Echo Rock, Joshua Tree

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Ann and I have a domestic conflict this morning. I’m antsy to get going to Echo Rock to climb Stichter Quits (5.7+), and she is into her cup of tea and crossword puzzle. I’m worried about limited shade, and she would be too except I didn’t mention it before, it’s morning, and what’s the point? I must remember to prepare her the night before if we need to hurry in the morning.

We make it there while it’s still shady anyway, but a German couple with a screaming baby have beaten us to it. As a replacement, I decide to try for the redpoint on nearby Stick to What (5.9). It looks more run out than I remember, but I know I can climb it, so I get on. I make the crux by the first bolt no problem. The moves after still feel pretty thin, though, and there are several of them. The fall would be a grounder. Very carefully I move over and up to the second bolt and clip. The rest of the route is just enjoyment. There is a certain satisfaction to keeping it together on a runout, and I’m happy with my redpoint, but I can’t revel in it. I love climbing, but not enough to push myself at high risk very often. I contemplate these things while Ann follows, talking herself up the dicey slab moves.

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