Moab, UT Report: Post-Ski Trip Desert Climbing

Martin Kuprianowicz | ClimbingClimbing
Tyler Mayer is shown here leading ‘Pot Stash,’ a Wall Street classic 5.9 sport climb. | Photo courtesy SnowBrains

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Report from Tuesday, May 4-Wednesday, May 5, 2021

We skied. We climbed. We conquered.

But really we just hung out and had a good time in the desert. 

After an intense ski down one of North America’s 50 classic ski descents in the La Sal Mountains near Moab, Utah on Monday, it was time to chill. And what better way to chill than by chasing shade and climbing rocks?

Tyler, shown here, rappeling off a 5.9 sport climb at the Cinema crag near Moab, Utah. | Photo courtesy SnowBrains

On the first morning, some buddies from Montana and I left the campsite and hit ‘Cinema’: a morning sport climbing crag about a half-hour out of Moab along the Colorado River. We followed the river below giant red rock mesas, past massive boulders to a pullout on the river across from the crag. The hike was short and steep and required a bit of scrambling.

The climbs were a series of sport routes along various walls that are all pretty long—100 feet for the average length of the pitches here. It was my first time climbing since before ski season, so we kept it mellow and started with some 5.7s in the shade. I led a couple and then top-roped a 5.9. It felt good being back on sandstone.

Once the sun hit, we booked it towards Moab for lunch at the Quesadilla Mobia—our favorite quesadilla food truck in Moab. From there we drove to Potash Road to climb the legendary ‘Wall Street.’

Wall Street is a great afternoon climbing spot near Moab. | Photo courtesy SnowBrains

Wall Street is home to some of Moab’s most classic climbs right on the side of the highway. It’s best in the afternoon when the rock is covered in shade. We sent ‘Pot Stash,’ a Moab-classic 5.9 sport climbing that’s harder than it looks. After that, we tried our luck in some easy slab climbs and then drove back to the campsite for a greasy, fireside dinner.

Everything tastes better in the desert.

A campfire and a star-studded sky are all the entertainment you need out here at night. We crashed early so we could wake up early and hit ‘Ice Cream Parlor’ the next morning.

Dang nature—you pretty! | Photo courtesy SnowBrains

Ice Cream Parlor was my favorite Moab crag on this short trip. It’s way down in the bottom of a massive canyon, away from everything except a dry river bed and its desert inhabitants like the crows and the lizards. It’s shaded in the morning and has a bunch of sport, trad, and mixed climbing routes.

We started on a couple of easy slab climbs, worked our way onto more technical sport climbs, and finished with a glorious crack climb. Crack climbing is my favorite type of climbing. It feels mechanical, technical, and confident-inspiring to shimmy your way up a crack in a way that doesn’t make sense until you try it.

When the sun found us again, we packed up and left as swiftly as we had come, without a trace. It was back to the ‘real world’ in Salt Lake, knowing that it was only a matter of time before we’d be back here, running from the sun and up the sandstone walls.

A climber sends it up a slab climb at ‘Ice Cream Parlor’ near Moab. | Photo courtesy SnowBrains

Photos Courtesy SnowBrains

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