Joe’s Valley (And Why the Climbing Community Rocks)

I’ve never considered myself a boulderer. Not on any level. In fact, it wasn’t until recently, after I’d moved to a completely new city and state, and lost all my previous climbing partners, that I found myself in the bouldering gym. Doing boulder-y things. Like trying to be burly. And dynamic. And walking around in a bro-tank.

Just kidding. About the burly-ness that is….

img_5938Anyways, the more I’ve bouldered, the more I’ve come to enjoy the movements and strength. (Plus the grunting, you can’t forget the grunting.)

With all my new-found intrigue and lack of total loathing for bouldering, I suggested to a couple friends we head down to Joe’s Valley in South Central Utah for the weekend to wreck our fingers on the magnificent sandstone. img_5794

And wreck we did.

We decided to start out on the warm-up boulder by the creek, then quickly progressed to the incredible Big Joe problem on the Big Joe boulder. It’s a V7. I’m not a V7 climber. However, working my way through the strong movements gave me hope that someday I might find myself completing more difficult problems.

The rest of the day we putzed around on a few 4’s and 5’s and were mostly shut down on everything we tried. Ah, the beauty of the desert.

img_5778That evening my fancy fiancé made Dutch Oven enchiladas and we all sat around the fire playing music, enjoying a few too many glasses of wine, and dabbling in philosophical conversations.

Waking up early the next morning was definitely not an option, so we hit the boulders in Man Size, near the campground, around 10. Not only was it my first time on a bouldering trip, but it was my first real experience climbing with a group of women who were climbing hard and trying hard and encouraging one another. On top of that, the guys we were climbing with were also encouraging and empowering and inspirational.

After lunch we headed back down to the warm up boulder, so I could work on my v5 project, and some of the guys wanted to check out The Angler. We were all cheering each other on, letting out some words of affirmation and motivation when two of my friends (who were climbing outside for the first time EVER…yay converts!) said to me, “Wow, I think climbers might be the most positive people I’ve ever met.”

Yeah. This community is home to me.

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