It has been one year, on new year of my first visit to the gorgeous Joshua Tree National Park. The first time I visited Joshua Tree was with friends from Hangar 18 for a bouldering trip during the New Years (’10). Since that day I probably been back to Jtree 50+ times. Jtree has been the home of many climbing firsts for me:
- First Trad climb following up with my first trad partner
- First Multipitch climb
- First Trad lead (which lead to my worst lead fall…. but also that single lead climb that lead to my love for trad climbing)
- Buying my first trad rack and breaking that baby in at JTree
- First time learning top rope soloing
- First free solo
So many precious firsts, and everything thereafter.
Its not just a place for climbing for me, it really is a spiritual place. Im not the super hippy “one with mother earth” yea bru type of chick… its just something about JTree that brings out my hidden inner hippy. I know its there, because every single time I drive out of the park I leave with a gigantic smile on my face. Jtree became my place of self reflection and the breeding ground of my ever growing independence. I begain to take many solo trips out to Jtree (hiking/climbing). Every quarter, after finals week I become mentally and physically drained/exhausted; still I somehow manage to drive an hour and 30min to Joshua Tree. After spending a night by myself under the bright stars in hidden valley campground I feel so rejuvenated, its magical. The fall quarter of 2010 was my most stressful finals week, physics class raped me. I took a hike out to lost palm oasis during the week, no one was there besides a few old folks. About a few miles in the elderly walked back to their cars and I was alone. 8hrs and 6.7mi later I found myself sitting in the a water oasis in the middle of Jtree eating spaghetti out of a Tupperware. I cant explain what the hell happened, but hiking out there on my own really helped me from the worst finals week in school & also alleviate stress about a shatty relationship that broke me.
I will also appreciate all the climbing trips Ive had with friends. I believe that climbing can bring people closer faster than anything. Ive created some of the strongest friendships from people i’ve met out at JTree. I cherish the good times, and respect all the friendly foreigners i’ve come into contact with.
Happy New Years to all,