We left Missoula on February 16th, direction: THE SOUTH! The ice this season has not been good, and besides, Montana ice is not what it is reputed to be: mostly dispersed and very short climbs with long and/or difficult approaches; the few longer climbs are too avalanche-prone with all the recent snow. So, we decided to switch to rock climbing and head towards Red Rocks. We'll see if there any ice around the Salt Lake area since we're driving through anyway. We decided to drive through Idaho on the smaller roads instead of using the interstate; this would also give us a chance to stop by Challis, ID, where Lucie had been many years earlier.

We drove to Salmon, ID that evening stopping along the way to check out two climbing areas, Kootenai and Blodgett Canyon. Kootenai is a nice canyon but the climbing looks pretty limited. We could not see much at Blodgett (snow and fog), but it is supposed to be really good. We spent the night parked along the Salmon River just beyond the town of the same name.

The next day we drove towards Logan, UT. Along the way, we stopped in Challis, ID where Lucie spent a month as an exchange student the summer of 85 and visited with her host family who still lived there. Logan turned out to be a very disappointing place: not much besides the usual Mormon temple; it's a sprawling city with a very small downtown and miles of strip malls.

After checking out the climbing areas around Logan, we drove to Salt Lake City where we spent a couple of hours visiting the downtown. Afterwards, we went up to Little Cottonwood Canyon towards Alta to check out the rock climbs on the south facing slopes (nice white granite crags), and the Great White Icicle on the shady side (nice long WI3 but semi-melted right now). We took a quick look at Alta/Snowbird: nothing exceptional, mostly in the trees. We drove late that night and got to Cedar City, where we spent the night at the local Wal Mart (again).

We arrived at Zion National Park the next day and climbed a couple of short trad routes to check out the rock. We were not so impressed by the rock, not the greatest rock similar to the worst red sandstone in Red Rocks. We drove around to take a look at some of the big wall classics. Some of the routes definitely look good but we really don't feel like aid climbing right now. We'll come back though. We spent the night at the nice campground near the south entrance (full hook-up and running water, what a luxury!).

Missoula, MT to Red Rocks, NV

February 2003
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Somewhere in Montana.
 
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Along the Salmon river.
 
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Challis, ID.
 
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Near Challis.
 
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Salt Lake City bus.
 
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Salt Lake City, UT.
 
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Salt Lake City, UT.
 
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Only in America!
 
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Salt Lake City, UT.
 
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Climbing in Zion.
 
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Zion.
 
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Camping in Zion.
 
 
 
 
(high res. images are about 300KB)