Friday, 27 November 2009

So long Utah. Till the next time.

Home, sometimes not so cosy.

Well once again it has been too long since I last updated, but this nomadic lifestyle is just so busy that it is hard to keep up with the demands of modern technology. What have I been doing? Trying to keep warm for the most part as it has been so cold, I think, if my conversions are correct I reckon it has been as cold as -10c some nights and in the shade of the canyons it has felt like that during the day also, and as many of you may be aware I do not deal well with the cold, especially when I am trying to climb. These cold desert conditions have made me realise that a four season tent is really needed, not only to keep the dust out, but to keep you slightly warmer. What else? We think we had a mountain lion snooping around camp on a few nights. We did not actually see the cat but we saw eye reflections in our headlamps and rather large paw prints quite close by in the mornings. I will not lie, I was quite scared and even more scared after people started recalling tales of mountain lion attacks, bear attacks etc around the camp fire. I decided that my best form of defence was a no drinking of any liquids after 8pm approach, in the hope that it reduced my chances of having to get out my tent for a pee in the middle of the night. Apparently you are your most vulnerable in the squatting position! Not good for hydration but reduced the risk of a mauling. Although apparently it is possible with a little practice for women to also use a gatorade or similar wide mouthed bottle in emergencies, so I may give it a try!

I have now left Utah and the amazing boulders of Joe's Valley and am currently living the life of luxury in LA again for some warmth and hopefully a little spot of indoor training before heading to Bishop, California, for some tricky granite rock. I had mixed emotions about leaving Joes, firstly I could not believe that I had been there for nearly 40 days and I think i had hoped that I would achieve so much more in that amount of time, so I suppose I was kind of sad to leave with so many unfinished problems. That being said I had an enormous amount of fun and completed many excellent climbs. The thing that I find hardest when on an extended trip like this is that you do have to rest, even if you do not feel physically tired from the climbing the camping and all that goes with it is tiring in itself. I also found that my skin just could not cope without some time to heal, all of which I found to be quite frustrating. What I do know is that I have unfinished business in Joe's and hope that at some point I will be able to return and kick ass. It is an amazing venue and I wish it was my local area.

Here are a few random photos.

Home in the snow!

A big hack in my thumb. Pretty.

Split tip.

Thin skin.

Sharka the wonder dog.

Michaelangelo (V3). High but groovy.

The down climb, scary.

Wes considering the down climb.

Kelsey on Wills a fire V6. One of my unfinished projects.

All photos by Caroline Harvey

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