Adios America / by Mayan Smith-Gobat

El Capitan, Astroman and battling with cracks in Yosemite feel like distant memories, in a different world. The last few weeks have been rather relaxing. I have tried to chill and enjoy some time without pushing myself to my limit. My partner,  Max and I have been traveling around, seeing a little of the USA in true "American style", with a HUGE motor home (RV)... Quite a different way to travel for us, we even had a shower and toilet in the RV. 20091026-_MG_1708_35

After climbing Astroman we headed southwards, to meet some friends at Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree is as different from Yosemite as you can get. It is an almost alien landscape... Warped, gnarled Joshua trees, rounded boulders precariously stacked on top of each other, spiky plants of every kind and large, wide, open spaces. The climbing great, but after Yosemite everything felt very small and insignificant. I loved spending time with some good friends in this environment, but found it hard to be motivated by short routes.

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After a week  we headed north, to Zion National Park, with a brief stop to experience the craziness of Las Vegas on the way. We did not have enough time to do a big wall in Zion, but we did stumble across one of the most amazing sport crags in the USA... Deep inside Kolob Canyon is a beautiful,  steep wall covered in perfect lines of huecos. There are only five routes, but they are totally incredible, super fun and different to anywhere else I have climbed!

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These routes inspired us to find some more sport climbing, so we spent the next couple of days at Cathedral Rock, near St George... apparently one of the best Limestone crags in the USA. It was not quite like French Limestone, but it was really solid, with a great concentration of superb lines. We also stopped past Red Rocks for a handful of short sandstone gems which was a great way to end our trip and prepare my body and mind for a training period back in NZ.