Homework, work, Christmas projects, those could all wait until later. Normally, we get everything done BEFORE we go and have fun. But not today.
After climbing out at Sunset Alley in the Utah Hills a few weeks ago, we wanted to check out another spot, the Soul Asylum.
The drive was only about 15 miles from Santa Clara to our parking spot, and then another 20ish minute approach. Passing through some beautiful, but hidden limestone cliffs, old mining sites, and a fire-ridden desert floor, we found the crag we were looking for.
*For those of you who actually go to the Soul Asylum and come across “No Trespassing” signs with “Tack Cominco” on it, call Desert Rat in St. George to make sure this is still the rule, but you can pass the signs and climb. However, if you get hurt, you aren’t allowed to sue.
Unfortunately, we underestimated the elevation of 5,500′. We weren’t prepared for the shade, lower temperatures, but more than anything, the wind.
Tall, beautiful Limestone continues for about 200 yards (maybe less, maybe more).
We started on Blood Drive (5.10c) that’s meant to be climbed as a two pitch climb. But, after making it to the first set of chains, Haley told me to keep climbing since we hadn’t reached the middle of our 70-meter rope. Only a couple bolts later, I got to the second set of chains and Haley had the middle of the rope in her hands.
Since our rope is dynamic we weren’t worried about running out of rope as she belayed me back down. When I reached the bottom, Haley had about 5 feet of slack left. Needless to say, it was a close call.
Haley gave it a go, and though it doesn’t look it, it was really cold. After climbing for just a few minutes, our fingers started ceasing up and after removing them from a hold, the impressions of the rock would stay imprinted on our hands.
After living in Rexburg Idaho, and living in St. George, neither of us have had much experience with Limestone. We quickly learned that Limestone is sharp, but there is always somewhere to put your feet.
We moved over to another route, this time with Haley on lead on After Life (5.10a).
We weren’t really sure why we stuck around and didn’t leave after the first route. The rock was solid! We were just cold. After taking a couple falls, Haley made it up.
Since it was so cold, we packed up and headed down.
On our way back to the car, we took a small detour to find the Diamond Wall. It’s in the sun in the afternoon and has lots of routes. Aka, good spot for winter climbing on limestone.
Honestly, climbing at the Soul Asylum was sorta miserable, but just because it was so cold. So we headed back to St. George where it was 70 degree’s and did some routes at Shotgun Alley. The routes are short, but at least it was warm.