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Crag & Route Beta

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USA road trip itinerary ideas
11:28:20 PM
So you have 10 weeks in the US and Canada. Flying into LA late March back early June. You have a car, climbing partner (both climb early 20's), and trad rack (but sport is ok too!).

What would your itinerary be?

4:33:31 AM
Exact itinerary will probably have to wait until you get here (road closures in the mountains will be a factor for the duration of your trip), but here's a rough possible outline:
1. Red Rocks NV (March / April is perfect - too hot later) - 2 weeks
2. Owen's River Gorge CA - couple of days
3. Lover's Leap CA - couple of days (assuming hwy 120 is still closed, which is pretty much guaranteed)
4. Yosemite CA - 1 or 2 weeks
5a. Tuolumne CA - 2 weeks (assuming hwy 120 is open by then - sometimes doesn't open until July)
5b. Smith Rock, OR - 1 week (if hwy 120 is closed)

Utah would be an obvious side trip to try to tack onto this, but I've barely climbed there so don't know too much about it. It may still be a bit cold and/or affected by road closures at that time of year (not sure).

There are also a bunch of less classic (but still great!) crags sprinkled along this general loop (Tahquitz, Joshua Tree, Mt Charleston, East Side Sierra, etc. etc.), so you could easily make this a "see lots of crags" vs a "see a lot of a few crags" trip, depending on your preference. Also, I tried to minimise driving between crags, since driving long distances bores me to tears.
2:39:56 PM
Mr Monks has shown his west-coast bias. There's also plenty of rock in the East, although the midges can be a nuisance in May.

My personal experience is limited to New Hampshire and Yosemite. You could spend a week or so in New Hampshire, there's Rumney which has developed into a serious sport crag, plus longer granite routes at Cannon Mt and around North Conway. North Conway is a bit of a climbers-central for the area - multi-pitch routes on Whitehorse and Cathedral 'Ledges', the Whitehorse routes are mostly 8-pitch pleasant slab routes up to about 17, Cathedral is a bit steeper and harder. (I can also loan you a guidebook)

There's also the 'Gunks in upstate New York.
2:53:30 PM
I think a west coast bias is warrented. The key to a good road trip is good weather.

Other options could be Datil NM, other east Sierra areas monks didn't describe like the buttermilks and going inland the colorado crags (eldorado, longs peak, rifle, fort collins) or utah (morman girls are hot) would set you up for everything.

I think you need to question how much driving to climbing you want to do and any specific dreams of places you wish to go and base your trip from there.

Eduardo Slabofvic
3:32:21 PM
Buy a very big car (my preference would be a Chevy Impala), a loud hawian shirt, and cruise what ever crags you choose doing you best to ensure bilateral relations between the USA and Australia are put under as much pressure as possible.

4:03:51 PM
On 11/01/2010 gfdonc wrote:
>Mr Monks has shown his west-coast bias

While true, my main thought was that driving to the East Coast crags would involve a shiteload of driving through a bucketload of exceptionally flat land.

4:13:33 PM
On 11/01/2010 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
>Buy a very big car (my preference would be a Chevy Impala)

Chevy Impala? Big? I reckon one of these would be better for road tripping!

Eduardo Slabofvic
4:23:59 PM
Granted, it would be nice, but very very very uncool.

4:32:49 PM
On 11/01/2010 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
>Granted, it would be nice, but very very very uncool.

Mate we had one for Burning Man a few years back and it kicked ass. Kicked ass until the toilet blocked up, that is. :-\

Eduardo Slabofvic
4:43:14 PM
I had a '68 model Kombi. How I miss that car - not.
5:20:08 PM
On 11/01/2010 widewetandslippery wrote:
>I think a west coast bias is warrented. The key to a good road trip is
>good weather.

I agree with WWS! Reliable weather plus driving East to West Coast is much wasted climbing time!

Some of the suggestions though I would leave out. The Enchanted Tower is impressive but the OP is looking for routes to low 20's and it's along drive south from Boulder if climbing there. Here there is only a couple of routes on the main tower from memory in the low 20's and the other routes on the nearby outcrops in that range are okay to do whilst there but not that special.

Rifle is amazing but all the warm ups (5.11 routes) were very polished 15 years ago - hate to think how they are now!

Boulder crags would fit the bill - university town adds to the rest day entertainment. Plenty of trad routes in the grades required.

The New River Gorge sounds like it would fit the bill but still a long drive even from Boulder...
6:16:26 PM
Thanks for the suggestions - and laughs! I have to say that the west coast probably has it as I'd like ot make the most of the time there (and rather not be on the road too much). The following is first cut of our trip plan.... comments?

1.because it is still winterish in the north i thought the first place to go would be joshua tree while it's not too hot. then we sort of drift north as it warms up...
2.then red rocks
3.then bishop (which has a whole bunch of different crags and styles)
4.possibly moab and tour of indian creek and environs
6.possibly yellowstone just for the beauty of it all.
and then.......
gulp!....7. yosemite!

Chuck Norris
8:09:46 PM
Whatever you do get some desert sandstone in your itinery. Whether it be Canyonlands and or zion and or indian creek etc don't matter but it is truely unique climbing in an awesome setting. Can't go wrong basing youself in moab for a while - just remember to stock up on real beer before crossing the border.
8:35:54 PM
On 11/01/2010 Yonnie wrote:
> 6.possibly yellowstone just for the beauty of it all.

If you are going to Wyoming then go for the Tetons and Devil's Tower. Much better than Yellowstone.

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is awesome (The Diamond!).

11:52:32 PM

>If you are going to Wyoming then go for the Tetons and Devil's Tower.
>Much better than Yellowstone.

The tetons could hold significant snow until late may. If devils tower is too far away,
head just a little east of Yellowstone to Ten Sleep, WY for hundreds of fantastic
sport routes on well pocketed and fossiliferous Dolomite. The guide book (available
at the corner store next to cowboy and indian toys) will lead you up some beer
bongin, cody night rodeoing, and if you don't do this you must hate your country and
your mother.. routes galore! (Aaron Huey's guidebook is a riot! All books should drop
star ratings and measure them by increasingly pleasurable sexual acts.)
see comments in link. the mike decker crew does want you to be friendly and
respectful of the canyon. you shouldn't be too afraid to climb there, he mostly uses
his rifle scope as a monocular and rarely shoots to kill.

4:33:55 AM
On 11/01/2010 Yonnie wrote:
> 1. Joshua Tree
> 2. Red Rocks
> 3. Bishop
> 4. Moab
> 5. Colorado
> 6. Yellowstone
> 7. Yosemite / Tuolumne

That's a good looking loop, although Bishop doesn't make much sense at #3. Better to swap it with Red Rocks or (better yet) put it right at the end, after Yosemite (and keep your fingers crossed that hwy 120 opens by the end of your trip). Putting some consumer friendly sport climbing at the end of your trip (when you're likely to be in great climbing shape!) could be a great way to tick some hard routes!

Couple of other notes:
* JT will still be freezing at night when you first arrive (it's high elevation - 1000m ASL or so).
* Best climbing near Yellowstone is the Tetons and Wind River Range (which are on your way between CO and WY), but at that time of year there will definitely be snow on the ground (as mentioned by ryguy), and it may even snow while you're there (WM and I got snowed on in Jackson in September, but we still got one long route done in the Tetons before the weather changed). The Tetons (or at least what I saw of them) were fantastic - awesome alpine rock routes!
* I know I've said it before, but if hwy 120 is open, definitely head up to Tuolumne - it's so much better than Yosemite (in so many ways)

7:37:33 AM
the places to go in order assuming your arrival and departure dates are fixed:

1. J-tree (learn to tape your hands or the rest of the trip will be problematic) 3 climbing days minimum
2. Red Rocks (multipitch in the canyons) 3 climbing days
3. Zion 2 climbing days
4. City of Rocks 2 climbing days
5. Smith (cracks in the gorge) 2 climbing days
6. Index 2 climbing days
7. Squamish (6 and 7 are very weather dependent in May) 5 climbing days
8. Long ass drive back to Yosemite on I-5 for valley climbing if it's not to hot (May), or Tuolamine if it's June 8 climbing days

J-tree to Red Rocks -one full day of driving
Red Rocks to Zion - half day of driving
Zion to City of Rocks - full day
City to Smith- full day
Smith to Index -half day
Index to Squamish- half day
Squamish to Yosemite - bollocks in a blender!

If you don't want to head farther north than City, and avoid the Pacific northwest wet, stay in Utah longer, lots to climb, good weather, but Colorado back to Yosemite is a crap drive.

ps. if you have a female relative of any kind, shape, or mental status, I want to marry her so I can live in Oz and climb there the rest of my life. (all bush pigs considered)
8:19:17 AM
On 11/01/2010 stugang wrote:
> - just remember to stock up on real beer before crossing
>the border.

you can actually buy real beer in Utah - you just have to read the fine-print label & make sure its not low-alcohol. As of last summer they even changed the laws so you don't have to be a "member" of a bar to get it!

11:58:27 AM
Try an get to yosemite in mid may and it's perfect!! This is by FAR the best place out of all the ones
listed so spending 3 weeks there would be sooo easy! Sierras is also amazing as is tuolume!!! Def
check out the Creek in April, that's when some flower start blooming and is freaking beautiful!! Do the
six shooters fo shizzle!!!
12:22:33 PM
I think J-Tree is overrated. I'm sure if I lived near by I'd love the place but the biggest kick I got was rememberances of Lost in Space.

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