We got to Joshua Tree National Park quite late at night but managed to snag ourselves a site at the best climbing campsite Hidden Valley!
The first thing Jake does when he it hits dusk is build his fire, now you’ll quickly learn that this to Jake is like a pissing contest with all other campers at your campsite. No matter whether its required or not he will build the biggest fire in the campsite then he will spend all night poking that fire with ‘his stick’
He very quickly won the pissing contest at Joshua Tree because the people on either side of us weren’t capable of even starting there’s. After seeing them cooking there smores over a cooker I decided that we should invite them over to our site to share our fucking ginormous fire.
Whilst sitting a mile away from the fire due to the intensity of the warmth we found out they were also into climbing we decided we would all head out rock climbing in the morning.
That night we were lucky enough to sleep without our fly on the tent, which is quiet an experience when you get woken up in the middle of the night to howling coyotes and one clearly roaming around Hidden Valley.
In between Yosemite National Park and Joshua Tree I some how must have grown a pair and managed to stay inside the tent for the remainder of the night but didn’t manage to get back to sleep. I definitely think it had nothing to do with the size difference between a bear and a coyote that meant I didn’t escape to the van.
As we all know Jake is a mad climber and when we got to the first climb we saw that like Yosemite it was a traditional route, but this time we had no gear to climb the route. Jake stood there for a few minutes and decided he would be able to free climb the route at my dismay. Up he went with no protection and without a stumble he was at the top! He set up an anchor so we could all follow up later on top rope. We managed to get in a solid day of climbing but what surprised me most about our day of climbing was how little our friends spoke to us. Oh well they did end up giving us there fire wood the next night. I wonder why.
The evening came around and Jake wanted to watch the sunset like mother like son, so we climbed up high and spent the rest of the evening watching the sunset over the valley. We also managed to spot the Coyote who we suspect was guilty of roaming around Hidden Valley the night prior.
The next day we decided to head out to a new climbing spot just the two of us. We hiked into the spot, which was a little further away than we first thought. We pushed on and arrived at the bottom of the crag (climbing wall). Now what took me by surprise was that the scramble to the base of the climb. This would scare me more than when we were actually climbing. You are jumping from boulder to boulder and squeezing through tiny slots with no ropes attached. It doesn’t help when your climbing buddy is like a mountain goat and by the time I gather up the courage he is out of sight.
We finally arrive at the base of the climb and Jake sets off and makes it to the top of the climb. This climb was a little different to what I was use to because instead of Jake getting to the top setting up a top rope climb and me lowering him back down this time he was going to belay me up to him and from there he would climb another pitch up. So I begin climbing and make it up to him at this point being 30 meters off the ground I quickly try and go back on my promise and ask to go back down. Before I can do much talking Jake has already set up the rope and has already started climbing the next pitch. Before I know it he’s at the top calling me up. This parts a blur and a couple tears later I arrive at the top of now a 60-meter climb and my first ever multi pitch climb WooHoo!
When I arrived Jake wanted to celebrate but that would have to wait till both my feet were safely on the ground. Often I find climbing up a little less scary than being lowered down, now add on another 30 meters to what I’m used to I created a mantra – “Cider, Sangria, Rose, Cider, Sangria, Rose.” All the things I like, thank god nobody was around to witness.
With our feet firmly on the ground it was time to celebrate! Nothing quite beats celebrating your first ever multi pitch than with a nice warm cider and beer. Gone are the days where we could splash out on bubbles and oysters.
Our recommendations for Joshua Tree
- Visit the cute store on the corner of the turn of into Joshua Tree National Park west entrance. This store has been here for over 20 years, it is filled with lots of treasures and also has showers outside that you can pay to use
- Take water there’s no water in the national park
- Climb up some of the boulders and watch the sunset.
- Buy firewood before arriving, as you are not allowed to gather wood.