Joshua Tree, California

April 6 - 13, 2007

Dave Svilar, Matt, Darren, Will, John

Please join us on a photographic journey through one of America's finest rock climbing treasures - Joshua Tree National Park.

Our five man crew from left to right - Will ("hey, camera's over here!"), Matt (aka Redhead), Dave, Darren, and John taken in our campsite in Hidden Valley.  Originally it was to be a trio - Matt, Dave, Darren - but two days into the trip my Telluride friend Will and Darren's co-worker John dragged into camp.  I tend to favor 3-somes over 5-somes, but group dynamics remained intact.

 

Darren locates the easiest climb within walking distance and ascends (or "sends").  He then courteously coils the rope before our rappel.  Many climbs can be found within the campground including one that was almost directly above our campsite.

 

Below: No amount of push-ups can make your arms longer.  Just before taking his first - and only - leader fall of the trip.

Top: Matt nears the top of Hemingway Wall as dusk approaches.

 

Darren prefers to watch the last climb of the day.

 

The tent provided a place to shove our stuff during the day as we chose to sleep out under the stars.

 

There's nothing like a campfire in the evening in J-tree.  Photo by Will

 

John snubbed his nose at our oatmeal breakfasts, and graciously sugared our palettes with blueberry pancakes.

 

Our two gung-ho climbers, Matt and John take their game to Lenticular Dome.

 

John and Matt racing to the top of Lenticular Dome.

 

Darren chops his way to the top of a handcrack named Mental Physics.

 

             
Artistic renderings of the elusive red desert cactus.

 

Only jumpin' John could give the Redhead a run for his money - in terms of intense personality and crude humor.  Since our mothers read this the best picture has been censored by the staff at AlpineFever.  If you can imagine...  cam placements aren't limited to cracks in rocks.

 

    
Will frolics amongst the magical J-Tree landscape on a lazy afternoon.

 

Matt sizes up his intimidating nemesis "Illusion Dweller", grabs the rack, and makes a flawless ascent.  What's that you say?  Concerned the Redhead isn't taking enough leader falls and has become finesse on the rock?  Please scroll down to the final photo.

 

A death cloud descends on the normally bluebird J-Tree.  Photo by Willy

 

    
Matt gets the chore of belaying John while Dave and Darren have a better idea - let's go watch a Will Farrell movie.  Notice the white streaks in the photos - graupel (cross between snow/rain).  Photos by Will

 

    
For a grand finale we climbed Sheep Dome's classic Walk on the Wildside in the freezing cold at dusk.  I politely suggested to Matt that climbing to my right would present an outstanding backdrop for a photo.  His reply, "I could give a *&^% about your photo.  Get the &*#@ out of my way."  Memorably, we made the last rappel down the face with headlamps. 

 

Par for the Readhead's course.  This time he didn't get to take his scabs to Vegas.  Several years ago we had more time and even less maturity.  See the J-Tree trip here, or the description of our Vegas trip here.

 

Take Me Home