Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Roadtrip Second Act

Just outside Zion, the high desert is deeply enchanted

At the gates of Zion; Soul brother, Sean Stanley Leary, came to rest in these hills. There's been a lot of loss and hurt in our little climbing world lately, it's always hard to accept and harder still to understand the heavy burden of life and death. Somehow, Trent Reznor's eerie Lyrics help:

I hurt myself today

To see if I still feel

I focus on the pain

The only thing that's real

The needle tears a hole

The old familiar sting

Try to kill it all away

But I remember everything

What have I become

My sweetest friend

Everyone I know goes away

In the end

And you could have it all

My empire of dirt

I will let you down

I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns

Upon my liar's chair

Full of broken thoughts

I cannot repair

Beneath the stains of time

The feelings disappear

You are someone else

I am still right here

Everyone has their moment during this brief performance called life, then, who really knows....

Bridgedale, Springdale, Squamdale, Pleasantdale, Clydesdale, you get the idea

After lots of deep thoughts we got back to some rock pulling in one of the prettiest, most unique climbing venues in North America: Maple Creek Canyon

The Conglomerate here, is as good as the mythical Mallos de Rigolos in Spain, but sadly not as huge in the freestanding tower kind of way.

All the same, the stone is distinctive and a real pleasure to climb on

Someone even practiced pictography here, waaaaaay back when. Is this some kind of sophisticated symbolism or just the work a prehistoric prankster with too much meat in her belly?

Finally, we made it to the epicenter of flying in America, Point of the Mountain, where we met this guy. With a shit eating Cheshire Cat grin he vigorously shook my hand and said: "I'm Lance!" Lance went on to explain that the year I was born, he made the first EVER cross country hang glider flight from the nearby Camels. I congratulated him on still being alive. What a #boss

Lance stepped into the sky with a poetic style that you can only comprehend when in the presence of a true master.

Point works as well as any site I've flown and inspite of the crowds and urban infringement, there is something special about this place.

It was a great trip with fine company and good vibes all around... Thank you America!


On the tail end of Bishop's Highball Craggin' Classic put on by the AAC, I posse'd up with Cody Sims and Luke Neufeld to get in some dusty road trippin'.  We tacked out a few Sierra pitches before leaving, because, como no? Look at that stone!

                                       Look at those vistas under that moon!!!!

Next Stop was Vegas, which in my mind is always synonymous with sleeze.  But the Vegas area does have some soul, as evidenced here by Brette, taking her lickin's on the ruggedly named burlnanza; Monster Skank.

 Just a few miles asunder from the infamous Strip, Marc-Andre hones his kite 'nique, hounded by Seuss, the dog.

Windsports became a theme on this roadie, we are after all, climbers who climb, but the skies whistled their sirenic melodies, tempting us to glisse above the rocks.

                                                           Cody soaring Jean's ridge

Perhaps the best bit of Americana we encountered on our journey, the Pioneer Saloon.  Though the staff were nouveau tatooed and sporting coiffed beards and greasy crop tops, this place had an authenticity to it that has long been buried under the crisp, homogeneity of the nearby Vegas tarmac.

Bring your own moonshine, literally!!!

                                When these barrels get unlocked, it's sure to go off!!!

But I digress... After a skunking at Jean's Ridge we chanced an evening flight in the hills outside Goodsprings.  The valley restitution cranked us hundreds of meters above the launch for one of the funnest flights I've ever had!

 St. George, Utah was next.  The limestone in this zone is hard to hold on to, in part because it's slick from traffic, but also on account of all the fist pumps you throw while climbing.  Luke couldn't resist demonstrating the classic elbow down fist pump entering the crux sequence on this beauty.

                                     More good Americana: Caffeine = Safety.   So true...