Our First Autumn Out West

For every year that we have been on the road meant that every year we would drive back to Maine for the autumn season. Except this year. We decided that this year we would leave Maine following the Christmas season in 2018 and wouldn’t return for the usual fall season. We decided to essentially move out west semi permanently. I say semi permanently because we are mobile and we can change our minds whenever we feel like it. But for now, we really didn’t want to make the big trek (3,600 miles one way) back to the East Coast.

This year we wanted to experience climbing in our favorite spot during the best season, which would be  Joe’s Valley. Every year we have visited Joe’s Valley has been in the springtime. Returning in the fall meant cooler temperatures and mild winds, which adds up to the perfect climbing weather.

We arrived in Joe’s Valley and immediately noticed a difference in the texture of the rock due to the better weather conditions. It felt like all the climbs we had struggled on in the spring, weren’t going to be trouble much longer. Alex and I compiled a new list of boulders that we wanted to seek out. Some boulders we would be returning to from last spring, but some boulders were located in areas we had yet to check out. It felt like a renew energy had come back to us.

We arrived just in time for the Joe’s Valley Bouldering Festival. The only bouldering festival that incorporates both the local’s activities such as rodeo’s and ghost tours and climber’s activities such as strength challenges and of course, bouldering.

After the festival and it’s attendees left, we continued on climbing in the area. In fact we spent almost two months in the area, climbing in Joe’s Valley and the San Rafael Swell. The weather continued to be perfect until almost Thanksgiving. Once the rain and snow arrived for the winter season, we knew that the Joe’s Valley season was over. In the end we were still able to each finish up our past spring season bouldering goals and created new goals to work on for the next season.

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At the time of this writing, we are in Saint George, Utah where we escaped to a lower elevation. Even though we have left Joe’s Valley, and winter has arrived in the southwest, we are still keeping a keen eye on the weather for Joe’s. With a place that seems as if the climbing is endless and grand, we are always itching to go back.

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