Dreary or Not-So-Dreary… It’s a Desert

We are way behind (actually 3+ months behind as this is from mid-December!), but here is our first blog on climbing since after the summer. This will be followed by more recent ones then we’ll backtrack starting from the end of September.

This is one of our camping spots off Onaga Road on BLM land. Notice the fire pit? That’s one of my shallow depressions used to level the van. Someone decided to turn it into a fire pit. The next weekend, someone else decided to turn it back into a tire pit. Suits us just fine. 🙂

at the top of Onaga...

Our morning was greeted with beauty and ominous expectations.

barely a rainbow... maybe a good sign?

So we started into the park wondering…


By the time we reached GTR, things started to look hopeful…

sun, maybe???

So we got to work not sure if things could turn bad quickly.

Jill practicing chimney sweeping technique.

First problem up, though not visible, was the face below Jill (image above) using the pole brush to clean off the upper holds of loose grain. The line is hard but also marred by a fair bit of grain. I counted about 10 holds, both foot holds and hand holds, that might be used on an otherwise blank face of shallow scoops. The best holds are two scoops, one at the start and the second about 1/3 way up. The next best are pinches formed by two nearby scoops, but these are bad. After a bit of effort, we switched gears and tried the face to the left of the downclimb.

our warmup and the downclimb

Jill on the first move to the "oyster"

unable to use a very low sloping foot, she attempted to paste on a high vertical sloper

Here are a few shots of my send of this line and the arete to the left. It’s quite good, but it’s also thin.


a reach move on the Obtuse Oyster

the setup before the setup to the reach move....

just below the left hand hold is a small but good gaston crimp--the setup to the setup

The Obtuse Oyster (above) is quite clean with little grain except for the top holds. They’re good though so no worries… The next problem is the arete called the Crumbling Coral and starts with an overhead high right sidepull and a head high bad pinch. The sidepull is left and above the matching sidepulls for the Obtuse Oyster.

this position is after the crux, but it remains sustained to the top. way cool.

it's all a bit crumbly but excellent movement, and this angle makes it appear like a slab, but it's mostly vertical.

This next problem probably was done, but I did it from a sit adding little to the difficulty, maybe a grade???

This shows the first move done as I had matched at the left hand (hard to see)

My right hand is at the point where I think a standup was already done. I'm guessing, of course.

here jill is about to send it from the stand (matched at the right hand)

reach helps... here is the stem with the cool but ridiculously grainy face to the left.

We also did a problem that may have already been sent and can be seen in the above image . Crumbly too, but it’s fun stemming and with an awkward topout.

As the above image shows, the face to the right is grainy. The moves are cool and the line is clean. I’m not sure if my myopic view of josh bouldering is allowing me to justify cleaning and sending this face. I’ll have to think on it some more and will probably not return to here for a while.

peace out,


~ by r. mulligan on 2011/02/04.

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