Tuesday, 9 September 2014

American dreaming... climbing inspiration and aspirations

I'm particularly inspired to climb big pointy rocks, ones that you have to climb to reach the summit. A bit Freudian perhaps, but I gain a lot of satisfaction from getting to a summit where being a rock climber is mandatory. They also tend to look pretty dam cool. On a trip to Utah, USA a few years back I managed to climb a few nice towers, including Castleton Tower, and Ancient Arts in the Fisher Towers which were totally awesom

One of my main aspirations is to climb a rather nice chunk of spiky Granite in the High Sierras of California called The Incredible Hulk. What makes this even more appealing is that it involves a proper hike into the back country for a pre-climb wilderness camp, complete with bears and other dangerous animals such as American Park Rangers with guns. One of the best routes to the summit is Positive Vibrations, a 13 pitch, 500 m route of perfect granite. The grade translates roughly to E3/E4 but for us Brits who arn't used to unrelenting crack climbing it would probably feel closer to E5. So i would definately need to be on top form or take a rope gun with me. This  is a climbing partner who is considerably better than yourself and happy to lead all the hard pitches).

The Incredible Hulk with the line of Positive Vibration shown

I would also like to climb more of the desert towers in Utah. The landscape here is almost unworldly. Red rock canyons and towers carve up and punctuate the desert, creating a life time of adventures. There are 3 towers that are one the ticklist - The North Six Shooter, Fine Jade on the Rectory and the Moses Tower. I think it might be time to get training (and saving!).

Moses tower in Canyonlands, Utah

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