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Joshua Tree 2-18-10

February 27, 2010

Thursday morning, we were woken up early by Coyotes barking and howling in our camp ground, just outside our tents.  I got up early and got ready to cook but had to wait for the pans. Once Brian got up we boiled water, made coffee and our egg & cheese wraps.  We packed up and walked over to the Old Woman. We taped up and I lead Double Cross (5.7) after our friend Ben free soloed the route in his approach shoes.   He was back down and offering Brian and Russ a toke before I could clip the anchors.  Despite the modest grade, this is a fun route. I believe Brian led it last year. The crack eats up #3 Blue camalots, In the continuous crack, that’s all it will take. Bring 3 or so, or walk the cam.  The bolted anchor is above a big pool of water and the route 499, a 5.11b with a powerful layback down low and delicate crimps with imaginary feet up high.  We took turns toproping and failing on the route.

We headed out of the sun and into the cold shade for a lunch of turkey and cheese wraps.  Brian racked up and battled the 5.11a Left Ski Track. An impressive line that spanked us all. We were able to TR the route with the 70m rope by stopping before the 5.8 face up to the top. Unsure of the descent Russ and I topped out the formation, leaving Brian on the ground. This involved russ going back to the car for the 2nd rope.  I lead the last 20 feet of the climb and Russ and I walked around to the rap station above Huevos.  That was all we finished that day, another two route day.  I had a bit of a headache and after the spanking on 499 and pulling hard to clean Left Ski track.

We drove through the park, checked out Key’s View, the San Andres Fault and The Hall of Horrors.

We headed over to Crossroads Café for dinner, I had the veggiburger and bland black bean soup.  I was a bit disappointed with my selection, but now I know.  We headed back to Vons and once again set up a fire.  We had wine and whiskey, which we shared with Clay (?) from Phoenix, AZ. Brian told jokes without punch lines. They gave me a Chihuahua!?!


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