St. George and Outdoor Winter Climbing

For all you enthusiasts and beginners alike looking for some last good outdoor climbing before the winter really gets dirty may I suggest St. George. While we were there we met some Canadians who had made the trip to enjoy the warm weather. The geographic location of the city is what makes St. George such an ideal spot for climbing or just vacationing in general. It sits in southwest Utah, just a short drive from Las Vegas in case you want a temporary break from the outdoors.  It enjoys the red rock formations and warm weather, characteristic of that area of the country.

Oh and one more thing, everything is so close together! We stayed there for just one night and were able to go to three different spots while never having to drive for more than twenty minutes. A lot of these spots are pretty accessible and do get a lot of traffic but that’s why you go in the late fall/winter!

For those of you that have not yet experienced the goodness that is St. George, here are some cool spots you can go for your first time.

1. Pioneer Park Slot Canyon- Now for those of you who have been to St. George, I know what you’re thinking, Pioneer Park is more of a family friendly park then a good climbing spot, but hear me out. In the park there is a slot canyon on the northeast side that widens near the base and that is where you can climb. There are about three or four routes that are all fairly challenging. However, the great thing about these routes is that you can climb around to the top if you aren’t comfortable top roping.

Bottom view of corner climb shown from above in previous photo. Bolts visible.

2. Chuckwalla Wall- This has got to be one of the most popular climbing sites in St. George. There are a lot of routes and a wide range of difficulty- therefore it gets a lot of traffic and most of the holds are pretty chalked. If this is on your list of places to climb, now is the time to go. It was just us and one other group climbing while we were there, and it was about 60 or 70 degrees the entire time.

3. Black Rocks-  This was our third and final stop but it was legite nonetheless and definitely worth a visit. Black Rocks is a nice break from most of the climbing in St. George because it’s not sandstone. It also has the widest variety of difficulty of any of the sites we visited. I’m pretty sure the rock is basalt and the area has a shady side and a sunny side, routes range from a 5.7-5.13’s. It readily satisfies many different levels of expertise.

Avalanche Slides Happening Already

Three people in Montana were caught up in an avalanche yesterday. Now is a dangerous time because the snow is thin. Read up on the story and some wise words of warning check it out- http://www.adventure-journal.com/2012/10/in-the-news-october-30-2012/

 

Frankenstorm brings early snow- go figure

Another prime example of taking advantage of a hurricane- first kite-boarding and now early snow has fallen over the eastern seaboard. Particularly around the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina area. So for those of you itching to get out there and have some way of getting there I am officially declaring that the season has begun! For more of the story click here.

Kite-Boarding in Hurricane Sandy

So while most people are trying to lay low during Hurricane Sandy, this guy is taking advantage of the weather. Now I’m not a mathematician but this dude is hauling.  Originally posted on CNN you can find the story here on grind tv watch video below

Moab-The Perfect Getaway

If you haven’t been to Moab, Utah you are missing out on the experience of a lifetime. Within a 30 minutes from downtown Moab you can find rock-climb, river-raft, bike, hike, camp, and fine amazing trails for your motorcycle, four-wheeler, or any other off road vehicle. One could drive on any of the roads outside of the city and there’s an adventure waiting to happen. A friend and I spent this last weekend exploring some new trails and campsites that I highly recommend.

Seven Mile-Rim Road

“Go nine miles north of Moab on U.S. 191. Just across from the Archview Campground (north of Utah Highway 313), turn west to begin the route. Travel a well maintained road for four miles from U.S. 191, then turn west and start up a series of steep ledges. You will pass a “Sevenmile Rim” sign at this turn. Follow the marked trail to Uranium Arch.” (directions courtesy of the BLM)

This trail is awesome, there are many varying degrees of difficulty on this trail. The picture below is an example of some of the more difficult sections, we had to get out of the car in a few spots and plan our path. Along with the rock ledges there are some sandy parts and narrow spots. Most of the trail goes along a wash and depending on the time of year there is usually some water to drive through.

 

Sunshine Wall

A part of me doesn’t want to post about this place because it is pretty secluded and not really well known. When we were there we had the place to ourselves. But here we go, “Sunshine Wall can either be reached by driving roads east from US 191 or by going through Arches NP on a gravel road. Probably the fastest way is from 191. Look for a good non-paved road heading east between mile markers 152 and 153. Drive about a mile, and then take a right immediately after crossing a small bridge. In another ~2 miles, take a right at a T-junction. From here start looking for Sunshine Wall. It will be obvious on the left, and a mild 4WD road cuts off left to the base.” (CourtesyofMountainProject.com)

The wall has a few routes to rock climb, but be advised it’s mostly slab climbing and there aren’t a lot of holds. That being said, a lot of the wall is on an angle that makes the climb a little easier. At the base of the wall there are a few large rocks that serve as perfect wind-breakers to create a pretty secluded camping spot. There are a few trails that you can hike and we saw a few antelope while we were there. The scenery is fantastic and if you’re looking for a spot with little to no other campers this is your spot.

Four Essentials of Any Trip- Diamond Fork Hot Springs

This last weekend me and some friends decided to go somewhere we’d never been- Diamond Fork Hot Springs up Spanish Fork Canyon. I’d heard a lot about this place and was really excited to go – but we never made it- gasp! Ya so this post is going to serve as just a reminder that when you’re going somewhere you’ve never been before, be prepared.

1. Have a good idea of how long it will take you to get to your destination, and then make sure you have scheduled enough time to do it. That was our main problem, its a 2.5 mile hike to the springs and by the time we found what we thought might be the trail head it was 11:30 pm. We hadn’t planned on staying the night and we weren’t 100% sure that we were even at the right trail.

2. Make sure your group is fully aware of the demands of the trip. I have to hand it to my friends, they weren’t exactly avid outdoors-men, and I could sense their dismay when I told them that the hike would be longer than expected, and then again when they found out it will be pitch black, and then again when we couldn’t really find the trail head, ha ha. With all of this being said though they never complained or suggested giving up, I was the one who eventually pulled the plug.

3. Don’t forget to bring the proper equipment! With just a short hike I hadn’t really planned on bring anything but my swim suit for when we got to the springs. Comically enough I hadn’t thought to bring a flash light, not one of my prouder moments.

4. Don’t plan too much and don’t be surprised when the plans you do have fall through. This was the only thing that didn’t make the trip a total failure, everybody had the right mind set and so when we didn’t end up at our destination we still enjoyed the adventure of driving down Spanish Fork Canyon and being in good company. Part of the reason of camping and the outdoors is the adventure, and to RELAX! Don’t overload your trip with things to do or it will feel more like a chore and check list than a vacation.

We have every intention of going back to Diamond Fork Hot Springs and having a good time, natural hot springs are a perfect destination for any time of year- but fall and winter is fantastic. They are usually not very long and are a good day trip, just keep in mind the four points above for trips like this or any kind of trip really and have fun!

Welcome to iwrite Outdoor

Welcome to iwrite Outdoor, this site is dedicated to discovering and reminiscing about the adventures in the untamed wilderness. Featured on this site will be information about camping sites, whether they are known by many or just a handful of people. Also posted will be information including but not limited to camping gear and activities such as fishing, hiking, rock-climbing, bouldering, hunting, outdoor cooking, and general tips on how to better enjoy God’s green earth.