Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Dec 21, 2012
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Ice Climbing
Seasons Season: Winter
-alternatively titled-

Jacob and Ryan See America and, Somewhat Surprisingly, Do Not Murder Each Other

The Rundown

Consisting of Myself, Ryan Hoover, and the ’92 4Runner
- Four Days at the Ouray Ice Park, Colorado
- Three Days in Red Rock, Nevada
- Two Days in Joshua Tree, California, w/ Gimpilator
- One Day at Smith Rock, Oregon
-One rest day, four travel days
- 3400 miles driven (with gas prices ranging from under $3 to over $5)
- 97 pitches climbed (43 led; on rock Ryan’s highest being 5.10b, mine being 5.8, on ice our highest being WI3)
- total losses amounting to one altimeter, one glove, one pair of glasses, two nuts (net loss of one), two rolls of climbing tape, one axel boot, and one oversize tire.

Ryan's trusty 4Runner
The Trusty 4Runner


For Christmas and New Year Ryan and myself did a road trip. It was long, parts of it were more than a little crazy, and many good lessons were learned, among them

1. Washingtonians complaining about bushwhacking are full of shit, the worst brush in the lower 48 is located in Oak Creek Canyon, Nevada.

2. Never go on a road trip with one other person in a car you cannot drive (manual transmission).

3. Verizon has only one dead spot in the western third of the United States and there, yes – there, is where your car will just about break down.

4. The Yosemite decimal system does not actually make any sense; our hardest pitch? My vote goes to Pope’s Crack, 5.9, Ryan’s goes to the second pitch of Black Orpheus, 5.8+.

5. The best laid plans of mice and men will probably be abandoned because everyone is tired of being cold.

6. There are two types of crags, one that you visit on your way to somewhere else and one that you make a beeline for from halfway across the continent; Ouray and Joshua Tree are the former, Red Rock and Smith Rock are the latter.

Part 1 - Ouray

Route names in the Ouray Ice Park are approximate, being that they are taken from a guidebook that is almost ten years old and distinguishing one route from another in the ice park is very difficult.

New Funtier Area

A Bit Thin
A Bit Thin

Looks Climbable
Looks Climbable?

Ryan on The Cook (WI3)
Ryan on The Cook (WI3)

Myself on The Cook
Myself on The Cook (WI3)

The Prow (WI3)
The Prow (WI3)

Sun on the Ice Park
Sun on the Ice Park

The Schoolroom

Just another day at The Schoolroom
Just Another Day in The Schoolroom

The look of it
The Look of It

Not quite touching down yet
Not Quite Touching Down Yet

Pick O’ The Vic

Ryan on The Verminator (WI4)
Ryan on The Verminator (WI4)

Leading Ice

Myself leading Miller Time (WI2/3)
Myself Leading Miller Time (WI2/3)

Soloing Jimmy Cracked Corner (WI2-)
Soloing Jimmy Cracked Corner (WI2-)

Ryan mid-lead on Cow Days (WI2)
Ryan mid-lead on Cow Days (WI2)

Lower Bridge

The upper half of three WI4/5 pitches we top-roped
Lower Bridge

Part 2 - Red Rock

Route ratings should not be taken all that seriously, in general – Joshua Tree is sandbagged, Smith Rock is soft, and Red Rock is bizarrely inconsistent.

Jubilant Song (5.8)

Windy Peak
Windy Peak

Hiking into the South Face
Hiking in to the South Face

The Route
Jubilant Song

Myself leading the second pitch (5.7)
Jubilant Song Pitch 2

Approaching the end of pitch 3
Jubilant Sons Pitch 3

Myself leading the fourth pitch (5.6), which continued straight into the fifth pitch (5.8)
Jubilant Song Pitch 4

Ryan at the summit
Summit of Windy Peak

Black Orpheus (5.10a)

Oak Creek Canyon
Oak Creek Canyon

The Route
Black Orpheus

Not the best belay stance ever
Black Orpheus Pitch 7

Ryan clipping a bolt on the last pitch
Black Orpheus Pitch 8

Chocolate Rocks

The Chocolate Rocks
The Chocolate Rocks

Minute Maid (5.6)
Minute Maid (5.6)

Park 3 - Joshua Tree

Ryan leading Overhang Bypass (5.7)
Overhang Bypass (5.7)

Gimpilator following Overhang Bypass
Overhang Bypass

Lost Horse Wall
Lost Horse Wall

Ryan near the high point of Lost Horse Wall
Toping Out on The Swift

Gimpilator top-roping Fun Stuff
Fun Stuff

Pope’s Crack
Pope s Crack

Ryan and Gimpilator near the top of Pope’s Crack
Pope s Crack

Ryan leading Where Two Deserts Meet
Where Two Deserts Meet

Gimpilator eyeing his first trad lead

Tape hands
Tape Hands

Part 4 - Smith Rock

Zebra to Zion (5.10b)

Approaching Morning Glory Wall
Approaching Morning Glory Wall

First pitch of Zebra to Zion
Smith Rock Huecos

The Route
Zebra to Zion

And Just For the Hell of It

Handicap Access

Climbers Only

No Soliciting


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-6 of 6
Matt Lemke

Matt Lemke - Jan 8, 2013 11:35 pm - Voted 10/10

Here's to wishing...

you went just a little later. Then I could have come and I know how to drive a manual!


jacobsmith - Jan 9, 2013 5:00 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Here's to wishing...

Then we really would have had to find places to set up the tent every night. There's always next year though, I'm hoping for a Banff trip next christmas.


seabadge - Jan 9, 2013 4:27 pm - Hasn't voted

Smith in winter

It looks like you had prime pickings at Smith, and sun-kissed routes no less! I've considered a January/February trip down there, but thought it might be too cold to brave the canyon for multiple nights.


jacobsmith - Jan 9, 2013 4:58 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Smith in winter

Despite there being snow on the ground, it was the warmest rock we had all trip; which i found odd. We were the first ones to the wall but by the time we were on the second pitch the sport routes were filling up.
The night before in the 4runner wasn't too bad, the temps were probably in the teens.


EastKing - Jan 13, 2013 9:09 pm - Voted 10/10


Great trip report on a road trip you will be remembering for a long time. Nice pictures and excellent details. Looked like some excellent rock climbing.


WyomingSummits - Jan 16, 2013 7:34 pm - Hasn't voted

Verizon dead spot

that dead spot is most of Wyoming. :)

Viewing: 1-6 of 6