I was fortunate to spend my 30th birthday climbing the short, but sweet routes of Penitente Canyon with Codi. Joe's Valley was the original plan, but so was getting a huge crew together... The weather was excellent and I soaked in the special feeling of the area. The pictures suck, but at least they remind me of what the real thing looks like!

A great birthday sunrise in Penrose, can you make out the huge rocking chair? We wanted to get some bouldering shots on it, but came back late Saturday.

Cool huecos on the trail across from the Virgin Wall

Double-take walking past this... German cactus...

Sangre de Cristo Range

Iconic Penitente

We spotted this see-through hueco high up, across from the Virgin Wall, as we were leaving the Canyon Saturday and fortunately found it before it got completely dark.

The list:

Mr. Breeze - Codi needed to see a 5.2 in real-life
Mr. Wind – At least 3 times harder than Mr. Breeze
Captain America – Superb! Fantastic huecos with maybe some slight overhang!
Los Hermanos De La Weenie Way – Classic Classic Classic
Ordinary People – More slab fun
Children of a Lesser Grade – Less slab fun, but cool how it zig-zagged up the pods
Jewel of the Mild – Best of the three slabs on the wall

Yah-Ta-Hei – Tough route finding for me, but excellent crimps
Lovesnake – Only a few stemming moves – good one to scare Codi away from trying Not My Cross to Bear
Tanks for the Hueco – The lower section was dripping wet, but I was determined. Those holds are amazing!
Bullet the Blue Sky – Can you say worked? I nailed the dyno and stood up on the ledge, then got spanked until the good holds about 3-4 bolts above…
Candy Apple Grey– Last climb. Devious pod on the headwall sucks, but cool edges. (thought this was Glenn's Brown Sugar...)
Brown Sugar – Last last climb. Very good. Awesome pockets to finish up.
Sheer Strength– Last last last climb. I'd been eyeing this line since we first got in the Canyon since it's so striking and different than the other routes. Adrenaline, baby! What a fantastic line!

4th Semiannual General Climbing Conference, October 2009

I'm trying to encourage a tradition of having a bouldering session at Mt. Herman between the last Saturday session and the Priesthood session of General Conference (a semiannual world conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where we watch/listen to instruction from the church leaders). This doesn't just apply to the Mormon crowd - anyone can come to the session after climbing.

This conference, it was just Codi and I - and with Codi's back hurting, we just spent some time on a sweet line I'd climbed with Glenn and wanted to get some media. Here's the rough video of the problem. See you all next April!