I was asked if I could help with a couple trips we had running back-to-back in Moab one weekend. It would mean I’d have to miss two days of school, one of those days included a mid-term in my Geology lab. Oh the irony. Naturally, I didn’t hesitate to say yes and begin packing. It was great because the day before I’d have to head out to Moab, I was leading my first group trip to climb in Clear Creek Canyon in Golden, CO for Outdoor Pursuits – the other outdoor program I work for. It was the first trip I lead with them and I was excited that it was a sport climbing trip!
That day I onsighted a 5.10c called Hunting Party in Clear Creek because some of our students were more experienced climbers and wanted to feel an ‘outside’ 5.10. I lead it, and set it up. They had fun giving it a whirl and the whole day was just an awesome confidence booster in my ability as a guide and climber.
That night, I was off to Moab.
The drive itself was an adventure! I left Greeley, CO at about 8:00 PM. I first stopped to fill up on gas, check my oil, and of course fill up my stock of energy drinks because it was going to be a long night. I drove until I reached Georgetown to get a snack and stretch my legs since I was already feeling tired. I hopped back on 70 and headed for the desert.
My next stop was in New Castle. I had never heard of the town, and neither did my boss when I told him I was stopping there to get a couple hours of sleep. It was about 1AM when I stopped, and I was up in the mountains so it was pretty darn chili! I laid in the back of my Jeep in my sleeping bag and went to sleep. When I woke up, I was freezing and it was 3AM. I felt good after that 2 hour nap, and was on the road.
I quickly made it through the jungle of construction near Glenwood Springs, and crossed the border into Utah. Boy was I happy! …And really sleepy. I knew I was close to Moab, but I had to stop before I stopped being awake. There was a rest area right outside the city that I stopped at, and it was perfect. I was out like a light until 8AM. I woke up, went to the outhouse, then my boss called just as I pulled out.
Of course, the view was gorgeous. Nothing made me happier than waking up to the desert sun rising!
I drove up to where they were camped, which is up this fun dirt road. I was greeted with a Red Bull and orange juice mimosa, and I got there just in time for breakfast, and just in time to head out to Looking Glass Rock with a couples retreat group we had!
Their trip went amazing and everyone had a great time conquering fears and learning new things. I was even peer pressured to jump off a cliff into shallow water…
The next day, we were guiding a canyoning and rock climbing trip for Regis University’s outdoor program. At first I thought we were going to do Negro Bill Canyon, which is pretty fun, low risk and easy for us to navigate with the numerous time we’ve guided it. Instead we did Entrajo Canyon! Super fun, easy approach, the canyoning piece was a bit more technical and committing, a few more rappels, you get pretty wet, then a fun long rappel at the end and you’re at your truck! Then we went climbing at the Ice Cream Parlor and I onsighted climbs for Front Range for the first time. The group was awesome and loved climbing.
The Regis group left straight from the Ice Cream Parlor and we were trying to get in touch with the other half of our group to see what they were doing. We got service and found out they went climbing at Wall Street. It was getting dark, and the group I was with wasn’t about that. Honestly, I wasn’t either; I was beat. So we decided to go back to the Swamp and have a cold one and start making dinner.
They took the rum!
Oh wait! We still have my cooler!
THEY TOOK THE BEER.
The group that went climbing took the boss’s rum, and our only hope of beer… The boss tried to run to the liquor store, but they were already closed. Isaac received many voxes and voice-mails about this. They returned with rum and beer in hand, and fear in their eyes.
We sat around and talked about things to climb tomorrow and somehow, before Isaac and that group returned, I imagined the boss asking if I was going to stick around to climb something with them. I don’t actually know if that happened now that I think about it. It’s been a mystery since the next day when Isaac asked if I was actually invited… Oops.
Anyway, we decided on climbing a tower named Dark Angel. It’s the very last tower in Arches National Park; it lies outside the main area a bit when you’re looking at the landscape from the South. The approach- supposedly 2.5 miles, felt like 4… and it was definitely not flat terrain like Mountain Project said.
Also… As a military dependent, I basically have free annual access to all national parks. So we didn’t have to pay $25 to enter the park. *Earned my keep right there.*