Matt and Joanne’s Page

January 16, 2008

Joshua Tree

Filed under: Climbing, Roadtrip — Matt Stamplis @ 10:05 am

So it took us a week to find shelter from the rain in California. But we’ve been enjoying sunshine in the desert for the past week in Joshua Tree National Park. Everywhere you look here, there are piles of granite boulders: a rock climber’s paradise! We haven’t had much time to post anything new here because we’ve been so busy exploring the place and climbing. Also, just to get any running water or internet connection requires a 20-mile drive into town. So we’ve been staying in the middle of nowhere, getting progressively dirtier and dirtier. Thankfully we managed to take a shower today – you won’t believe how great that felt!

This is a Joshua Tree. Part tree, part cactus, part out of this world! This one was particularly large. These things seem to grow in random directions. Sometimes you’ll find them growing upside down or falling over because they get too heavy on one side.

Here is Matt leading Double Cross. This is a super-popular, super-fun climb right next to the road for easy access. One thing we learned quickly about Joshua Tree – you rarely walk more than 10 minutes to climb anything. So access to routes is super-easy! But with few anchor bolts anywhere, you sometimes end up scrambling off of formations to get down – this is often the most dangerous part of the climbing, since you’re unroped!

I think the name of this climb is Bussonier. It follows a neat crescent-shaped crack out of a cave. This climb is about 30 feet away from one of the campsites in Hidden Valley. The only bad thing about it is the cave smelled like urine. Which is disturbing, seeing as the bathroom is within shouting distance. Ewww.

Look Ma, no rope! This crazy needle-like spire was begging to be climbed. At first, Joanne said she would stay on the ground and photograph my body when I fell. But after seeing how much fun I had on top, she had to climb it too. It’s actually pretty scary trying to balance on top. Especially since it was a little windy this day.

Our primary mode of transportation in the park. Trying to save a little gas money and maybe get a little more exercise. Even though Joanne complains that her legs are breaking…

On our first “rest” day from climbing we wanted to let Yogi get a nice walk but dogs aren’t allowed anywhere on trails within the park. So we walked 12 miles along the road to Key’s View. It was a long walk but I think Yogi was happy about getting the exercise. Note that Yogi is sleeping on the Tale of Genji. I was hoping that with all our “free” time I’d be able to get some more reading down. It doesn’t look like that bookmark is getting very far, though…

Click here for part 2 of our stay in Joshua Tree


  1. Hey guys! Glad to hear things are going well!! Hows Yogi doing in the RV? Keep me updated…I want to see pictures!!!!!!

    Comment by Liz Stamplis — January 16, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

  2. Hey Liz,
    All are indeed well here. Today is rest day and we are spending time working on uploading pictures and hopefully post them. Also, tones of laundry to do. Yogi is haing a blast here with us ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by joannestamplis — January 16, 2008 @ 1:20 pm

  3. i dont know how you guys do it with the rocks in joshua park… some of them do literally look like piles of pebbles in one big heap… ๐Ÿ™„

    Comment by Lil — January 21, 2008 @ 1:07 am

  4. Matt and Joanne,
    Really enjoying keeping track of where you guys are from week to week. Love the pictures! Wish we could be doing what you’re doing. How great for the both of you!!!! Keep having fun and be safe.

    Comment by Cindy Scalf — January 21, 2008 @ 11:40 am

  5. Lil, Hehehe, I told Matt that the piles of rock must be God’s dog pooping everywhere :). But when you get close, some of them are mighty tall. We did 2 multi-pitches routes that are 3 rope pitches long.

    Aunt Cindy, thanks for keeping up with our blogs. We’ll try to be diligent in updating it so you guys will know our whereabout. Miss you all in Michigan.

    Comment by joannestamplis — January 21, 2008 @ 5:24 pm

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