy Day (5.4) on the east face of Turtle Rock. This is the route that has that little crack that I jammed my fingers and then my toes into. And that little crack has really good constriction...I ain't gonna lie, it was painful until I climbed up past that little crack.











Across the street, I followed Seth up Upper Right Ski Track (5.3)  on the North Face of Intersection Rock. That was a super fun, super easy climb! I just followed the curving crack up and around. And again, I jammed my hands whenever I had the chance. 

The start of URST

Cleaning URST

At the top of Intersection Rock

The Old Woman from Intersection Rock




From the top, we rappelled 2 pitches down the south side and I climbed the first pitch of Mike's Books (5.6). I started on the Direct Start and it was tough. I had a tough time getting my hands and feet to stay jammed in the crack. The sides of the crack flared and made it awkward to get my shoulders and hips into it as much as I could. At one point I had my left knee jammed into the crack but it slipped out. I ended up pulling on a piece to get up to the ledge. Later Seth explained what I could have done to make it less awkward for my shoulders and hips.














From the ledge up was easy. The climb on this section is pretty sweet! 

Overall, the weather was just beautiful, it was such a fun day of learning new climbing skills and it was such a great experience to climb in Joshua Tree NP! Thanks so much Seth and Mojave Guides! Looking forward to Day 2!