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Suggestions on places to take the girlfiend in mid march
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Feb 17, 2012
Want to take my girlfriend on a climbing trip in about a month and was thinking about places to go. She is somewhat new to climbing so I definitely want to make sure she has a good time. We can get to San Diego, los Angeles and Las Vegas fairly cheaply so I was thinking of trying to find somewhere 3-4 hours from there max to climb.

She is a 5.8-5.9 climber and has only climbed outdoors twice but has done a lot of gym stuff.

Since she is fairly new I would do only toprope with her.

Basically, I'm looking for suggestions on places to climb that have the following.

1. Lots of toprope options in the 5.8 to 5.9 range

2. Camping nearby, preferably someplace you can camp within a 30 minute walk from a climbing area.

3. Lots of miles of hiking trails and better yet some peak bagging options (nothing technical) nearby if we want to take a day off of climbing.

4. Within a 4 hour drive of one of the cities listed above.

5. Temperatures averaging in the 60ís and 70s in mid march



Any suggestions?
wisam
Joined Jan 18, 2012
20 points
Feb 17, 2012
Since you're going in the winter, your options are limited. But Joshua Tree has most of what you want. FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
128 points
Feb 17, 2012
Joshua Tree will be about 2.5-3 hours from LAX. Atlantis Wall, Morbid Mound, and Thin Wall are good places to set up TRs without leading anything (although Thin Wall, as it sounds, is a bit thin to scramble around on up top) and have climbs in the 5.5-5.11 range. Most places that are closer to LAX won't have very interesting camping (Riverside Quarry, Pt. Dume, Malibu Creek), although Malibu Creek does have a campground and is a pretty cool spot. Most spots at Malibu will require leading. Have fun! Can't comment on Vegas or San Diego climbing Gabe K
Joined Mar 16, 2010
188 points
Feb 17, 2012
You would have a great time in J-Tree. Camping in the park is fantastic, scenery is great, weather will be really nice in mid-March (especially with the way most of this winter has been), and there are great day hikes to do. Rumor has it that there is some climbing to be done as well. Fairly good selection of TR options. You can get to J-Tree easily from any of the abovementioned airports. Ontario Airport is probably the closest, though.

Red Rocks is another nice place to visit in mid-March, with great easy-to-moderate options. I'm not sure about how much there is that you can walk to the top of a drop a rope on, though. If you are willing and able to lead sport routes to drop a rope on them for your GF, then RR is a good option.

There are many other crags in the SoCal area, but I wouldn't recommend any of them over J-Tree for what you are looking for. J-Tree is definitely the best option.
JCM
From Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 9, 2008
53 points
Feb 20, 2012
Me and Holden at the "Matterhorn"
Mt. Lemmon, AZ. Great weather, Camping in developed campgrounds ($), or Un-developed (free), smaller crowds.
mountainproject.com/v/mount-le...
Robbie Mackley
From Tucson, AZ
Joined May 6, 2010
90 points
Feb 20, 2012
lizard.
wisam wrote:
Want to take my girlfriend on a climbing trip in about a month and was thinking about places to go. She is somewhat new to climbing... ...and has only climbed outdoors twice but has done a lot of gym stuff... ..Any suggestions?



Definitely Vedauwoo.
MarkGriffin
From Goretex-Vortex, CO
Joined Apr 10, 2006
84 points
Feb 20, 2012
Go to Smith Rock. Great weather, LOTS of TR options. Beautiful hiking/biking/kayaking on rest days. Around 10 easy peaks in the cascades within an hour... Mike Rowley
From Boise, Idaho
Joined Jul 9, 2009
86 points
Feb 22, 2012
1. J-Tree
2. Yosemite (weather pending)
3. Bishop (little far?) You can walk to Happys/Sads from the pit.

Weather pending you can hit up Yosemite and it will be fairly warm. (not 60-70)

Bishop is pretty good for bouldering/ you can toprope in ORG. but it is a bit of a drive from LV and It can be windy and cold at night.
PosiDave
Joined Dec 7, 2011
3 points
Feb 22, 2012
World Champion NY Giants logo
Moab. Aside from climbing there are a ton of other activities. You can float the CO river, rent a bike, rent a jeep, and a lot of hiking options Sergio P
From Idaho Springs, CO
Joined Oct 23, 2004
237 points
Feb 22, 2012
Red Rocks is Definitately lookin' pretty nice right about now.



Though, as we know, Weather is pretty darn indescicive.

As for the girlfriend, trust me, make sure she's comfortable. And don't push tooo hard, or you might wind up alone on your trip next year.
Have Fun! Beats the Wind we're having here in Boulder
SendaGorilla
From Boulder
Joined Jul 29, 2010
42 points
Feb 22, 2012
MarkGriffin wrote:
Definitely Vedauwoo.

HA!
Rafael Rovirosa
From Salt Lake, UT
Joined Jun 7, 2011
54 points
Feb 28, 2012
Thanks for the advice. We decided on Joshua tree. Seems to be the best option this time of year. Plus there is lots of other stuff to do if we want to take a day off of climbing.

Thanks again!
wisam
Joined Jan 18, 2012
20 points
Feb 29, 2012
mike
wisam wrote:
Thanks for the advice. We decided on Joshua tree. Seems to be the best option this time of year. Plus there is lots of other stuff to do if we want to take a day off of climbing. Thanks again!

I think Josh is gonna be your best bet as well. Just be aware that setting up TR's is not super easy here. At the very least you should be able to build a gear anchor.
thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
Joined May 18, 2010
150 points
Feb 29, 2012
OTL
Get a guidebook to help with finding the formations and walkoff/top rope approaches.
Here's some info to get you started joshuatreeclimb.com/TopRopes/t...
Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Joined Oct 20, 2010
368 points
Feb 29, 2012
When u say tr anchors are not easy to set up are you talking about the fact that there are no trees to sling?

I've got a full set of nuts along with a bunch of hexes and several cams. Or is the issue more of the lack of suitable rock to place gear or access to the top of the climb?
wisam
Joined Jan 18, 2012
20 points
Feb 29, 2012
wisam wrote:
When u say tr anchors are not easy to set up are you talking about the fact that there are no trees to sling? I've got a full set of nuts along with a bunch of hexes and several cams. Or is the issue more of the lack of suitable rock to place gear or access to the top of the climb?


J-Tree is the land of top ropes. What the poster probably means is that you are pretty much always going to be building a gear anchor for TR. My first climb in J-Tree I was surprised to get to the top of a bolted route and discover no anchors. Being from Southwest Utah I expect everything to be bolted. A local guide was kind enough to explain that I should carry a couple of small pieces for the top of every route or just give up leading all together and set up top ropes on everything I can walk to the top of (almost every single pitch route in the park).

Bring 30-40ft of static line to extend your anchors and a piece of carpet to protect the rope. Read up on anchor building and have a blast. The climbing is great and the weather in March should be perfect.
Ryan Hill
From Oakland, CA
Joined Dec 8, 2009
48 points
Feb 29, 2012
Any reccomendations on guidebooks? I found quite a few. wisam
Joined Jan 18, 2012
20 points
Feb 29, 2012
wisam wrote:
Any reccomendations on guidebooks? I found quite a few.


I bought one of the early Falcon Guide J-Tree books for $10 off of Amazon when I went down there for a month. If you want to save money, go with that, otherwise pick up a newer one from your local shop.
Ryan Hill
From Oakland, CA
Joined Dec 8, 2009
48 points
Feb 29, 2012
wisam wrote:
Any reccomendations on guidebooks? I found quite a few.


There are more comprehensive books, but this one covers a lot of good moderate climbs and has all the descent, sun/shade, gear and approach info:

amazon.com/Trad-Guide-Joshua-T...
FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
128 points
Feb 29, 2012
alabama hills out of lone pine would be right up your alley.

not a lot to actually walk around and set a top rope up on, but if you can lead sport, basically all the routes are single pitch with bolt anchors. then you don't have to top rope, but she can. :)

lots of peaks to bag, other stuff to do and lots of options for camping. i would think it would be a fun place for a new outdoor climber, mostly all face climbing, basically no approaches, great views.

splitclimber
Joined Jan 22, 2007
49 points
Feb 29, 2012
You said you were flying into Vegas as a possibility. Red Rocks has by far the greatest amount of 5.6-5.9+ climbing anywhere. Cragging, bolts, and multi-pitch all in that grade. Where else are you going to climb a 6 pitch 5.7 route with 3-4 star quality? And with cheap hotels and the strip nearby, there's a ton of off climbing stuff to do. The mountain biking is epic there as well.

Cheap hotels if you want them right off of Charleston Blvd, camping in the valley minutes from the climbs...good times I tell ya.
DaveF
From Durango, CO
Joined Sep 20, 2010
35 points
Feb 29, 2012
wisam wrote:
Any reccomendations on guidebooks? I found quite a few.


Two of the prior posts gave some bad advice, IMO.

I would not reccomend buying one of the older guides, like the old Falcon Joshua Tree book. Some of the old books are really terrible, and really sparse on detail. They are usable once you know your way around, but this takes a while. On a one-week trip with the GF, you don't want to waste your time getting frustrated wandering around, not sure where the crag is. Also, these books don't have enough detail to help you choose where to go on any given day, and certainly will not help you find TR crags. Just not enough detail for a successful first visit.

With regards to the "Trad Guide to Josua Tree": I don't think that that one will suit your needs either. That guidebook is great for the aspiring leader trying to work their way up through 5.5-5.9 routes. It gives a lot of detail, but only covers about 60 routes. The big problem with it is that it will cover one or two classic moderate leads at a given crag, and not mention the other 10 routes on the same wall. Probably not ideal for what you are looking for, which would be good TR crags with a number of routes next to each other. This book will direct you to a scattering classic moderate routes, but won't help you choose a good crag to spend the day at.

Better options have become available recently. Either one of the new (as of 2011) guidebooks should do the trick. The white-covered Wolverine/Miramontes book is my favorite, since it is fairly comprehensive while still having enough detail. For a one week trip, though, the new Vogel guide with the green cover might be your best choice, since it provides greater detail while still having a fairly large number of routes. Both are excellent, and both will be available at Nomad's (the shop in J-Tree). Check them both out in the shop, and see which one you like more.

Don't cheap-out by buying a mediocre, out-of-date guidebook. You are already throwing down $$ for plane tickets, and you don't want to lose half a day because you can't find the right crag due to the inadequate directions in an old guidebook. Not worth the $15 that you would save.
JCM
From Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 9, 2008
53 points
Feb 29, 2012
splitclimber wrote:
alabama hills out of lone pine would be right up your alley. not a lot to actually walk around and set a top rope up on, but if you can lead sport, basically all the routes are single pitch with bolt anchors. then you don't have to top rope, but she can. :) lots of peaks to bag, other stuff to do and lots of options for camping. i would think it would be a fun place for a new outdoor climber, mostly all face climbing, basically no approaches, great views.


The Alabama Hills are nice enough, but anything that they have going for them, J-Tree has got it going on better (the amazing view of the Sierra at the Alabama Hills is an exception to this). The Alabama Hills are a "poor-man's Joshua Tree;" you're better off with the real thing.
JCM
From Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 9, 2008
53 points
Feb 29, 2012
Matt N wrote:
Get a guidebook to help with finding the formations and walkoff/top rope approaches. Here's some info to get you started joshuatreeclimb.com/TopRopes/t...


+1 for this. That is really good beta on that site. Check this out: they even have a printable PDF guide to J-Tree Topropes. Color photo-topos and everything. You may still want a proper guidebook, but it would be a damn good start. Check it out here: joshuatreeclimb.com/TopRopes/t...

Also, definitely check out Thin Wall (it is covered in that PDF). Best spot in J-Tree for a concentration of easy-access TRs. Moderate vertical routes with big holds. Can get crowded, though, so go early and go on a weekday. Some routes there even have bolt anchors for TRing, which is a rarity in J-Tree.

For most J-Tree toprope setups, a good selection of webbing or static rope is needed. Good anchor points are often far back from the edge, and you sometimes need to extend the anchor point by 30 feet to get it over the rounded edge. Static rope is probably better than webbing, since it will put up with the abrasive rock better.
JCM
From Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 9, 2008
53 points
Feb 29, 2012
Zermatt
MarkGriffin wrote:
Definitely Vedauwoo.


great way to have an ex-girlfriend
J mac
Joined Oct 8, 2008
101 points
Feb 29, 2012
The top of the tufa on Magma
Red Rocks would get my vote. Lot's to do outside of climbing and much to see in close proximity to camping, and way more options if weather doesn't cooperate for a day. Patrick Mulligan
Joined Oct 12, 2011
1,183 points


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