I loathe leaving the Wasatch Range in the wintertime. With its limitless terrain to explore on my skis, there is no place I’d prefer to be. There’s always new peaks to summit, lines to ski, and powder stashes to plunder.
This year, however, has been a different story. We’ve received record-low amounts of snow, and the snow we have received has proven to be unmanageable and deadly. Even the best day out in the backcountry is not worth tempting fate, so we’re not getting out as much as we’d like. It’s a bit depressing. So what to do? Sit around and sulk?
Nope. There’s no need to sit around when you live so close to the almost equally satisfying playground that is Southern Utah. Three and a half hours from the time you can get all your climbing gear, bikes, and sleeping stuff crammed into the car you can be enjoying the perpetual summer weather and endless outdoor adventure the Utah desert has to offer.
Last weekend Josh Snow and I headed south to get a nice wintery dose of summer sunshine. First on the list was Chuckawalla Wall. I had a date with Second Coming, a route that had been haunting me since I first hopped on it last fall.
I held on long enough to redpoint, which Josh and I celebrated with a victory lap on the Zen Trail (a quick, yet technical single-track not to be missed if you have your bikes along).
We wrapped up the night with a bit of bouldering in Pioneer Park.
The next day we warmed up on some riotous biking trails outside of Santa Clara, and concluded our quick getaway at Prophesy wall. We hopped on an enjoyable two-pitch route called The Visionaries. The brilliant exposure of the first pitch and a spicy move or two on the second pitch crack made the route a worthwhile excursion.
Two days in the Utah desert is all it took for us to feel just fine about the worst winter in the Wasatch. In fact, sitting on top of the Prophesy Wall, snow was the last thing on our minds.