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Kartessa


Nov 5, 2012, 7:27 AM
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A "where should I go climbing" thread
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Ok, so I've negotiated enough babysitting to take a climbing trip in January. I want to go somewhere "nice" and this is where you come in. I don't know diddly about January conditions at most climbing areas.

The plan would be to go any time in Jan for 1 week, departing from Buffalo Airport.

What climbing areas have reasonable temps, camping nearby, sport, trad or bouldering, within 5 hours drive of a major continental US airport?


granite_grrl


Nov 5, 2012, 8:09 AM
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Kartessa wrote:
Ok, so I've negotiated enough babysitting to take a climbing trip in January. I want to go somewhere "nice" and this is where you come in. I don't know diddly about January conditions at most climbing areas.

The plan would be to go any time in Jan for 1 week, departing from Buffalo Airport.

What climbing areas have reasonable temps, camping nearby, sport, trad or bouldering, within 5 hours drive of a major continental US airport?

January is a rough time in North America. While you may be able to chase the sun down in the South West, it's still going to be really cold at night.

Warmest place I can think of in the US is Hueco Tanks, but that's still kinda chilly early January. A car is more or less required too (not sure if that was factored into your plan).

Is a place outside like Portreo an option? How about over seas?


lena_chita
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Nov 5, 2012, 8:24 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
Ok, so I've negotiated enough babysitting to take a climbing trip in January. I want to go somewhere "nice" and this is where you come in. I don't know diddly about January conditions at most climbing areas.

The plan would be to go any time in Jan for 1 week, departing from Buffalo Airport.

What climbing areas have reasonable temps, camping nearby, sport, trad or bouldering, within 5 hours drive of a major continental US airport?

January is a rough time in North America. While you may be able to chase the sun down in the South West, it's still going to be really cold at night.

Warmest place I can think of in the US is Hueco Tanks, but that's still kinda chilly early January. A car is more or less required too (not sure if that was factored into your plan).

Is a place outside like Portreo an option? How about over seas?

I was going to mention Hueco, too. that would be pretty nice in winter. No first-hand experience with Potrero yet, but everything I've heard says it is nice conditions in January.

There is always Las Vegas/ St. George, with the attractiveness of staying in a cheap hotel and forgetting the cold winter camping.

Chattanooga, TN area offers a variety of bouldering and trad. You have Stone Fort and T wall right there, Rocktown within one hour, HP40 within 2.5 hrs. There is a climber's hostel there, too, if you want to avoid the hassle of flying with camping gear.

But while i have climbed at the above areas in January, and plan to do so again, it is theoretically possible to get hosed by a winter weather if you only have a week. I have definitely cancelled trips to Chattanooga at the last minute because the weather looked moserable.

My one trip to HP40, there was almost foot of snow on the ground-- the one and only time it snowed there the entire year that year. Two days before that, everything was great. Two days later -- everything was great again. But I didn't have the flexibility to wait for the good weather.


Southwest seems to be more consistent in having DRY weather, I would go that way if you have to stay within North American continent.


ecade


Nov 5, 2012, 10:00 AM
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I'd say vegas-Red Rocks, thats been myplan in past and is my plan this year too. I find its cheaper to go Xmas rather than january, Jan is the begining of conference season, few people take trips to vegas over xmas...not really a place to teach your children peace and good will to all men.

you are canadian right? that means you have winter in your blood too. Last year weather was mild enough to climb in a tshirt while in the sun. Yes you can get hosed by old man winter, and if thats the case get a rental car and drive to J-tree.

Don't know what your budget is, last year I did 10 days on the strip at Ny, Ny, flight, rental car all in at $704, flew from pearson. booked on priceline.


crackmeup


Nov 5, 2012, 10:51 AM
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+1 to Vegas. One good thing about Red Rocks is that is the weather is too cold / windy for trad or even sport, there's a ton of great bouldering in the area. Kraft and Calico Basin are really easy to get to. I've bouldered there in January right after a snow storm, and it was great. The South Nevada Bouldering guidebook is awesome.

http://www.b3bouldering.com/...ering-by-tom-moulin/

There's also Joshua Tree (predominantly single-pitch trad), but I don't like the climbing there that much. The landscape and the vibe are great, though. It's a four-hour drive from Vegas.


Kartessa


Nov 5, 2012, 11:17 AM
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Danke!

I was thinking j-tree or red rocks, I'm ok with cold nights and it's cheap to fly from Buffalo to Vegas.

Was just wondering if there are other options. Thanks for suggesting TN and Hueco - they will be worthy additions to my short list. I'll have to consult with the partner and we'll see what happens!


potreroed


Nov 5, 2012, 1:10 PM
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El Potrero Chico. Fly to Monterrey. shuttle to the campground, 10 minute walk to the climbing, easy 2 mile downhill walk to town, easy hitchhike back up, cheap camping, cheap food and beer, 700 bolted routes from single pitch up to 23 pitches, warm weather (you'll prolly be seeking shade), great, friendly, international scene.


camhead


Nov 5, 2012, 2:52 PM
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I second Potrero. For cost, ease without a car, finding partners, accessible climbing, quantity of climbing, your profile's climbing level, and reliable weather in January, it is a better option than Jtree, Hueco, Red Rocks, or Chatt.

Notice I did not say that it had better rock than any of the other areas, though.


Kartessa


Nov 5, 2012, 4:21 PM
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EPC - How much is the day to day living? A flight is coming up at $600 which is a little over budget, but if accommodation/shuttle/food come cheap...


camhead


Nov 5, 2012, 5:14 PM
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Kartessa wrote:
EPC - How much is the day to day living? A flight is coming up at $600 which is a little over budget, but if accommodation/shuttle/food come cheap...

Ed would know the details, but if you camp, it will be about $5/night. Food could be done for $10/day if you are frugal.

check here for more details:

http://www.elpotrerochico.mx/


rocknice2


Nov 5, 2012, 5:25 PM
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if you're traveling alone probably the most important thing to consider is if you'll be able to find a partner or not. Joshua Tree is a great place to find partners Las Vegas not bad but not great. Tennessee I'm not sure though but I would think it's not that great either.EPC will be the best place 100 dollars roundtrip shuttle 5 dollars a day camping and the foods for the cheap. it's extremely easy to find partners in the climbing is really good.


Partner happiegrrrl


Nov 6, 2012, 10:23 AM
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As mentioned, if you need to make partners upon arrival, Joshua Tree is very likely your best bet. If worse came to worst, you can at least count on me for a day of belay slavery and giving you a tour of the place. I know we have had our differences but I extend the offer. I know JT well, will be there for winter and maybe can even get a group interested in going to New Jack if you want to sport climb.

Las Vegas would be your airport, although Palm Springs is closer to JT and is an option too. With Vegas, you could see if you can get some climbing in there to start or end the trip, saving a long drive to JT with jet lag or a plane to catch. Red Rocks is precipitation dependent - if it rains or snows, you won't be able to climb for at least a day due to the rock softness. So, to plan solely on Red Rocks with no alternative could set you up for problems.

Usually January is okay in JT but of course there is always the possibility of it not being. Later January will lessen that chance. Two years ago, it was bitter - BITTER - cold from xmas through New Years. But last year was a mild winter pretty much throughout. Just a couple days of wind.


donald949


Nov 6, 2012, 11:22 AM
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Yea, Jtree. Could be nice - could be cold wet and windy. My profile pic was taken on a cold windy day in Feb. Now yes, its not Canadian Great White North cold, but I stripped down from a thick fleece jacket to a light sweat shirt for the climb. The nights were well below freezing. Running the trailer heater all night to keep the family warm. But there were plenty of other people out there climbing that weekend.
Then there was the trip over Christmas break, meet an RC'er from BC. When he pulled into Jtree, that days high was 1 degree warmer than BC which he left a couple days earlier. But by the end of that week it was nice shirt sleeve weather. Very nice for Dec.
I personally have found March more reliable than Dec-Jan-Feb. And April to be nice and warm. Closest to a guaranteed sure thing. May to be too hot.
Also, if you do end up in Jtree during a cold spell, go to Indian Cove. And if you do go, drop me a line, if I don't have 97 work, family, kid, scout, anniversery, bday commitments, I'll head out. Crazy


potreroed


Nov 6, 2012, 3:08 PM
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You will freeze your ass of at J-tree in January. It'll be OK during the day but as soon as the sun goes down you will be miserable.

Flying to Monterrey is expensive because it is a business city, not a tourist destination. But once you're in the Potrero everything is cheap and you don't need a vehicle.


Gmburns2000


Nov 6, 2012, 8:03 PM
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Iqualuit


Kartessa


Nov 7, 2012, 5:16 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
Iqualuit
Winner


marc801


Nov 7, 2012, 12:11 PM
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Skaha Bluffs, Penticton, BC

Over 1200 routes, 63% of which are sport. East, south, and west facing aspects.

It will be pretty chilly, but can be warm enough in the sun.

Only problem is that the provincial park closes for the winter in late November, so Jan will require quite the uphill slog.


Kartessa


Nov 7, 2012, 12:21 PM
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marc801 wrote:
Skaha Bluffs, Penticton, BC

Over 1200 routes, 63% of which are sport. East, south, and west facing aspects.

It will be pretty chilly, but can be warm enough in the sun.

Only problem is that the provincial park closes for the winter in late November, so Jan will require quite the uphill slog.

BC is nice and all but I can do 4 flights to Las Vegas for the price of one to BC or AB.

It's looking like J-Tree. Flight would be $220 and car rental around $200. Even with gas and camping fees, still cheaper than anywhere else.

I don't mind cold nights and the days seem reasonable.


marc801


Nov 7, 2012, 2:46 PM
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Kartessa wrote:
It's looking like J-Tree. Flight would be $220 and car rental around $200. Even with gas and camping fees, still cheaper than anywhere else.

I don't mind cold nights and the days seem reasonable.
Remember the relentless wind in J-tree, especially in the evenings. Even though you may not mind cold nights, the rock doesn't warm up nearly as much as at other times of the year, so factor that in as well. Cold rock may not bother you, but I've seen it shut down other folks. Just something to be aware of.


Kartessa


Nov 7, 2012, 3:59 PM
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marc801 wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
It's looking like J-Tree. Flight would be $220 and car rental around $200. Even with gas and camping fees, still cheaper than anywhere else.

I don't mind cold nights and the days seem reasonable.
Remember the relentless wind in J-tree, especially in the evenings. Even though you may not mind cold nights, the rock doesn't warm up nearly as much as at other times of the year, so factor that in as well. Cold rock may not bother you, but I've seen it shut down other folks. Just something to be aware of.

I haven't been able to feel my fingers in weeks

I was there last year in march and it was pretty much exactly as you described... Only it rained


dagibbs


Nov 8, 2012, 2:40 PM
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marc801 wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
It's looking like J-Tree. Flight would be $220 and car rental around $200. Even with gas and camping fees, still cheaper than anywhere else.

I don't mind cold nights and the days seem reasonable.
Remember the relentless wind in J-tree, especially in the evenings. Even though you may not mind cold nights, the rock doesn't warm up nearly as much as at other times of the year, so factor that in as well. Cold rock may not bother you, but I've seen it shut down other folks. Just something to be aware of.

She's from Ontario. It's not a problem. :)

I was out last Sunday, the high for the day was about 38F (3C), though the sun did come out in the afternoon. I thought it was a gorgeous day for climbing. And, yup, the rock was pretty chilly.


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