The weekend of March 24th Amy's mom and her husband Ron came down from Sacramento for a visit, Amy's mom wanted to see Danny climb, and they had never been to J-Tree (I don't think they had ever been to any national park based on the questions they were asking us) so we decided to take them out there. Amy's mom and her husband can't really walk very far so we decided to just go to Trashcan Rock since there is zero approach, and tons of really easy stuff for Danny to climb or boulder around on.
We got to Trashcan rock and I free-soloed up "B-1", a 5.1 crack that splits the center of the formation, to set up a top-rope for Danny to climb. After I rapped off, we tried to get Danny to put on his harness so that he could climb it, but he didn't want to, so Amy TR'd the route, we then tried again to get him to put on his harness, but he still wouldn't have any of that, so I soloed the route and took down the anchor.
Next we moved one crack over to a 5.4 called "Walkway". I lead the route and setup an anchor, then Amy TR'd the route, but Danny still didn't want to climb with his harness, so once again I soloed the route to clean the anchor.
Next we moved over to a 5.10c slab route called "Profundity". I've climbed this route 1.5 times in the past but had not yet gotten the redpoint, so I needed to try to get it. The first time I lead the route, I fell off of the crux once before figuring out the moves, the second time I tried the route, the toe of my shoe ripped apart as I was standing up onto the first foothold of the crux and I couldn't finish the route since I no longer had any sticky rubber under my big toe, so this was the time. I lead the route and got the redpoint easily. It didn't feel at all difficult or insecure so that was good. After that Amy headed up on TR and did pretty well. She cruised through the crux section, but had a little bit of trouble down lower since she is shorter than me.
Profundity - 5.10c
Finally, we climbed Karpkwitz which is a pretty fun 5.6 finger crack. Amy has been leading quite a bit of sport lately, but still hasn't been leading much trad, so she wanted to try it, but first she wanted me to lead it so that I could give her any beta that she might need during her lead. I lead the route and lowered off while cleaning the gear, then Amy lead it without any problems, her hardest trad lead to date. After she lead the route she lowered off, but left the gear so that I could TR the route and critique her placements. I checked them out and they all looked great so now we just need to get her to start leading more.
Danny never did want to put on his harness (well at least not until we were in the car heading home when he started asking to put it on and go climbing), but at least he did boulder around quite a bit so that his grandma could see him.
Since Amy's mom and her husband had never been to J-tree before we decided to take them home by going all the way through the park. That way they were able to see most of the main rock formations, and we even stopped at the Cholla Gardens so that they could see all the cacti (and so that Ron could kick a cholla ball and get it stuck to his foot, smart huh). Even though it was a super easy day, at least we got out and did some climbing instead of just sitting around the appartmentlike we would normally do if Amy's mom was visiting.
A little side story that happened as we were cleaning up our stuff and getting ready to head out. There were these two girls who were racking up at the base of Profundity and getting ready to head up it. As they were racking up, I heard the leader showing the belayer how to lead belay, and not to be rude, but the leader also sounded like she was fairly new to the sport. I thought it was a little bit odd that she was racking up to climb a J-tree 5.10c slab since they sounded so new to climbing. In my mind, if the belayer has never belayed a leader before, the leader should pretty much treat the climb like a solo, so I didn't want to be rude, but considering that the belayer had never belayed a leader before I decided to ask the leader what her lead ability was. I tried to just casually ask the leader how hard she climbed. She informed me (in a tone that sounded quite offended) that the climb was about at her limit, but she would be fine. Since she really didn't answer my question, and I wanted to make sure she didn't die, I decided to just say "okay, I just wanted to make sure that you weren't trying to climb "Tip Toe" or one of the easier climbs like that" (Tip Toe is the 5.7 face climb to the right of Profundity). When I said that the girl said, "uh, I am trying to climb Tip Toe, what's this?" When I told her it was a 10c she was very grateful that I had decided to step in and ask her what she climbed. As we were leaving I saw her struggling quite a bit on "Tip Toe" so I'm glad I checked. .
Well that's about it for this post.