"I went to the gym for the first time in over two months after returning from a road trip. It fucking sucks. I was falling all over the place too, and those holds were hurting. My fingers are sore as hell. I watched in dismay as I got smoked by 17 year old gym rats. Then some kid who's never touched stone in his life told me that I could be pretty good if I just improved my finger strength and then he started to walk away. So I grabbed him and threw him against the wall and I took his fucking head and I put it on the fucking floor and said: 'you mutta fucka, I've taken 50 foot falls onto tiny tcu's, I got respect in all 5 boro's — sport, trad, big wall, ice, and alpine. My mudda can hold her head high in any crag in this country. Look at me, I got 26 first ascents under my belt and you're going to walk out on me? I walk out on you.' I mean I said: 'yeah, I really need to work on my finger strength'....." — Christian Brooks.
The American Climbing Road Trip
Our road trip through the south-west US has come to an end. I transformed the blog into a bunch of full fledged pages, with pictures and links. I've kept all the text. Some of the areas that didn't need a full page on their own are still here.
The road trip started pretty poorly with the West Nile Virus as we left Colorado
Continuing further south, I finished a route started 8 years before on Fairview Dome in Tuolumne.
Before reaching Yosemite and its extravaganza of famous long excellent trad routes: everything on the Middle Cathedral, the legendary offwidths and squeezes of the Steck-Salathé, the race up Half Dome to send it in a day and finally our first true Big Wall, the Salathé Wall.
After that we took a break on the strikingly beautiful Californian Needles.
Before going back to our beloved Red Rocks where we had yet to climb the longest route of all (and some more).
In reddish Zion we stood in line on the 3 aid classics and gave up the lines to do two beautiful free routes, well worth the trip in themselves.
And then back to a place we were familiar with, Moab, where after a little warm up in Indian Creek we added the Sunflower Tower, Fine Jade, Washer Woman and the Lighthouse on our already quite decent list of desert towers.
Looking for warmth we did a first trip to Arizona, to Granite Mountain (lots of Cacti) and Mt Lemon (lots of road constructions).
After a Thanksgiving turkey with friends in San Diego we spent too little time in the old classic areas of Tahquiz & Suicide.
And as the cold was gaining we moved south to Joshua Tree to see what was all the fuss about those big boulders.
After a week there it was time to start the final return trip home, but on the way we stopped in the awesome and underrated Cochise Stronghold before the wind kicked us out.
The vacation now over, we drove back north, still trying to climb a little bit in New Mexico, the only place warm enough being a fun sunny spot called White Rock Overlook.
And finally the road trip was over. Four months after we left, we came back to Fort Collins with plenty of pictures, memories and achievements. But according to Jenny there was one little thing to finish...