8/22/2011

City of Rocks - Morning Glory Spire and the Anteater

I woke up to a view that overloaded my senses. In every direction, hundreds of white granite monoliths protruded out of the green sagebrush with the bright blue-sky painting a backdrop. The colors were so vivid that I could close my eyes and still see the outlined image on the rocks burned into my memory. We were in the City of Rocks in Idaho, and any climber that has ever been there knows that it’s like a Disneyland of climbing destinations. There is something for everyone there. Whether you climb 5.5’s or 5.14’s, you will find something that will make you say, “That was such a classic route”. I think that phrase may have been uttered on almost every climb we did.

Customer Service Rep, Raquel Tarbet on Scream Cheese 5.9


Last weekend, I went to the City with some other folks from Liberty Mountain, including our Climbing Buyer, Jake and Marketing Director, Nathan, along with their friend Tom, who is a previous Liberty employee. We left early on a Saturday morning and arrived just in time for the heat to set in. We spent Saturday driving from spot to spot and climbing anything and everything we could.  



I did quite a few pumpy sport routes that were challenging and fun, then I ended the day Saturday climbing a really run out route called “Swiss Cheese” 5.7 R.  Featuring only 2 bolts and one decent piece of protection in its 70 feet.  Right after that I hopped on “Scream Cheese” 5.9 a fun route just to the right of Swiss Cheese. There was no better feeling that night than resting my sore muscles in my hammock, looking at the stars and knowing that I had another day ahead of me in the City.
 

Customer Service Rep, Raquel Tarbet on Skyline 5.8

The next day we drove all over the City, hitting crag after crag, but the highlight of my trip was climbing a 5.8 trad route called Skyline.

            Rising out of the sagebrush stands a massive monolith called “Morning Glory Spire”, that has a beautiful crack running up the side of it.  It is ideal for anyone that enjoys an amazing view, and wants to practice plugging in gear.  With Nathan on belay,  I began climbing up the spire. The very first section I traversed to the left using a killer undercling, and moved onto the crux.  

The traverse left.


I was pretty hesitant at first but once I got two pieces of pro in the rock, I gained the confidence boost to keep going.  The rest of the climb was so fun and picturesque, that I wanted to forget about placing gear and keep going. Once I clipped into the chains I leaned back and took in all the scenery.


               Among the backdrop of the City, I could see Jake climbing a route on an adjacent wall from me, and could see the vultures in the far off distance soaring on thermals of warm rising air. Skyline was the perfect climb to end a perfect weekend in the city. I cannot wait to go back and jump on some new routes. The City of Rocks will forever be one of my favorite and most beautiful climbing destinations.

Raquel Tarbet


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