Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rest Stop Bouldering

When we arrived in Sugarite Canyon it was 30 degrees Celsius.  When we left two days later it was 4 degrees and snowing.  The weather has definitely been a little weird.  We had hoped to check out the climbing in El Rito, New Mexico, but with the unfavorable weather we decided to keep driving.

We ended up stopping at a small local crag outside of Gallup, New Mexico.  It really isn't much of a climbing destination, with most routes being only 30 to 40 feet high, and a lot of broken glass and trash lying around from the locals partying it up.  But you can't beat the convenience, as it is a 5 minute drive from the interstate, has no approach and boasts free camping right at the base of the cliff.  There isn't much like getting on the rock within 5 minutes of finishing breakfast, and despite the short cliffs we did manage to climb some good routes.

On to Arizona, where we broke up the drive with a visit to Petrified Forest National Park, which had quite a lot to see.

Cool badland terrain.

Pueblo ruins.


Pretty flowers.

Cute wildlife.

And of course a lot of petrified trees.

The most random climbing ever occurred as we stopped at a rest stop on the I-40 to make dinner. Lo and behold there were some small sandstone formations just begging to be bouldered. We even managed to find a handful of decent problems!

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