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While we were away: bouldering at Joshua Tree

Nikki Hanson / The Arbiter

Winter break is a much needed vacation for all students, especially after finishing a grueling week of finals. Ideally it is a time of relaxation where many of us can take the time to enjoy our favorite television show, sleep in until late afternoon and eat delicious home cooking.

While I enjoy relaxing, good cooking and sleeping in as much as the next person, with vacation comes ample time to get out and do something adventurous without the pressure of completing homework, the need to study for tests or make it to work
on time.

Therefore, it was the perfect time to a take a bouldering trip and why not travel to a location close to my home, Joshua Tree, Calif.

The funny thing is that I did not know I had amazing resources available to me for climbing until I came to Boise State. The Boise area opened up my eyes to the possibilities that are available in the great outdoors and now I cannot get enough.

I am from Orange County. The drive to Joshua Tree was a little less than three hours. Despite a busy weekend, we were able to get a prime campsite near the climbing areas that we would be going to throughout the four-day trip.

One downside to camping during the winter season is  that you lose daylight quickly. The sun would be down no later than 4:30 p.m. each day. It was essential to get the food on the stove and the fire going before the below 20 degrees hit us.

One thing I was not aware of was how sharp the rock would be on the hands. I climb consistently indoors and my hands are not as acclimated with calloused hands, as I would like for climbing outdoors.

Unfortunately this did hinder my ability to complete the bouldering problems I wanted to climb.

It was amazing, however, how much climbing was available to everyone who makes the journey down to Joshua Tree.

In less than a five mile radius from the campground, there was enough climbing to keep a rock climber satisfied for weeks.

To conclude our trip we spent our final night in Palm Springs to celebrate the New Year. I have also come to learn to always appreciate a nice, warm shower and the clean feeling that follows.

I will always enjoy the lazy days of vacation, but the desire to be camping and climbing in the most amazing locations in the world will always draw me in.