Monday, June 2, 2008

Jacks Canyon April 14th-24th

Now I've decided that it's time to bring this thing up to date. But to do that, we need to start where we last left April- so travel back with me to a time of, blah blah blah- here we are

After spending almost a week climbing near Flagstaff we decided it was time to check out the local mountain biking. We asked around about camping and were told that we should be able to find something right off the road that the mountain bike trails congregate around. Slight problem was that the road was still closed because it was covered in snow. Unfortunately this also applied to a good assortment of the trails (sigh), but we were able to get on a couple of the ones in the lower elevations.

These are both pictures of the Rocky Ridge Trail that Mike and I both loved. Some fun technical stuff, and Fast. We had a blast. We also rode Oldham trail, that went up forever and then down forever, and the fort valley trail system which started off very calm and ended in a constant uphill boulder field, but pretty fun even though I couldn't make it up half the stuff. From what we hear the rest of the trails are supposed to be even better.

April 17th: After a couple days of riding and sleeping in the parking lot of the trail head we thought it would be best to ride in Flagstaff once the snow melted a bit more. With groceries a tank of gas and an oil change, where they actually acknowledged the fact that they couldn't find anything wrong with the car, we were headed to Jacks Canyon.

April 18th-24th: Jacks Canyon is a series of limestone cliffs that have every sort of climb I could think of. Even better the climbs were mostly rated easy, so we had many an ego-day. On top of the cliffs there was a free campground with a pit toilet, but no water. With the nearest town over 30 miles away most people can only stay a couple of days, but with our handy dandy 13 gallon water tank, we could stay for as long as we wished. Well, that was until the pump broke, and we had no way of getting water out of the tank...but we wanted to come home by then anyway.

Our Campsite

Me at the top of "Mickey Mouse" a 5.9

The moon among the Junipers (?)

Cracker Jack Cliff

Mike creating his own swing-
He's coming down from a 5.10d after succesfully making it to the top, twice. This is the hardest rated climb we've done so far

Looking up the crack a 5.10a with a tough start and a really fun easy end

A 5.10b in a grotto- the white marks along the crack are what you stick your hands into

And then we ran into this guy. The campground is at the top of all these wonderful climbing cliffs with a long meandering steep trail that led to and fro. And Mike and I, mainly Mike, had developed a game of seeing who could get to the top of the trail first. As usual he was sealing his mighty lead when all of a sudden he leaped into the air. I thought he was just jumping with jubilation since he had demolished me, but as I rounded the corner he was still standing there, and this little gent was the real reason he had jumped for joy since he nearly stepped on the snake as he was checking on my progress. The snake was big, I'd say close to 5 feet long,but had no rattle that we found.

We watched as he slithered away.