Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Break : Dolt Tower to J-Tree

On Thursday 3/28 I was finishing my business capstone midterm, but that was the last thing on my mind. As soon as I finished that test it was spring break! Now most college kids think of something like this for spring break....

I was thinking more along the lines of this....

I had to guide a climbing class on Friday, work at the bike shop on Sunday, and then leave for J-tree on Monday, so Saturday was looking like a Yosemite day trip kind of day.

I called my buddy John and we agreed that a trip up the Nose to Dolt Tower sounded like a good way to spend the day.

The rock and crack quality on this route is just amazing!

Not stoked about 50mph winds blowing us all over on the stovelegs.

 Two pitches to go up to Dolt!

 Splitter up to Dolt.

When we started the climb I realized John didn't bring any etriers (or jumars for that matter). I didn't know but John planned to free climb the whole thing. This kind of caught me off guard as I was planning on aiding the first 4 pitches and probably french freeing later on if I had to. After he freed the first four pitches I decided it was John's day to send and let him keep going. It definitely changed my view point of the route. It went from how can we climb this faster, to oh, get stronger and free more! Seems obvious, but watching him onsight 5.11d pitches really made me rethink my strategy for this route, and inspired me to get stronger this season. By free climbing a lot and simulclimbing through pitches 5, 6, and 7, and linking 10 and 11 we were able to get to Dolt in six and a half hours. Definitely not a speed record, but not bad for our first go at it, especially when we weren't really going for speed.

Up on Dolt

 Vitaliy spotted some climbers on Dolt, and what do you know, it was us!!! Thanks for the shot!

 Not so sure about the camelback next time...

A day of working on bikes on Sunday and then it was time for a road trip to J-Tree!!!

Whitney had never driven down California via highway 101, so we decided to take the scenic road down.

You have to make a stop at the Madonna Inn on the way down. I'm not sure why.....

Oh yeah to pee on a waterfall!!! haha

And to get a little bouldering in...

 Whitney is very confused by this place on her first visit haha

I dislike the Chick-fil-a owner's view points on social issues, but man I like those chicken nuggets.

Whit was worried about running out of gas at one point, but I told her we were's a 15 gallon tank.

The next day we were climbing!!!

 Whitney getting her shutterbug on.

 Top out photo of
Walk on the Wild Side

Me goofing around....I'm starting to like the wide..... slippery slope I know.

Home away from home

Alan soloing some wide next to Walk on the Wild Side

 Brad Young belaying Whitney

 Whitney cruising "The Kid" her first 5.10a slab!

Alan crushing on Grit Roof 5.11a at the Hall of Horrors

Me following

Desert moon rise

Not Forgotten 5.10a/b on the Hidden Tower

Whitney following her first 5.9 crack, Wild Wind, on the Hidden Tower

Me leading Fisticuffs 5.10b

Solid fist jam right before it gets wider

Alan leading Martin Quits 5.10c

On the last day we headed over to the Rusty Wall. The rock here was amazing. Way smoother than anything I had seen in Josh before. I didn't even tape up, which is usually suicide for your hands here.

O'Kelley's Crack 5.10c/d
The start of this route is freaking hard, I believe it's a 5.11a start, but felt a little harder. An awkward flared fist leads to tight fingers and basically no feet, but then it turns into a great hand crack.

Wangerbanger 5.11c

 Alan leading Wangerbanger 5.11c

After the Rusty Wall we ran back for one more climb....
Tonya leading Heart of Darkness 5.11a

Desert skin is in full effect.

Well there you have it. Spring break 2013 in the books. Dolt Tower was a great training run, and Josh was a great time as always. 2013 is going to be a good one :)

I have wayyy more photos that I might post later...


  1. Seeing those photos make my hands clammy. Looking forward to getting back into CA granite. I hope to get on some routes with you in the Summer, but in the mean time the Himalayas are calling. -Laughlin

    1. Nice dude! Take lots of pictures I definitely want to see that. And let me know when you are back in California. We'll get on something big for sure.