Bouldering at Joe’s Valley – A Photo Recap

5 10 2009

A bunch of talk of bouldering has gotten me psyched for the upcoming Bishop season. I’ve most likely only bouldered less than five days outside in the last six months. The last serious trip was to Joe’s Valley with a bunch of Bucknell Alumni back in April of 2009. Since we had so many people we got a bunch of sweet photos. If you want a glimpse at Joe’s Valley take a second to look through the photos and check out the links for a brief photo essay from each of the three days we were there:

Joe’s Valley – Day One at the Right Fork

Joe’s Valley – Day Two at New Joe’s

Joe’s Valley – Day Three at the Left Fork

Joe’s Valley – Wills a Fire Videos

Day One:

Luke flashing the Comedian SDS

Lizzy flashing the classic hihgball Michelangelo

Day Two:

Adam sticking Pocket Rocket

Luke on Planet of the Apes

Day Three:

Adam on the Angler

Lizzy on Feels Like Grit

Josh crimping hard on the Jordan boulder.


– Luke

Joe’s Valley – Wills a Fire Videos

6 05 2009


Josh on Lumberjack Low

After watching a video Jamie Emerson posted I was reminded that I had some how failed to post the above picture of Josh trying the same problem. I love this shot and it really shows the crazy sandstone texture of Joe’s Valley.


Luke sets up the drop knee with his eye on the pocket.


Almost there on this low percentage throw.


Adam reaches for the next incut on Wills A Fire – V6

One of the most interesting things about Wills A Fire is the variety of beta. The problem is fairly simple with a number of well spaced incut holds.  However the location of these holds requires one to cross or bump between the pockets to setup for the topout. As you saw in the videos I crossed to the crack and matched it while Adam crossed between the pockets so he could get a right gaston in the crack. Both of these methods were different than my initial idea shown above which involved a left hand bump/throw between the two pockets.  After we got home I watched a video Matt Wilder had posted showing yet another sequence using a somewhat hidden hold.  I was happy to send this classic on our final day and it provided closure to the trip.



Joe’s Valley – Day Three at the Left Fork

1 05 2009

We had a bit of rain on Friday night that sent everyone to be early and luckily we awoke to clear skies in the morning. It had not rained much during the night and we hoped to get some climbing in. Our inital plan was to drive to Ibex if we had woken up to rain or possibly a short detour to Triassic.

The Riverside area seemed ideal start of our last day and was near the Right Sign area with the classic Wills A Fire. After doing many fun slab problems attention turned to the technical Feels Like Grit. More time and better temps were necessary and we moved on the Angler and eventually went up the road to Wills A Fire.  It was starting to drizzle and after Adam and I sent the group moved to the right fork which was still dry.  

Energy was running low and after a few attempted climbs we bailed to a wonderful Lunch/Dinner at Big Mammas. We left just in time and were greeted by an intense hail storm as we drove into town. 

Lizzy and I will be writing a bit more on our impressions on Joe’s Valley later on. For now enjoy the photos from our last day!


Luke joes-valley-apr-09-145

If the weather was warmer it would be nice to take a dip in the river!


Julie tests her skills on a nice slab problem.


joes-valley-apr-09-126 Luke tries his best not to crimp on the small holds.



Josh and Julie enjoy the relaxaing views at the Riverside Area.



A pretty looking line across the river!



Lizzy has her eye on the jug.



Adam  reaches on the same problem.



Kearah shows that you don’t need your feet to mantel. 



Lizzy getting her slab on.




Luke happily flashing the super classic Angler



Rebecca working her way up The Angler V2



Heel hook and go!



Adam quickly moves through the crux.



Adam getting high above the river. 

(The left blue pad was sticking out about a foot over the water!)



Adam playing on the  nice slopers. 



Luke getting ready to top out.



Luke making the final moves up the rail.



Adam reaches for the top!


Luke on The Angler (aka the Rail) V2



Lizzy working her way up Feels Like Grit V8



Lizzy applies her balance the subtle features of the rock.



Adam tries his hand at Feels Like Grit.


joes-valley-apr-09-416Julie figuring out some beta on Feels Like Grit.


Make sure to come back for videos of Adam and Luke sending Wills A Fire. 

Joe’s Valley – Day Two at New Joe’s

30 04 2009

We decided on New Joe’s for day two and slowly made our way out to this sector.  Everyone was weary from all the traveling on Wednesday and the ton of climbing we did on the day before. When we arrived at the dirt road at the stated mileage we were greeted by a large locked gate. The access road which leads to a shared oil company parking was CLOSED!?! We were a bit confused but evenutally found our way to another parking lot about 3/4 of a mile up the road.

After a bit of searching we saw a well carined trail and started to walk in. At some point we got a bit lost and were faced with a steep decent into a creek bed. Jackie, with a torn ACL, could not easily proceed so half the group went back to the parking lot and moved the car so they could walk in via the gated road. 

We all met up at Area 51 after a bit more hassle then was expected but excited for all of the bouldering. New Joe’s is nice because all of the boulders are located on a single hill side with an old switch backing road. It saved time not having to pack up and move the car between different areas like we had done the day before.

We had a fun day but were greeted by rain when we drove back to the campground at dusk.




Jackie on a hard V4/5 on the back of the Scotty boulder.



Luke sets up for a throw.


Lizzy tries her hand at V4



Rebecca goes for the Super Sloper!



Josh climbs Scary V3



Luke following Josh up Scary



Adam getting some air time on Pocket Rocket V6



Luke winds up for a Dyno!



Luke trying to fly on Pocket Rocket



Adam makes the distance!



Adam holding the swing!


Adam Sending Pocket Rocket v6



Luke gets close but no cigar.



Oh well, better luck next time. 



Adam starting off I’d Rather Be Climbing Her V6.


Adam on his send of ‘d Rather Be Climbing Her 


Lizzy trying to find the V5 move on a fun problem at the Tsunami Wall



Rebecca on Reading Rainbow V5?



Lizzy makes the throw on her send of Reading Rainbow.



Adam sorting out beta on Planet of the Apes V6


joes-valley-apr-09-314Luke enjoying a bit of kneebar trickery. 


joes-valley-apr-09-340Luke work through the beautiful slopers on Planet of the Apes


joes-valley-apr-09-360Luke trying some funky beta before figureing out the key right heel hook.


A very tired Luke on his send of Planet of the Apes V6



A tired but happy crew at the end of day two.


Joe’s Valley – Day One at the Right Fork

28 04 2009

Joe’s Valley is a beautiful place and the various areas are on the hillsides and nestled in the drainages above Orangeville, Utah.  The industrial coal mining operations  sit in harsh contrast to the green beauty of the trees and rivers.  On our drive out from LA I first pictured the area being similar to Moab with a barren desert like feel. However I was pleasantly surprised by the Pacific northwest style views around the Joe’s Valley reservoir and was  delighted by the plentifully foliage.  The scenery even reminded Lizzy of pictures she had seen of Banff. 

For this trip we had a large group of eight with four of my college friends flying into SLC from the east coast and two more, Julie and Josh, driving out from LA. We had a wonderful 2.5 days of climbing even though it rained a touch on Friday night and there were waves of rain by Saturday afternoon. Our last day was cut short since we did not want to harm the fragile sandstone. The delicate nature of these rocks was reinforced by the recent news that the The Knocking Room had broken due to climbing after a rain storm.  After a wonderful early dinner at Big Mama’s we parted was back to our “real” lives. It was great to see all the familiar faces and have a chill time climbing and hanging out.

The bouldering is world class and the rock reminds me of the sandstone of the southeast with more pockets and crimps.   We spent a day at each of the different sectors, Left Fork, Right Fork and New Joe’s and explored many different boulders.  All of the following photos are from our first day at the Right Fork. 




On the way down from the Reservoir



Luke plays photographer.



Kearah warms up on the Boy-Size boulder.



Luke struggles on Boy-Size V7



Lizzy gets psyched up for some highball action!



Lizzy on the perfect rock on the back side of the Man-Size boulder.



Lizzy commits to the crux of Michelangelo


joes-valley-apr-09-102Lizzy excited for her first V3 Flash! The crux was at 15 feet!


joes-valley-apr-09-112Luke goes for it on Michelangelo. 


100_4257Jackie making quick work of the Comedian  SDS V5


100_4255Luke on the 2nd crux of the Comedian.


Luke on his flash of the Comedian SDS 



Rebecca reaches on the Triangle Boulder.



Lizzy on some thin crimps and pockets on the Triangle Boulder.



Adam campusing a variation of  Scrawny V7


joes-valley-apr-09-166Adam goes big on Maxi Pad V6


joes-valley-apr-09-149Adam latching the edge on Maxi Pad



Josh on the start of No Additivies V11


Make sure to come back for more photos and video from the other days!!



Enjoying Variety, from Joshua Tree to Joe’s Valley

22 04 2009

I can’t help but laugh at the places climbing has taken me recently. From stress free pulling in Bishop to the no fall zones while headpointing  in Joshua Tree. Variety is the spice of life and I have been taking a full helping. My climbing bubble is doing well, full of adventure and my fingers are finally starting to get strong again!

A few of my college friends are flying out to Utah for  a long chill bouldering weekend in Joe’s Valley , a new area for all of us. It seems the weather should hold up and with the help of the web we have a full plate of things to do.

Back in the Seattle area the local trad climbing mecca has been threatened. Index holds a special places in my heart since it is where I lead my first multi-pitches and did my first 5.9 trad lead. Hopefully all will turn out well in the next couple months and I will make sure to post updates when I see them.

In other news it looks like Peter Mortimer and the Sender Films crew secured a new TV show backed by National Geographic.  In related news Alex Honnold pushing his limits with an all-star crew and getting on on some First Ascent Action in Borneo.

Lizzy and I will be back next week hopefully with a camera full of photos and videos! If you are going to Joe’s this weekend be on the lookout for a Silver Rav4 with Washington plates. Feel free to stop by and say hi if you see our orange Marmot tent.

Take Care,



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