Saturday, October 2, 2010

The salt flats of Ibex, Utah

Perhaps the best part about traveling to a new climbing area outside of Colorado is the change in scenery. About seven or eight hours into the drive the landscape begins to display fields of golden wheat and red sand stone. The road takes long arcs winding around vast areas of grassland and pastures built to keep a mix of cattle. After passing through many different towns, which all seem to be aspiring ghost towns, there is a long drive with nothing. After another hour of driving the great salt flats of Utah's Great Basin begin to loom from beyond the horizon. Huge crops of barren land sitting beneath sand stone mountains. Ibex is located just past these. The local residence, scorpions, tarantulas, lizards, and animal skeletons great our arrival and begin to appear more often then you want to.

Ibex is an amazing place. Huge sandstone boulders and cliffs scarred red and black from the desert heat make for some interesting new climbing. Everything that we climbed in Ibex was very difficult for the given grade. Some seemed impossible while others plainly had no holds. Lots of opportunity for good photos during the day and especially at night. The campsites are found everywhere tucked up against large boulders giving campfires a boost in aesthetic value. Overall a pretty tasty travel option. But don't forget your extra camera battery, you might regret it.

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