Rock Climbing in February?! St George, Utah Style

Black Rocks Area - Not a bad view for the end of the day
It was just what the body needed.  60 degree weather in St George, Utah instead of the blistering cold that I have become accustomed to in Salt Lake City.  For those uninformed of where St George is in relation to SLC...enjoy my crud picture

About 4 hours south of Salt Lake City
It was a great trip, for my friends.  I got hit with the "this is sketchy" bug.  I was having trouble lead climbing into my ability, but I look forward to the next visit.

Instead of dwelling on the bad...

I am really excited for my friends performing really well on their FIRST lead sport climbs!  It was cool seeing their reactions, reminded me of my last post ("The Outsider").  I remember my first lead climb in Kentucky and is one of those moments that you will never forget like child birth, errr maybe not that.  Maybe, first time going sledding?  MOVING ON, they both did great and I am really happy for both of them.  Just got to keep on climbing higher.

About climbing in St. George...
Beautiful.  Simply put.

Best time to climb: Winter (temps range from 40s to 60s), Fall (70s to 80s) , Spring (70s but with unpredictable weather), Summer (is possible to climb but temps are well above 100 so be careful)
Note: Flash floods can happen anytime and without warning.  As stated in the guidebook "Rock Climbs of Southwest Utah & the Arizona Strip", they can happen even if it does not rain in the area because the drainage basin could be miles away.

Type of Routes: the crags are mostly littered with sport routes and a few mixed routes.  Trad is not prevalent here, if at all.  There is bouldering at Moe's Valley and other areas.

Guidebooks to pick up:

Rock Climbs of Southwest Utah
& the Arizona Strip by Todd Goss
Moe's Valley Bouldering Guide
By Tyler Webb & Seth Giles
These two guidebooks will give you a nice layout of just about everything in the area.  Unfortunately, we did not boulder this trip but when talking to the locals at The Desert Rat they said that Moe's Valley Bouldering Guide was a great guide for bouldering the area.  Todd Goss' book was a good layout but my only beef with it are the lack of in-close photo's of the routes.  Some are hard to find, like in the Black Rocks area.  All in all though, it was a good guide with colored pictures, trail maps, oodles of info, and other badass-ery.

I suggest anyone from Utah (any climbing ability will have fun) making the trip down to St George to get out of the cold.  It is definitely worth the mere 4 hours of driving.  It is a like a summer home away from home.

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  1. A year later and I am just seeing this post. Well- it was a good lead because of a good teacher, Mr. Mountain Enthusiast. :) And from what I remember, you tackled the rock; can't remember any sketchiness at all.