This past Thanksgiving we made our way to Utah and Nevada to spend nine days in the desert. Luckily, we had sunny and warm days. If I can climb in the shade in a tank, that's a perfect day!
First stop: Arrow Canyon. We decided to take the dam approach which was a little rough for our van but we made it. There was a section of deep sand that we made it through, but had us a little worried on the way out. The approach isn't bad. It's helpful to bring an extra rope that you can leave at the dam and an ascender would be nice for getting back up. Pulling your weight and a pack can be tiresome at the end of the day.
We spent each day at the Swamp Cave. The area has about 15 routes with overhung and vertical climbs. Most of the climbs are 12's and 13's. If you climb that grade, I'd recommend a visit. Tangled in Blue is one my favorite 12a's. The climb starts off with a boulder problem and then you have 12 bolts of vertical climbing. Steve spent time on Mud Butt 13d. Overhung with a powerful sequence in the middle with a few knee bars.
On day 4, we made our way back on the dirt road. Juno got stuck in the sand but we quickly dug her out and made our way to Utah. If we return, we may just take the other approach and take on the extra time to hike instead of bang around our little climbing mobile around.
Even though we're van traveling, we got a room at the Virgin River Casino. Tomorrow was a work/rest day and a room for $30 is a great way to get a shower in and get wifi. After checking out, we wrapped up work at Starbucks and Barnes and Noble in St. George then made our way to Moe's Valley.
For Thanksgiving, we spent the day bouldering at Moe's. This place is a great option for those colder days and is a quick stop off the highway in Utah. We wandered around and found plenty of awesome boulders. Afterwards, we cooked up our Thanksgiving dinner.
Our last stop was Hurricave. This cave sits up on a hillside with routes that go across the whole roof. If you haven't noticed yet, we love our limestone caves. We spent a couple of days here and by the last day our bodies were beat. We definitely could use more rest days but when time is limited, all you want to do is climb!