Watch the weather app. Check it all the time. Check local crags and micro climates. Don’t miss a window of logistical opportunity and good weather. That’s pretty much how we got ourselves into a day trip to Joshua Tree in January, which is damn near the limit of distance for a day trip and a usually far too cold for us this time of year.
By luck and will, conditions were just right for an out-and-back day trip from San Diego to Joshua Tree for a day of climbing. Aside from the unavoidable joy that always comes with climbing in JTNP, I (Dion) was finally on the mend from a severe pulley injury that I suffered in October and finally back out climbing.
We left San Diego at 3am and headed north. Zach at the wheel, Chris Stapleton on low. We targeted the Lost Horse area- easy to get to and densely packed with moderate, classic routes ideal for a first foray back to pulling down and placing gear after three months of gimpiness. With lockdown pandemic life still heavy, and unseasonably warm, wonderful climbing weather, we were expecting to see plenty of other parties. But alas, we once again had walls all to ourselves, and our pick of the lines. We didn’t get on as many, or as hard, pitches as we’ve done in the past, but an excellent day of climbing was had and the rust was thoroughly shrugged off. The 2021 season officially kicked off! Yehaw!
We traded leads on 4 rad routes and enjoyed the slower pace of exploring a new area. Days with low expectations and positive intentions seems to always turn out the best. But perhaps the most rewarding piece of the day was how well we managed all of the various logistics, got to tick climbs we both eyed, and got back in the car by 3pm- the designated time we promised the wives and kids. Out before dawn and home before dinner is a hallmark of the Paternal Elevation program. And getting that program dialed-in doesn’t just happen. It takes work and planning and diligence and commitment, and it always makes the next trip easier to get on the books!