Since last time the climbing trip to Wyoming with the climbing buddies from Boulder, we met again in Moab! This was not the first time I went to Moab - 2 years ago I had a road trip with friends and scoped around the National Parks there (tourist mode).
Few months ago I went climbing (mostly slab) with my friend for my birthday.
This time we were planning to climb Castleton Tower in Castle Valley, Utah. I've never done trad climb, neither crack climb. My friend Ryan would be the one on lead and Alex and I would just top-roping. I was pretty excited but also nervous - the whole climb is 4 pitches more than 400'!
We were debating if we wanted to hike in at night and sleep at the base of the tower because it was a very popular climbing spot. The climbers who just came down from the tower convinced us to have a good sleep at the trailhead since the trail was not easy to find.
We woke up at 5 hiking in dark and planned to start the climb when the first light appears.
We were the first group arriving the tower even though I was out of breath dragging the speed. (The trail was quite steep.) There was another group of two young guys running up (Connor and Jonny) going to climb the same route, and a family from Jackson Holes who didn't end up climbing because of the long wait.
The first part you can either go on a big boulder or hand jam at the right side of the crack. I was trying to jam myself up since it would be a far reach on big boulder. But I couldn't. After two attempt, Connor suggested me to go on big boulder and he even pushed me up. Hahaha it was a little bit aid here.
After the first pitch 130' 5.9 I was very exhausted and my arms were pumped. I thought I couldn't make it to the top. Ryan asked if I wanted to keep going or lower down. I decided to give second pitch a try - off-width climbing. It was lots of struggle and swear.
Calcite is a bitch. It really is.
No one likes it. It's slippery as hell. It's against the rule and our hope - enough friction.
The start of third pitch required hand-jam - I just couldn't pull myself up. I was so frustrated and both my friends were out of my sight. I tried again and slipped. Saw blood on the rock and realized my finger was cut. Wrapped it, told myself to calm down and figured the other way to climb up. There was one part that you would step from one side of the chimney to the other side - if you look down, you would see how high you've climbed. I didn't. I think I would just freak out.
The final pitch was a piece of cake compared to the previous pitches.
Can't believe I made it to the top!! Even it was only top-roping!
400' drop! Woooohooooo!!
We were chilling at the top enjoying our success and rest for a while.
Rappel down was so scary but also fun. It was 2 rappel with two ropes. We passed by English climbers who were climbing 5.11 route. It looked really difficult and terrifying.
I'm not gonna lie I was so scared the whole climb. It was not easy for me even though it was only 5.9 and I had previously led 5.10 outdoor (indoor climbing 5.11). My body was sore for 2 days and my calves were all bruises.
After the climb, we headed to Joe's Valley.
Outdoor boulder is not my cup of tea because I was too scared to fall. I also didn't have enough strength after climbing that tower. I mainly took photos that day.
It was pretty cold in the morning. After trying one boulder problem, my hands were freezing.
We met some climbers from Colorado. They all wanted to do the same problem V6 so it became a crashpad party.
People kept trying alternatively. Ryan was the first and only one who finished the problem.
I did try but I couldn't do any move hahaha.... (My level was about V4 indoor boulder.)
My friends moved to other spots trying V4-V6 problems.
At night, we made fire at the campground. They read stories and I fell asleep. This was probably my favorite time of a day.
The next day was cloudy and made me feel even colder. They wanted to keep bouldering. I said goodbye to them and headed to Colorado. Can't do any upper body workout but I still can snowboard!