Climbing has a tendency to become all-consuming. For me, when I’m in my performance Phase it seems like climbing is on my mind 24/7 and I have no mental or physical energy for anything else. This is how I like it, but after a couple months of this I’m usually exhausted. In some ways the climbing culture seems to foster this idea that in order to be a “core” climber you have to shun everything else and eat, drink and breathe ONLY climbing. That’s nonsense! Variety is the spice of life and there are many other ways to get your stoke on.
One aspect of periodic training that I’ve really come to love is the opportunity it provides to take a step back from “the grind” every few months. Before I became completely obsessed with climbing I enjoyed many other forms of outdoor recreation, but when I’m “in season” I have no time for these things. By the time my Rest Phase rolls around I’m really excited to enjoy some other types of fun.
This past weekend Mike and I took maximum advantage of our brief Rest Phase to crawl around in the muck and ubiquitous red sands of the Utah desert. I first came to the desert as a climber in the mid-90’s, but I quickly fell in love with canyoneering. Its exploratory and adventurous nature really appealed to me, plus it has a lot in common with desert trad climbing. Basically, if you love chimneying you’d love canyoneering. It’s another excuse to wander around in a spectacular landscape.
Mike arrived early and did a couple Canyons with our high school buddy Chris Graham, and a newer friend, CJ Powers. Here are some shots of Larry Canyon, in the Robber’s Roost region:
Over the course of the long weekend I did 6 canyons, but I only brought a camera on the last one, so here are some of my blurry images of “Leprechaun Canyon”, about 30 miles southeast of Hanksville on Highway 95….
Hangboarding starts tomorrow!
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