Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cedar City adventures

Feb 14-17, 2014

Last weekend I spent time with my sister, her husband (John), and my nephew in and around Cedar City, Utah.  We were able to get outside, go on some hikes, and do quite a bit of climbing.

SATURDAY

Latency Peak via the Coffee Route (5.10c trad/sport - 2 pitches)
Latency "peak" is more of a pinnacle or tower than a peak, as it stands lower than much of the surrounding mountains and plateaus in Cedar Canyon.  The pinnacle is also hard to spot from the highway because it blends in well with the adjacent cliffs.  The approach required some bushwhacking and route-finding but eventually we made it up to the base of the pinnacle and the Coffee Route, which starts on it's south side.

Pitch 1:  I led this pitch up a big crack, which leads into a cave.  I think I used 2 cams and slung two chockstones.  I belayed John up from the "cave".  50 ft.

Pitch 2: From the cave, we shimmied up on top of the cave to a nice platform and set up a belay for pitch 2.  John led this pitch, which was much more difficult than it looks but probably still not a 10c - more like a 9+ or 10a.  The entire pitch is bolted.

Once on top, I decided it was VERY important (mostly funny) to reach the true summit.  So, I scaled the flimsy 7-foot pine tree at the top....
A couple things to note in this picture: 1) the broken tree branch near my feet, 2) the chalk on my back from my chalkbag getting smashed on ground 3) my position (showing signs of pain and the air knocked out of me), 4) john took a picture
Somehow this was the result.  

We rappelled off pre-established rappel stations (bolts and slings) to the base of the climb and hiked out. This was my first "tower" and it was quite a bit of fun.  I think it only took 2.5 hours car-to-car and that includes the approach and route-finding.
The approach
Belaying from the "cave"
The tough second pitch on Latency Peak 
Rappelling off Latency Peak

The Roller Rink and Shinobe crags- Parowan conglomerate rock climbing
These conglomerate cliffs outcrop about 5 miles west of Parowan, UT, which is fairly close to Cedar City.  So after a munch break and a performance by the Southern Utah Symphony, we went back out for some more climbing.  We climbed three routes ranging from 5.8, 5.10b. and 5.11d.  The 11d (called the winds of change) may have been pushing it for us, as we couldn't clip the last bolt - it was super pumpy! Luckily John was willing to spare a crappy quickdraw to leave behind for the next climber.   

Sandstone strata beneath the conglomerate cliffs above 
John on the 10b conglomerate route (the stoning)

SUNDAY

Kanarra Creek slot canyon hike
The whole family (plus me) went on a little hike up Kanarra Creek, just outside of Kanarraville, Utah.  It was well marked trail and was fairly pleasant, minus a few areas that required walking in the bitter cold water.  The slot sections were the most interesting and beautiful; it was a fun outing. It took about 3 hours.

Upper Kanarra Creek Falls
sunlit sandstone in Kanarra Creek Canyon
The nephew 
Me and my pregnant sister in Kanarra Creek Canyon

MONDAY

Snow Canyon State Park rock climbing - Leopard Skin (5.7 trad/sport - 3 pitches)
This was a fun route on a perfect February day in St. George, UT.  We hiked up to the base of the route and alternated leads.  I led the first pitch up a 5.7 crack.  John led the second pitch across an exposed traverse on solid desert varnish pockets.  I led the final pitch up the face, which had plenty of bolts and plenty of juggy desert varnish holds.  Very fun sandstone crack and face climb.

Island in the Sky Buttress in Snow Canyon State Park 
First pitch follows the arcuate flake to a large ledge 
John traversing 2nd pitch of Leopard Skin
Belay station 2 on Leopard Skin 
On top of Island in the Sky via Leopard Skin route