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edge


Mar 26, 2013, 10:58 AM
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Edge's Wild Ride V2013.1
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What a difference three decades can make...,

Some of you may recall my old Trip reports with similar titles: Edge's Wild Ride, A Trip to the Black Hills and Edge's Wild Ride, Boulder and Bolder.



I had threatened to write the third and final installment, but never got around to it; maybe someday now that the statute of limitations has expired on my transgressions...

Fast forward to 2013. I now find myself married 26 years, with two kids and two dogs. My oldest child is teaching middle school math in Denver, my youngest will be graduating college in mid-May, and the dogs continue to freeload and eat poop in the yard, God bless them.

I had wanted to move West since those first fledgling climbing trips in the links above, but life and responsibility got in the way. Fortunately for me, my wife is an avid outdoorsperson, though not a climber. She shared my dream, but insisted on not moving until the kids had left high school; I knew it was the right call, but resented being "stuck" in New Hampshire a full hour from Cathedral, Cannon, Whitehorse, Rumney, and a host of other, smaller venues.

Last Summer I managed to get outdoors a total of 27 days which included 112 pitches and 21 first ascents. I only had to go to the gym 4 times.

Our crew started developing Longstack Precipice in the Lakes Region of NH. I had climbed at the crag in the late 70s when I would ditch high school, and put up 8-10 lines back then. Due to questionable access the cliff sat undeveloped until late last year, but now boasts 60 quality climbs of which I have the FA of 22 of them.


I regained my old "lead head," and flexed my mental self control on a number of PG and R rated routes, but with the new cliff now largely developed, I began quickly losing interest in the Northeast. Again.

And then, after 3 1/2 years on the market, our home of 19 years sold and we had a month to move out. We shed a couple dozen shed's worth of "stuff," moved into a 6 month rental, and decided that following my son's graduation we will be leaving our jobs, packing up our belongings in a 16' storage pod, and loading up essentials in our new (used) RV. Did I mention we bought an RV for this adventure? Of course that required getting a new (used) Tundra to pull it.



So this is the plan, and the reason for this incredibly long and self indulgent post: In mid-May we will be cutting most ties with my home state and commencing a 3-4 month road trip cross country. After visiting family in NY, PA, and OH we will be getting across the Mississippi as fast as the Tundra will go, heading for the desert Southwest before it gets unbearably hot. From there, west into Cali, then north to OR/WA, and circling back to the Black Hills for August/Sept before dropping into the front range of Colorado to look for a home and employment.

We have no real agenda, and will be travelling wherever the weather, the adventure, and our will dictate. We will be limited in some regards by the doggers, but are not opposed to placing them in a kennel for a few days or week while we enjoy some freedom. We want to hit many of the National Parks and BLM lands, with me getting the wife's blessing to climb. A lot.

We definitely want to hit Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Sacramento, Devil's Tower, the Wind Rivers, and the Black Hills. Any and all suggestions for "must see" stops along the way will be appreciated, as will offers for meeting up and climbing for a few days. We are also looking for great hiking, rafting/kayaking, fly fishing, skydiving, and other outdoor pursuits. I already have an offer for some WV white water (you know who you are, and I will be holding you to it.) I will sport climb if necessary, but prefer trad cragging and long routes. I am comfortably leading trad to .11a/b, sport to .12a depending on the area, and will follow anything (I was French freeing back when they charged for it, heh.) I suck at bouldering, but will have a pad for wandering around solo.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Concerns? Cheap shots about my age? S'all good.

To be continued...


(This post was edited by edge on Mar 26, 2013, 11:35 AM)


gblauer
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Mar 26, 2013, 6:45 PM
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My very best wishes on your grand adventure. Keep us posted so we can live vicariously through you and your journey.

Take good care,
Gail


dagibbs


Mar 28, 2013, 11:24 AM
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Sounds awesome! Best of luck on the adventures.

I didn't notice either Red Rocks or Joshua Tree on your list -- both are worthwhile destinations as well.


potreroed


Mar 28, 2013, 1:23 PM
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There is some excellent climbing to be done in the mid-west which you'll be driving through. Specifically Devil's Lake in Wisconsin and Jackson Falls in Illinois.


edge


Mar 28, 2013, 3:37 PM
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Dagibbs, I am not sure if we will be hitting Red Rocks or not. Most likely we won't be getting to that area until mid June; how are the temps there at that time of year? I know there are probable spots to chase shade if I stick to shorter routes or sport climbs, but I assume it will be too hot for cragging or longer trad routes? I haven't looked into the Red Rocks climbing season yet.

Anyway we have no interest in Vegas per se, so that will be the determining factor. That would put us in J-Tree early Julyish, which I know won't work for climbing. We may still stop there for a few days, but just for a short side trip before heading towards Kings Canyon and Yosemite/Tuolumne.

And Ed, we will be leaving my bro-in-law's in Cincy the third week of May and heading straight for the Four Corners states. We won't be anywhere near Wisconsin, and frankly prefer to skip the entire Midwest so as to get to the desert before it gets unbearable. Similarly we will be skipping the RRG, as I've climbed there briefly and it's not my kinda place.

I certainly appreciate all the suggestions, though. The beauty of having no agenda means if we don't like wherever we are at the moment, we pack up and move.


(This post was edited by edge on Mar 28, 2013, 3:43 PM)


shockabuku


Mar 28, 2013, 6:51 PM
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Sounds awesome - best of luck!

I you're interested in anything in NM give a holler. I don't think any of the trad climbing is terribly unique (except maybe in the Organ Mts and that's maybe more scenic than unique climbing) but there are some nice venues.


Partner cracklover


Mar 29, 2013, 6:09 AM
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Cool! Looking forward to further installments!

And do mention if you know where/when you'll be places a little in advance, and maybe we can hook up for a climb or two once you're out west. I still owe you a beer for hooking me up with some of your gear when I did The Prow.

Cheers,

GO


naitch


Mar 29, 2013, 7:36 AM
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Good on you Edge - go fer it - live the dream!


notapplicable


Mar 29, 2013, 8:52 AM
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Sounds like a killer road trip dude. If you need a parter before or after the rafting trip, let me know. Hell, even if you don't need a partner let me know. I'll grab one of mine and head out. It would be nice to put a face with the name and do some routes.


snoopy138


Mar 29, 2013, 9:01 AM
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edge wrote:
Dagibbs, I am not sure if we will be hitting Red Rocks or not. Most likely we won't be getting to that area until mid June; how are the temps there at that time of year? I know there are probable spots to chase shade if I stick to shorter routes or sport climbs, but I assume it will be too hot for cragging or longer trad routes? I haven't looked into the Red Rocks climbing season yet.

Anyway we have no interest in Vegas per se, so that will be the determining factor. That would put us in J-Tree early Julyish, which I know won't work for climbing. We may still stop there for a few days, but just for a short side trip before heading towards Kings Canyon and Yosemite/Tuolumne.

There are shady parts of the canyons you can find in Red Rocks, I think. I know the Vegas locals find a way to get out there in the summer.

If you are going to be in socal around that time, you can head to Tahquitz/Suicide for a couple days. If it's a weekend, I might even be able to meet up for a day.


edge


Mar 29, 2013, 1:15 PM
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shockabuku wrote:
Sounds awesome - best of luck!

I you're interested in anything in NM give a holler. I don't think any of the trad climbing is terribly unique (except maybe in the Organ Mts and that's maybe more scenic than unique climbing) but there are some nice venues.

Thanks! Last I was aware weren't you in NY? The Organ Mtns may be further south than we are heading, but if we decide to swing through Dallas to visit my brother (doubtful, but who knows) then we may stay south and hit Carlsbad so it's a possibility. We will almost certainly be hitting Santa Fe and Taos. I wouldn't mind getting lost in the Sandias.

cracklover wrote:
Cool! Looking forward to further installments!

And do mention if you know where/when you'll be places a little in advance, and maybe we can hook up for a climb or two once you're out west. I still owe you a beer for hooking me up with some of your gear when I did The Prow.

Cool, Gabe, I'll let you know. Your already ahead of the game as I've been sober for almost three years, so you can keep the brewskis and I will accept a belay as repayment, not that any is necessary. Regardless, once we settle in CO, presumably, you will be just down the road and we will no doubt hook up then.

naitch wrote:
Good on you Edge - go fer it - live the dream!

It's been a long time coming, but this dream has been lurking for far too long.

notapplicable wrote:
Sounds like a killer road trip dude. If you need a parter before or after the rafting trip, let me know. Hell, even if you don't need a partner let me know. I'll grab one of mine and head out. It would be nice to put a face with the name and do some routes.

Will do, NA. Not sure how long we will be hanging around WV as I am sure to be experiencing itchy gas pedal foot and Western wanderlust, but who knows?

snoopy138 wrote:
There are shady parts of the canyons you can find in Red Rocks, I think. I know the Vegas locals find a way to get out there in the summer.

If you are going to be in socal around that time, you can head to Tahquitz/Suicide for a couple days. If it's a weekend, I might even be able to meet up for a day.

Thanks for the Red Rocks beta Snoop. I'll have a lot of drive time to look for details en route if no one suggests some specifics. As for Socal, I would love to visit Tahquitz/Suicide and could arrange for it to be on a weekend. You'll just have to promise not to cut my rope.

I will understand if you want to keep a meeting on the down-low to protect your reputation...


shockabuku


Mar 29, 2013, 5:47 PM
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edge wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
Sounds awesome - best of luck!

I you're interested in anything in NM give a holler. I don't think any of the trad climbing is terribly unique (except maybe in the Organ Mts and that's maybe more scenic than unique climbing) but there are some nice venues.

Thanks! Last I was aware weren't you in NY? The Organ Mtns may be further south than we are heading, but if we decide to swing through Dallas to visit my brother (doubtful, but who knows) then we may stay south and hit Carlsbad so it's a possibility. We will almost certainly be hitting Santa Fe and Taos. I wouldn't mind getting lost in the Sandias.

Indeed I was - good memory. I was reassigned and from my perspective it's for the better. My two youngest haven't quite gotten over it yet but they're adapting.

Yes, the Organs are pretty far south but they are fairly spectacular looking. They're on my someday list. I'm in Albuquerque so the Sandia's are kind of the back yard and the Taos area isn't too far.


camhead


Mar 29, 2013, 6:44 PM
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Edge, congrats on finally cutting the ties and getting on the road! That's awesome. There are so many amazing places out West, so I'm not going to bore you with suggestions of "come to this or that Eastern cliff that will probably get you rained out" you know how it goes. But if you come through Columbus, OH, give us a shout.


notapplicable


Mar 29, 2013, 8:40 PM
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I hear ya dude. If I was headed for a WC roadtrip, I'd only be stopping for gas and food along the way. You've been roaming around these scruffy little appalachian hills long enough.


(This post was edited by notapplicable on Mar 29, 2013, 8:45 PM)


edge


Apr 1, 2013, 9:30 AM
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camhead wrote:
But if you come through Columbus, OH, give us a shout.

Thanks Paul, but since it looks like we will be driving into Cincy from the SE, I am thinking that there is no reason, other than your gracious offer, to truck up to Columbus.

For reasons you are probably all too familiar with. Cheers!


Gmburns2000


Apr 2, 2013, 6:03 AM
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this is going to put a serious damper on the PC, but I look forward to the resulting TRs when they arrive; they're always worth reading and make me want to get out more. Best of luck to you guys. I may be in CO in Oct, so maybe you can cut my rope listen to me whine on a long 5.3 somewhere then.


dagibbs


Apr 2, 2013, 10:56 AM
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edge wrote:
Dagibbs, I am not sure if we will be hitting Red Rocks or not. Most likely we won't be getting to that area until mid June; how are the temps there at that time of year? I know there are probable spots to chase shade if I stick to shorter routes or sport climbs, but I assume it will be too hot for cragging or longer trad routes? I haven't looked into the Red Rocks climbing season yet.

I was there in December, so I can't really help you with hot-weather beta. I was looking for the opposite -- nice, warm, sun-exposed climbing.


sonso45


Apr 13, 2013, 10:15 AM
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Sounds fantastic. May in Sedona would be warm on south facing towers but you can find plenty to do. Let me know when you get close, I'd love to show you some of the areas. Great trad and sport.

Red Rocks in June would be great in Black Velvet Canyon. Especially good fun is Dream of Wild Turkey, a 1,000' tall trad line.


atg200


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Partner cracklover


Apr 16, 2013, 8:02 AM
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atg200 wrote:
Holler when you are in Utah - preferably far enough in advance that I can pull a Westwater permit, but I can help you out with the whitewater thing in the western states. Better yet, plan on making the drive to the Utah/Colorado border area after you get settled in October(with Gabe since that bastard hasn't been out to visit me since i moved) and you can combine rafting with nice sandstone climbing not accessible without boats.

I'm in!

GO


edge


Apr 16, 2013, 8:29 AM
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Manny and Andrew, thank you both for the beta and offers! I will try to let you both know well in advance once I am in your respective areas.

Gabe, you will be in, even if I have to drag you kicking and screaming. Somehow, I don't think that will be the case.


Bag11s


May 6, 2013, 6:13 PM
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I've taken the opposite trajectory, and after twenty five years climbing, just bought 4 phenomenal south sloping acres of land in Brookfield, the next town over from Longstack- also, a backhoe, and a sawmill- and am in the thick of it carving my own little French vineyard out of the NH woods over the next eight to ten years, all the while enjoying all the great backwoods routes you guys have developed throughout the Lakes region and up north. Thanks for your great community service, and happy travels!


edge


Jun 5, 2013, 10:08 AM
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Some pics from the New River Gorge.











I only had a half day, but props to Notapplicable for sharing his knowledge of the New and for his solid belays. We got on Chockstone 5.9, Maranatha 5.10c, Where Real Men Dare 5.8, Tree Route 5.10a, and The Layback 5.9. Awesome routes, all, but tree route in particular was stellar.

We are currently in Cincinnati and strike out tomorrow for a casual three days of driving to the desert SW. Tonight, a Reds/Rockies game at the Great American Ballpark.




dagibbs


Jun 6, 2013, 9:39 PM
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Looks like some fun routes.


edge


Jun 6, 2013, 9:48 PM
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dagibbs wrote:
Looks like some fun routes.

They were all a blast, but it took me a couple routes to get a feel for the WV sandstone. I managed to send them all first go; wish I had a bit longer so I could push it a little but the desert is calling and I must go (my apologies to John Muir for bastardizing his quote.)

The Rockies clubbed the Reds on Mat Latos bobble head night:


Today we crossed our first time zone and the mighty Mississippi:



Tonight we are camped just west of St. Louis. Tomorrow morning we cross through the Ozarks and just past OKC, then by Saturday evening we should be hitting northern New Mexico where we hope to spend a bit of time and get in some more routes if I can scrounge up a partner.



Edited so I could embed multiple pics with my iPhone, and to explain that I got new brake pads in WV, new calipers in Cincy, and to solve an overheating problem I poured in a jug of block sealer and am flying completely without a thermostat in my Tundra.

Worked like a charm on today's 360 mile leg.


(This post was edited by edge on Jun 6, 2013, 10:07 PM)

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