Three of my favorite people gathered at what might just be the best single limestone crag in the western United States.
It was a...
Driving out of Flagstaff, Limekiln-bound
... of a good time to be there with them.
Zach and Steph had been posted up in the St. George area for a good bit of time, which is also a good choice of words for how long it had been since I'd seen 'em last: a good bit of time.
Steph's resting face
Megan, on the other hand, I got to look at for the whole drive out. We two - and Miss June - had a whole six days to kill in the area. Just enough time, I'd say. I wouldn't mind a whole month though.
Family photo. Dog's psyched.
Sending Laterally (The Commute)
Megan and I scored a primo campsite right by the mouth of the trail. We took Zach and Steph's lead and started stashing rope and draws up at the crag, which made for pretty luxurious ups-and-downs to the crag. A true sport climbing vacation.
always seem too hot, even with our minimal packs.
The shade of the canyon and coolness of the wall would always be a welcome change from the heat of the approach.
(speaking of up)
Though on cooler days, long after that approach sweat had dried, the chill and an over-eager wind would sometimes be more than we came ready for.
The desert is a harsh mistress.
After a lovely
we would go back down,
to our homebasecamp
and more nights than not, to sunsets like this.
Getting Vertical Now (The Climbing)
We overlapped with Zach and Steph for only about two days, which is more than enough time to be wowed by our friends smashing all the things.
Limekiln routes go on and on...
Megan and I had some successes of our own (and me, some wonderful failures: still can't send 11c on the third burn!?) on the blue stone. Some days we pushed numbers; some days (multi)pitches; other days we were delighted to just explore new experiences within our abilities. So many beautiful 11s out there.
I daresay we both found a small piece of god hidden away on Khaleesi.
One day, after eating breakfast in the nude (er, just me, not Megan), we did a 5.10 multi next to Limekiln's most famous 12b.
Three-quarters of the way through the second pitch I called "take." Then I turned my camera on Dylan, Vesper, and Limekiln.
Dylan recognized me as the naked guy from breakfast.
Camp wasn't as secluded as I had thought, perhaps.
After the limestone
As a footnote to the adventure, Megan and I slept one night in St. George proper. The alarm went off at 0630 and I drove us into Snow Canyon State Park, where we climbed the best multipitch sport climb around.
No send on this second go, either, but with climbing that good, who gives a damn. I'll be just as happy doing it a third time.
Or a fourth.
Or a fifth.
We drove back to Flag post Richness. Throwing in two stops in the mountain forests before we dropped back down into Northern Arizona (one for burritos, one for their consequences) meant we caught sunset not long after crossing the Grand Canyon and entering the rez.
The light was doing magical things, and I still had a rented camera.
Megan was kind enough (and at this point, use to the lens enough) to oblige me with some modeling.
The highway (my old friend), also granted me a photo op (well, two).
where we came from
where we're going
Megan patiently waited for me and my shutter-finger,
and then we loaded back up,
and made it back to Flag only a few hours after dark.