Thursday, November 11, 2010

Canyonlands

On returning to Moab we decided to take another rest day before hitting the rock again. We went touring through Canyonlands National Park, yet another incredibly beautiful park in the area. We went on a couple of short hikes and did some sightseeing.


Here is Kristal standing on Mesa Arch.

We had put away our climbing gear for the day, but that never stops us from checking out any intersting climbing we come across. Here is Kristal on one of the boulders we encountered on the canyon rim.

We camped just outside of the park for a couple of nights, at a primitive campground with incredible views of the surrounding area.

Since climbing Tonka Tower in Arches, we figured it would probably be handy to have some aid gear of our own. Here I am putting together one of four Etries we ended up making.

And here is Kristal testing one out by aid climbing the car.

It turned out we would put them to use the very next day. We decided to climb Walden's Room 5.9 C1, up House of Putterman, just outside of Moab. At least that was the plan. With sub-par directions from the guidebook we spent over an hour driving around seemingly endless back country roads, not quite sure of where we were heading. Eventually we managed to decipher the directions enough to get an idea of where we were. Access to the area had changed a bit since the guidebook was published, so we parked the car and headed out, not sure of how long it would be, or even if we would be able to find the formation. With all the uncertainty we didn't start the approach until just before 1:00, and gave ourselves until 2:00 to find the climb, otherwise we would head back. The route was only 3 pitches, but with the increasingly short days this was still cutting it close. Remarkably, we made it to the base of the route at 2:05, after a 5.75km hike, and we were super excited that we would actually get to climb. There is nothing worse than taking your rope for a walk.

Here is Kristal at the top of the first pitch, which climbed a short but burly 5.9 hand crack, waiting to belay me up.

The third pitch involved some aid climbing and here is Kristal making use of our new Etries.

We were happy to get up and down before the sun set, and thankfully the approach was quite easy going, so hiking the last 45 minutes back to the car in the dark was a breeze. Here is Kristal at the top, with the low sun casting long shadows.


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