/ American climbing trip
I am planning a month long road trip to the west of American and wondered if anyone had done one and if they could recommend places, timings and logistics. We would be climbing at the easier end of the climbing grades.
Thanks in anticipation
Depend very much on time of year!
Looking at October and November this year
Yosemite, Red Rocks, Joshua Tree are the obvious choices and you won't be disappointed. Owens River Gorge for sport. Bishop for bouldering. Lake Tahoe area is good. California and Nevada.
There are so many places and so many crags its difficult to list them all. Start in the North in early October and work your way south.
Thanks for that. Did you hire a car or camper van and what are the prices like over there?
How easy is easy? Some great stuff around mammoth and Bishop. Red rocks definitely. Some easier routes up the towers in Utah, such as Castleton, would be unmissable.
Definitely Red Rocks. Yosemite is a must if you're there for that long. I'm off to Bishop (Owens River Gorge and Pine Creek Canyon) in early May so will let you know about those places. ORG and PCC are adjacent to Mammoth area where I've been before and would recommend a stop off if travelling north from LA. You could do Bishop, Mammoth, Tuolumne Meadows and the Valley. If you want some beta on Red Rocks/Yosemite drop me PM or email.
Even if there's hardly anything you can do at your grade Yosemite and Tuolumne can't be missed. Lovers leap a bit further north has many 5.8 and 5.9 classics. they can be related to Uk HVS more reliably than the routes at Yos can. Except for Traveller buttress!
Tuolumne has many boldish moderate routes. It takes a day or two to get used to them but you will never forget them.
Might be a bit late for tuolumne?
> Looking at October and November this year
Might be getting quite late for Tuolomne. I would question whether Yosemite is a good choice at easier grades (depending on what you mean by easier grades!) - ok, it's worth seeing just because it's Yosemite but is hideously busy. Obvious places are Red Rocks and Joshua Tree. Book camping as early as possible for JT. Less known, but it might be worth looking up Cochise Stronghold in southern Arizona - I've not been but it sounds amazing and is high on my own list. You might be struggling for lower grade stuff (again, how easy is easy?) in the Utah desert but the landscapes are astonishing. I'm not sure I'd bother with the Bishop area except in passing unless you are into bouldering (or clipping bolts in a hole in the ground!).
I disagree. The ceagging around mammoth and pine creek is really really good.
> I disagree. The ceagging around mammoth and pine creek is really really good.
But is really, really good worth travelling half way round the world for? When answering a query such as this, that is the question I ask myself; is it of a quality, style or in a landscape that you can't get nearer to home? There are quite a number of places in the US south west that are undoubtedly in that truly world class category. Of course there are numerous other places easily worth stopping off at for a few days in passing on road trip. Anyway, I wasn't including Mammoth under Bishop in my comment (maybe I should have been!) and I've not climbed there so cannot comment on the quality. I've been to Pine Creek and it was definitely worth a visit.
Especially if you're looking for easier grades, then red rock is definitely your best bet during that timeframe. Beginning of October, Tuolumne might still be open (the pass closes when it starts to snow) and Yosemite is, of course, worth the time (plenty to do from 5.6-5.8 if you've never been before).
Joshua Tree is likewise a very special place.
If you're on a longer trip, the general trick is to follow the weather, heading south as winter comes or north as summer comes. That said, you have to keep an eye on the actual weather and be flexible. For example, red rock is sandstone and thus out if it's been raining.
> Thanks for that. Did you hire a car or camper van and what are the prices like over there?
First time I was camping and bought a car for the duration of the trip. Since then I have done a mix of camping and hotels. Hotels in Yosemite are expensive and given the price are a bit disappointing. Everything is expensive in Yosemite!
You still haven't said what grades you are looking at, where your climbing focus is (multipitch trad?) or how tight your budget is. It makes a difference to any recommendations I might make as a lower grade SW US regular visitor. I think Robert's advice is broadly right... if this isn't going to be a regular thing, get a taste of the best... the best of the best in my view for multipitch below 5.10 is Red Rocks but its normally mostly too warm there until November. World class trad stuff below 5.10 I've enjoyed that is extensively available includes: around Moab (normally too hot until November), Lake Tahoe (esp Lovers Leap.. best in October), Yosemite (Tuolumne.. early October and The Valley... from mid October), The Needles (October), Tahquitz-Suicide (Oct and Nov), Joshua Tree (from Nov), and Bishop for bouldering (better in Nov). I've enjoyed lots of other places but of those maybe only Zion is worth considering for a quick visit on a rare trip as its so spectacular.
One thing I would say is have a flexible plan. Fires and weather can make any plan A impossible.
Mountain Project is an amazing planning tool. I've illustrated this at Red Rock with classic multipitch stuff to 5.9
....or maybe you want the best 5.8 multipitch climbs in all of California.
If you fly accross the Atlantic to go sport climbing at Owens you need a talking to.
Pine Creek is quite good however....
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