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Recommended January climbing trips in southwest USA?
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bongowurm


Jun 23, 2006, 11:47 AM
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Recommended January climbing trips in southwest USA?
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Helloo, though I'm doing a lot of research myself I'm curious if anyone's personal experience might help direct a good mid-winter climbing trip out of Salt Lake City.

The two of us are making a 2week trip in January looking for the best climbing we can find. I've taken winter trips to St. George, and know that is a good destination for difficult sport climbs (we'll probably stop there,) but I've never been to Red Rocks, the VRG, Indian Creek, or for that matter any real Utah sandstone trad. We're thinking of 2-3 places with the drive days being the only real rest days outside of moderate climbs, so my first idea is St. George and Red Rocks being the main destinations. Salt Lake will probably begin and end the trip with whatever's warm and dry. Probably will hit the Billboard/Hard Rock in American Fork.

Are there any places you guys know that we should really see? All i'm going by is the Rock 'n Road. We're looking for up to .10 trad, .11s and easy .12s sport and maybe some bouldering.

Is it worth it to keep driving to California?


redlegrangerone


Jun 23, 2006, 11:50 AM
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That is a pertect time for a trip to Cochise Stronghold. The weather is pleasant. The climbing is awesome.


What exactly are you looking for?


sactownclimber


Jun 23, 2006, 12:08 PM
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Dude, you could spend all two weeks in Red Rocks and barely scratch the surface . . . seriously.


bongowurm


Jun 23, 2006, 12:13 PM
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Nice camping near to climbing, bail options, scenery, clean faces, long pitches, great sport 10 and up, trad that does not require backpacking, boulders next to camp, you know! The best of what we can get to. We're both hoping to make a lot out of this trip, so spending our energy climbing and not bushwhacking/horrendous-descending sounds good. Of course ga$ is a factor too.

Is conchise stronghold in Colorado? I can't find it in the routesDB.

Now that I think about it, CO would offer some fine winter areas indeed.


redlegrangerone


Jun 23, 2006, 12:55 PM
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No, Cochise Stronghold is in Arizona. It is down here around Tucson. It is a trad and adventure climbing paradise.


sspssp


Jun 23, 2006, 3:04 PM
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Nice camping near to climbing, bail options, scenery, clean faces, long pitches, great sport 10 and up, trad that does not require backpacking, boulders next to camp, you know! The best of what we can get to. We're both hoping to make a lot out of this trip, so spending our energy climbing and not bushwhacking/horrendous-descending sounds good. Of course ga$ is a factor too.

Is conchise stronghold in Colorado? I can't find it in the routesDB.

Now that I think about it, CO would offer some fine winter areas indeed.

Red Rocks fits that description except the camping is hell. The trad approaches aren't horrendous but they tend to be a bit of a hike.

Cochise is a neat place with great climbing. However the approaches are also a bit of a hike and it doesn't have bouldering next to the camping (that I am aware of). It is mostly trad but there are some very good bolted lines (the ones put up recently tend to be bolted a little more closely together).

From Utah, I wouldn't drive out to California. Joshua Tree is a great winter climbig place for those in SoCal, but you have better options that are closer.


builttospill


Jun 23, 2006, 4:56 PM
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Re: Recommended January climbing trips in southwest USA? [In reply to]
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Do you live in SLC or is your trip starting here because you're flying into SLC/Driving here from someplace north? Just wondering.

With a two week road trip, if I could climb as hard as you, I would do the following:

-a day in SLC/AF if you want. Those will always be there if you live in the area though, so why bother really?

-Hit Zion. There are a lot of good long routes that you should get on, especially if you can free 5.10 trad.

-Red Rocks. I would spend at least 4 days here. You can always come back to do more routes, so I would limit it to 4 probably. It's not a terrible drive from SLC, so you can come back sometime on a long weekend. But there are a ton of good routes here. The camping DOES suck. But it's not a long drive from the crag.

-Cochise in Arizona. Never been there, but from what I've heard it matches yoru descriptions. I would spend the bulk of the remaining time here since it's a longer drive from SLC and it's unlikely you'll be back unless you take another trip next year.

Not sure where Cochise is in ARizona, so I'm not sure how to get there or back, but if you're coming back to SLC afterward, you could swing east on the way back to make it a loop instead of taking I-15 back to SLC. Going up and through Moab would allow you to get a day or two of desert towers in, and there are several "classics" in the .10 and under range that you could do. THen it's a short 3 hour drive back to SLC.


redlegrangerone


Jun 23, 2006, 6:27 PM
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Re: Recommended January climbing trips in southwest USA? [In reply to]
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Actually, there are some really good bouldering problems in the East Stronghold campgroud, The topo is on supertopo i believe. It has a map for all the problems. The only drawback is the lack of water and showers at the campground. But you can bring water and find showers in the small town of Sunsites. Cochise Stronghold is an hour and a half south of Tucson.


climbsomething


Jun 23, 2006, 6:42 PM
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Re: Recommended January climbing trips in southwest USA? [In reply to]
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Cochise has sport routes, but people go there for the long trad. It's in an isolated part of unspoiled SE Arizona (read, in the boonies), but it's a very unique and special place. Almost spiritual.

But because I am kinda pampered and spastic, I think you should stick to Red Rocks, actually. It has everything you want and then some. And while I agree that the camping sucks (the wind!), you can hang with it a while and then splurge on a motel in the city. If I could spend 2 weeks in Red Rocks, I would.

That said, if you go to Cochise, stop by Tucson/Mt. Lemmon too, and say hi. Lemmon and Tucson have their own charm.


bongowurm


Jun 30, 2006, 3:15 PM
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Re: Recommended January climbing trips in southwest USA? [In reply to]
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Thanks so much for all your help!

Man, Cochise does look great... but is it worth the drive?

SLC is my family base, but I live in Boston. I've gotten quite a bit stronger since I left, so I'm excited to get on some climbs I've always just looked at. So, we'll probably spend the first day there, and recover on the drive ahead.

Red Rocks does appear to have everything climbing wise, and following I-15 would help keep the driving streamlined. That would throw us past numerous areas including Zion and St. George.

For you Arizonians, is it worth sacking a day or two of driving to include Cochise?


climbsomething


Jun 30, 2006, 5:06 PM
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It's worth it if you like long hikes to tall, remote granite domes, yes.

If you like short hikes to half-rope-length-or-less patina faces, then not as much.

There is no truly superior option. It's really just a matter of taste.


redlegrangerone


Jun 30, 2006, 7:38 PM
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The Stronghold is definately worth it. Great rock. Great routes. Solitude. This is a real trad paradise. You got face, cracks, chimney's, chickenheadfests. Single or multi pitch. The remoteness cuts down on the people and helps create a spiritual place. And the views are great from everywhere.

Yes, The Stronghold Will Burn You To Your Very Soul.


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