Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 16

After our marathon blogging session in Kiva Koffeehouse we rolled through Bryce Canyon National Park. Nothing too remarkable here, just more impressive rockscapes and canyons, but that’s the nature of this entire area of the country. We stickshifted our way into Zion National Park, the most impressive NP so far. While the scenes were mainly of red and white layered sandstone (as was everything else in Utah) this just more magnificent than the rest. The cliffs were far higher, longer, and more varied than any other single park. The features eroded by the torrential storms that pass through Zion seemed almost unnatural in their artistry.

We passed by all the famous sights of the park, cameras snapping wildly out of our windows. We were skilled at taking pictures while driving at this point. We found our way to the visitor center to learn about bouldering in the park because, again, the featured climbing involved multi-pitch trad routes. We also decided to stay at the official park campground for the night to give ourselves more time to climb. We set up camp and rushed off to a boulder field we spotted on our drive in. Epic problems galore! There were plenty of crimps, pockets, and jugs to monkey around on. We explored the faces of 4 large boulders and even linked a traverse that had to be nearly 100 feet around one of the blocks.

It was on the fourth and final face in the sequence that I, more pumped than I thought, surprisingly slipped off and fell about only 5 feet, but landed on my already bad ankle weird. Bummer, but ice, elevation, tape, and a brace have helped subside the crippling effects of the condition. We returned to our camp in the dark but still wanted to get cleaned up so we jumped in a nearby creek to rinse off. Our skin went tense and shivers and shakes convulsed through our body. This water definitely just melted off the high peaks. Our tent and sleeping bag provided the dry warmth we needed to finally sleep again.

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