Dustin, Will, and I headed up to Joshua Tree Sunday morning bright and early. It was a bit of a throw-back to college for me, because the night before, my roommates went out to get Russian food for my roommate's birthday, so I was pretty hungover from too much hearty food and vodka.
Fortunately it didn't last long. By the time we got to Josh it was shaping up to be a perfect day, just warm enough to climb in the Sun. Will is a strong sport leader getting in to trad, and wanted to cut his teeth on the route formerly known as Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, now Illusion Dweller. We got over there and a party of 3 was just starting to top rope it, so instead we headed to Sports Challenge Rock to warm up. There we got on two decent climbs, sphincter Quits and I think clean and Jerk? Will and Dustin led both, but I've been nursing a hip injury and couldn't really get my leadhead on while thinking of it. I hadn't really climbed in Real Hidden Valley much before, and I really enjoyed how green it was at this time of the winter. We saw several birds and were accompanied by families of mice at the bases of climbs.
After warming up we returned to Illusion Dweller and waited for a party to finish up. It was well worth returning, the crack is beautiful and varied but pretty consistent at the grade, up to a tricky move pulling a lie-backy roof. I really enjoyed it, but my hip was really bothering me so I opted out on the rest of the climbs.
Dustin, and Will got or two more decent but flaky climbs on The Great Burrito, and we finished up right around sundown. We stopped for pizza then listened to union and protest songs most of the way home.