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General Climbing Discussion

Extended NA roadtrip suggestions
2:48:54 PM
OK for a nice 'hypothetical' discussion on a Friday afternoon: if you had the following amounts of time for a North American roadtrip, what areas/climbs would you visit/do?

4 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks
3:04:49 PM
4 weeks:
Yosemite OR Indian Creek: 2 weeks
Red River Gorge/New River Gorge: 2 weeks

8 Weeks:
Yosemite 2.5 weeks
Indian Creek 2.5 weeks
Red River Gorge/New River Gorge 2.5 weeks (depending on what you like, I would skip the NRG altogether)
0.5 weeks: faff

Especially if this is a return trip, skip all the good stuff and go for the best of the best of the best crags. Why settle for a few days of great climbing when you could do a whole trip of bloody amazing climbing.

Source: I just did an 8 week best of the best trip. It was f---ing amazing.
10:00:12 PM
Whilst I havent climbed in the USA I have traveled around it. Its about 2500km between Indian Creek and RRG. I have been planning a north american road trip but Kentucky is just so far away from the other areas im looking at.

I have been planning:

Red Rocks - Nevada
Yosemite/Tuolumne - CA
Tahoe - CA
Smith Rock - Oregon
Squamish - BC
Bow Valley/Skaha - Alberta
Tensleep- Wyoming
City of Rocks - Idaho
Maple Canyon - Utah

Might need more than eight weeks for that lot though. Anyone got any thoughts?

10:46:34 PM
If you're heading to the US I reckon forget it all and go boarding at Snowbird Ut....
One Day Hero
11:19:56 PM
On 16/11/2012 argos44 wrote:
>Whilst I havent climbed in the USA I have traveled around it. Its about
>2500km between Indian Creek and RRG. I have been planning a north american
>road trip but Kentucky is just so far away from the other areas im looking
>I have been planning:
>Red Rocks - Nevada
>Yosemite/Tuolumne - CA
>Tahoe - CA
>Smith Rock - Oregon
>Squamish - BC
>Bow Valley/Skaha - Alberta
>Tensleep- Wyoming
>City of Rocks - Idaho
>Maple Canyon - Utah
>Might need more than eight weeks for that lot though. Anyone got any thoughts?

1) Less areas, but spend enough time at each place to actually learn how to climb the local rock (although there's a few spots which are beautiful and worth checking out, but the climbing is pretty ordinary so a couple of days would be enough. See #4)

2) If you're loving life at the crag you're at, don't leave. Stay till it isn't amazing anymore, or till the weather craps out.

3) Skaha isn't world class........unless your idea of world class involves endless amounts of overbolted vertical rock with lots of horizontal edges and grades which make you feel better than you really are. It's good as a "Plan B crag" when Squamish, Lake Louise, and the Bugs are getting rained on.

4) Bow Valley is scenically amazing, but the limestone is pretty choss.........the kind of place where it's great to visit but I didn't feel like I needed to do lots of climbing. Lake Louise has good rock and routes though.

5) Not that I've been there, but probably add the Needles

6) Tensleep? What's that?
3:12:12 AM
Hey Steve, we've had twelve months climbing in North America now, and still feel like we have only just scratched the surface.

Deciding on a focus helps filter a little... sport, trad, aid. East and West, or just West.

Re: East Coast. If you love sport climbing, Red River Gorge and New River Gorge might be worth the trip. Not a highlight for us though. The Gunks were cool, but I would chose to climb more on the West Coast rather than take the time to travel and climb there. North Conway was good, but you have been there I think (you put us onto that?). Rumney was definately not worth the effort for us.

The trad climbing is what makes climbing in the US unique for me. So Yosemite, Indian Creek, Zion, Desert Towers if you are old and bold.

Also great were Squamish, Devils Tower, Lake Tahoe (perfect warm up for Yosemite, friendlier cracks).

Okay if you are passing through, Eldorado Canyon.

Sport crags Rifle, Wild Iris, Ten Sleeps were fun, but not highlights.

In Canada the crags in the East have little to offer unless you are there. The culture in Quebec is a nice relief though. Squamish as mentioned above is great, but not as long and classic as Yosemite obviously. Sport climbing in Skaha and Bow Valley was good, but not a highlight. Bugaboos look amazing, but very weather dependant, so did not make it onto our list this time. Also reports of crowding on easier/popular routes.

In Mexico El Potrero Chico there is some great long sport climbing, very user friendly. Locals very friendly and hospitable, food great, nice campsites. Lots of other lesser known crags here too. Not a must do, but adds variety, and a change in culture, and good for winter and/or when the visa runs out.

Longer adventures in Grand Tetons and North Cascades were cool.

Let us know if you want any specifics.

Perhaps most importantly, you will need to get a great van for the road trip... I know of one might be available in March next year...

8:45:14 AM
I'm not sure if you are actually wanting advice but here is some anyway:

On 16/11/2012 argos44 wrote:
>Whilst I havent climbed in the USA I have traveled around it. Its about
>2500km between Indian Creek and RRG. I have been planning a north american
>road trip but Kentucky is just so far away from the other areas im looking

If you enjoy steep sport climbing at about 22 or above you cannot miss RRG. Seriously it is the most amazing steep sport climbing (and yes I have been to the major Euro crags). On my recent trip we drove from Rifle (where we spent the night and did not climb) to Miguels at RRG in two days. For us that really wasn't too much driving, though we were able to drop our car off in New York (only another 12 hours) at the end of the trip so we didn't have to go back.

>I have been planning:
>Red Rocks - Nevada
Red rocks for me was pretty dam good at pretty much everything: cragging and multipitch, sport and trad, crack and face and pretty much all combinations of those you can think of. It didn't, however, hit 'amazing' on any of them. It's a great all rounder crag.

Also this is weather dependent, any time from late spring to early autumn is going to be way to hot.

>Yosemite/Tuolumne - CA
Yosemite is...Yosemite. Especially if you haven't been, you can't not go. Tuoulumne is really amazingly picturesque but unless you like slab climbing on granite it's a bit so so for climbing.

>Tahoe - CA
More great granite climbing in picturesque settings. It wasn't really my style but I can see that this would be an amazing crag if you love granite. Plus it's got an awesome mountain biking scene for rest days.

>Smith Rock - Oregon
Totally disappointing. It's got a lot of history which is my theory as to why it's popular. If you put Nowra and Smith Rock next to each other I would totally climb at Nowra. It's vertical crimpy sport climbing on pebbly rock. It wasn't inspiring to me...then again I have heard that some people do like it...

>Squamish - BC
More awesome! I found the free routes here were easier and less intimidating than Yosemite. There are some amazing classics as well as (good?) bouldering (I'm not a boulderer).

>Bow Valley/Skaha - Alberta
Didn't go to the Bow Valley but echo ODH's comments on Skaha. Also visit Lake Louise - it's got some good (I was won over by the epicness of the Canadian wilderness) climbing in epic surroundings.

>Tensleep- Wyoming
>City of Rocks - Idaho
>Maple Canyon - Utah
No idea for any of these

>Might need more than eight weeks for that lot though. Anyone got any thoughts?

You forgot (?) Indian Creek! Indian Creek is the most amazing and unique crack climbing ever. It is so much better than half the places on your list. You don't need a huge rack...unless you have the social skills of a peanut.

I totally agree with ODH you need more than 8 weeks to visit all of those crags. Pick three to spend two weeks at and then visit a few of the others as stop off's in between for a day or two. For me they would be Yosemite, Squamish and Indian Creek IF you don't wanna go to RRG (otherwise I'de swap Squamish for RRG).

Also I agree with ODH again, dont leave a crag you're loving and do leave a crag which you're not.
8:52:17 AM
I wouldn't "roadtrip" across vast amounts of the US. Flights and car hire are cheap. Distances are long. There's a lot of flat land in between.

The first trip we did toured around California, Nevada and Utah. I'd not bother going back to Bishop and I'm not sure if I'd bother going back to Red Rocks. For only 4 weeks, I'd just do either California or Utah, not both.

It'd take days to drive over to Red River Gorge. Fly into Cininati or Lexinton or any of about 5 option within 2 hours of it from whereever you end up before hand. I loved it, had heaps of fun and I'd definitely go back, but i'd probably not suggest it as the only place to do on your trip if this was a once in a lifetime trip. Except for people not into trad at all. We had 5 weeks there and I was quite happy about that. We were doing 3 at rrg and 3 at nrg, but didn't like nrg and went back the the red.

It'll also take days to drive north. Unless you have 6-12 months on the schedule, I'd skip all the odds n sods and the driving and fly to Vancouver or Seattle. Flights and car hire and shopping are cheaper in Seattle, and if you wanted to drive down to smithrocks from there, it's an option. I didn't go to smith rocks, but weatherwise, it'll likely be too hot there in squamish season which makes timing a bit of a bugger. Vancouver is 2 hours closer however. Squamish was great, but the weather was not. Don't bother if you can't go in the best season, cause even in the best season, we got loads of rain. I didn't bother going to Skaha despite the rain, cause it's still 8 hours driving, didn't sound very exciting and I stayed and hoped for some weather windows.

What did all that dribble actually say then?

4w - California or Utah. Loads of climbing in both reasonably close together, just hang out and enjoy.

8w - both of the above and maybe Zion, Red rocks and Joshua Tree if you like the look of them because they are all on the same loop trip out of LA. The back road from the creek to zion is amazing.

12 weeks - all of the above then fly to either the Red or Squamish as suits your tastes.

16 w - keep on racking up airmiles. Fly to the other of those.

6 months +, ok, maybe now you should just buy a van and cope with the driving and explore at will getting between all of the above.

EDIT: oops I've hijacked Douglas's account .... I might have to leave Douglas in his cafe if I want to do any of those trips anytime soon!

9:53:55 AM
On 17/11/2012 naticafe wrote:
>EDIT: oops I've hijacked Douglas's account .... I might have to leave
>Douglas in his cafe if I want to do any of those trips anytime soon!

Ahh, you're such a newbie (Hehx3) Wendy! ~> Talk to stugang if you want the full monty on User-ID hijacks!
8:19:54 PM
Thanks everyone for their input, greatly appreciate it. Also sorry to the OP for the thread Hijack.

12:04:48 AM

4 weeks - californian granite - yosemite, tuolumne, sieras, tahoe, bishop, needles etc. prob the best granite trad climbing in the world ?

4 weeks - canadian granite - 2 weeks squamish / 1 week lake louise / 1 week bugaboos (bow valley other crags only if raining elsewhere) (need sport alpine skills for bugs)

4 weeks -Red Rocks, zion, maple canyon, st george etc (californian granite prob better)

6-8weeks combine some of these or add indian creek or city of rocks if thats your thing depending on the time of year.

wyoming is a long drive as is RRG.
4:49:57 AM
its been mentioned already but the time of year you go will dictate which crags to go to.

Eg: don't go to Squamish in Feb, don't go to the desert crags in July/August.

Distances between places are massive. Someone mentioned Bow Valley & Skaha in the same breath. They are 7 hours drive apart & different seasons if you want prime conditions!
On that note, the Bow valley sport crags are totally over-hyped IMO. Good if you're in the area anyway, but think chossy crumbly limestone stuck down in shady canyons, when there are massive mountains above you. If you want to climb esoteric crumbly limestone, at least get out on a big alpine style route & make a proper day of it.

11:42:22 AM
On 18/11/2012 Superstu wrote:

>4 week road trip? Don't try with Canada you'll have too much downtime
>due to the weather. Go California, Nevada, Utah... stable weather and plenty
>of good areas. Needles (the californian ones olbert!!), Toulumne, High
>Sierras, Red Rocks, Zion, Indian Creek. A bit of driving to connect them
>but there are interesting things to stop over and see along the way.

4 weeks to cover all that? You'll barely end up with 3 days in each!
11:02:35 AM
Hypothetically of course, when would you be thinking of doing this Steve?

Due to the vagaries of my Long Service Leave conditions I'm planning on taking three months (at half pay and doing it again another year) from around 5 August to 4 November 2013 (for a total of 95 days off), an NA road trip may be on the cards for me as well, so I'm quite interested in this topic.

Well unless I'm broke, then an SE Asia trip it'll be :P

4:39:41 PM
Devils tower.
The most unique climbing experience in USA possibly- and I'm not a huge crack fan, thought it was fantastic- but also has stunning aretes! Just dont go in June (closed for climbing).

Also in Wyoming is Ten Sleep, Sinks Canyon and Wild Iris (and Vedawou ?sp). Not that far to theTetons (and Yellowstone) and across to City of Rocks going west. Or not too far to the south in Colorado is Lumpy Ridge, The Diamond on Longs Peak and Eldorado Canyon and lots of stuff around Boulder. To the East Needles in (?Sth) Dakota and opportunity to see Mt Rushmore and some great caves.

There are 15 messages in this topic.


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