Driving down to Joe’s Valley has to be one of the most satisfying things I can think of. The drive down from Salt Lake to Joe’s takes about 2 hours, but it really depends on how quickly you drive. Since I’ve started climbing 3.5 years ago, I’ve been to Joe’s only a handful of times, and each time I try and make the trip worthwhile. On my most recent trip to Joe’s I decided to do homework on each problem that I had my sight set on. I watched and re-watched multiple videos of the same climb. I tried to visualize the moves in my head and sometimes I would even imagine myself standing on top of the boulder.
This trip had a certain positive ambiance to it, only because my birthday was coming up and I was feeling good and the weather was perfect. Our first climb we got on was Fingerhut (v10). I decided not to warm up because the short hike to the boulder felt good enough. I hadn’t tried Fingerhut since the last time, which was about 2.5 years ago and back then I could not even do the first move let alone get my butt off the pad. However on my first attempt I nearly managed to top the boulder out but fell short of the juggy lip. On my third go I was on top of the boulder and I couldn’t be happier. Afterwards we drove to Left Fork to try Kill by Numbers, a classic v5, I managed to flash the boulder and off we went to work on Nerve Extension (v10).
Nerve Extension felt hard to me because of the endurance required to finish out the boulder, the moves consist of easy climbing up until the throw to the top out jug. I fell matching the jug multiple times and decided to work on something else. We hiked to Dunkin Donuts (v10), but it might be softer, and I managed to flash the boulder. I realized watching all those videos really did payoff in the end. My psych was high because it was only 2 pm and I had managed to send 2 v10′s already. I decided I should head back down canyon and try Nerve Extension again, I managed to execute the moves effortlessly and was hanging on the top out jugs after my first go. Then it was on to Hydrogenated Oil (v11). I managed to stick the mono move and thought I might have flashed the boulder but fast forward an hour or so and still I was at the bottom looking up. However on my last attempt of the day before we headed back to Salt Lake I managed to use up whatever energy I had left and stuck the jug to a nice finish. At the end of the day I managed to send 3 v10′s (and 1 flash) and a v11 as well. This trip really helped in maintaining my psych but it also made me value time and efficiency when climbing. Onward to Bishop in a few weeks.
You can check out the videos of each climb on my facebook page.