After a brief stop in Bishop, we tried to go to Indian Creek, but rather stupidly neglected a quick check of the weather, and ended up turning south for Josh after a blizzard hinted that we may have chosen the wrong path. We were partially rewarded however on the 6 heading North from Bishop when I pulled over to tinkle in the middle of a frozen wasteland, and Paul said, “Is that a mallet?” But wait!!! That’s not all!!! It seems that some poor traveler’s entire tool box had exploded right there scattering along the highway, so we ended up with a bit of a haul!
On arrival at night, Hidden Valley Campground was full, so we meandered on to Ryan, and ended up sharing a site with some folks there that set us up with all kinds of loot in the morning. They were heading out so gave us milk, a whole roasted chicken, bread, danishes, goulash, and cantaloupe. The generosity of strangers sometimes affirms my of faith in humanity. All the more reason to pass it on when you can!
After a couple days of cragging around we went out to the Joshua Tree Saloon for some $3 shots (that’s cheap to us Canadians, and more-so to Norwegians), and ended up running into Matt aka ‘Velcro Jesus’ who we met in Yos, and his two friends, Sam & Bill. After a glorious night of debauchery, somehow managing not to offend our server, we decided to share a site… Paul and I would move in the next day at #31 which has the Caveman boulder in the back. Next day was a rest day, so we were lazing around in the sun trying to stay out of the wind when we saw a helicopter buzzing around. It’s never a good sign out there.
Bill's news clipping
The above is the news story, but Bill ended up doing a running launch on his speed sail, the wind caught him (wind in Josh is unpredictable in my experience), and slammed him into a rocky cactus filled area. He got off light (especially considering he wasn’t wearing a helmet) with a broken foot, and pelvis. Matt and Sam were badass that morning. Sam is a paramedic, and busted his ass out to look for Bill when they got moaned radio messages such as “help me” and “I’m fucked”. Meanwhile, Matt drove to get help, not realizing there’s an emergency phone at intersection rock. Matt led rangers out to Bill while Sam took off his clothes in the freezing wind to keep Bill warm. In the end 3 helicopters came out, and in spite of the Rangers standing there, Matt and Sam ended up hooking Bill up to one of the choppers to avoid wasted time. Bill spent the rest of the trip in a Palm Springs hospital bed, and Sam somehow was his attending paramedic for the ambulance ride back home. Bill’s going to heal, but it’ll be a few months in bed.
I really love the climbing in Josh, but Paul wasn’t too stoked. Made it kinda hard to tick off all the routes I wanted, but oh well! I still had a good time, found a few more stellar routes look forward to, and met a few more great people!
Connor on Hobbit Roof belayed by Paul
Night time Pigpen session. Matt climbing, Sam Sitting
Sunrise after a rain... The view from my sleeping bag
Connor on Touch and Go