Joe’s Valley Trip Beta Needed

Joe’s Valley Trip Beta Needed

Mrs. Narc and I are in the process of picking out a destination for a Spring break trip in mid-April.  I really wanted to go to Hueco, but several factors have pointed us in the direction of Joe’s Valley instead.  It is within driving distance (sort of), both of us have never been, the weather seems decent that time of year, and the problems look fantastic at all grades.  That said, I don’t really know much about Joe’s Valley itself other than it looks to have a ton of fun climbing. 

Since it appears that I am one of the only people reading this blog to never have been Joe’s Valley, I’m hoping you guys can help me out.  Here are a few of the main questions I was having about planning our trip:

  • Camping – I’m aware of very primitive free camping, but we are willing to pay a nominal price for some running water.  Is there a decent campground nearby?
  • Guidebooks – I know that Dr Topo has a free topo, but here again we are willing to pay for a more complete set of information.  Which guidebook is the best for Joe’s Valley?
  • Rest day activities – Obviously we hope to climb as many days as possible, but it would be silly to drive all that way and not see some sights.  I was thinking of heading to Moab, but other suggestions are welcome

Anything else I might have missed that would make for a successful trip would be greatly appreciated.  If there is a problem that you feel we must check out in the V8 and under range, feel free to mention it as well but my plan is to not have much of a plan when we get out there.

Posted In: Off the Board

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41 Responses to Joe’s Valley Trip Beta Needed

  1. nicros January 13, 2009 at 10:23 am #

    go to hueco! it is the same distance….

    if you go to joes’s I will meet ya’ll der.

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    • Narc January 13, 2009 at 10:27 am #

      My thought was that it would be too hot in hueco by mid-April. Correct or no?

      And yes, you should come climb 8b with us. Of course 8b on my scale translates to v5…

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  2. newton January 13, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    check with the guys at contact climbing, i think they’re pretty familiar with it, and they’re super-awesome guys.

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  3. Situner January 13, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    Ok Narc…

    Here goes.

    #1 I have only ever camped in the primitive “free” camping areas. I believe if you drive up the road a little further, there are established campsites at the resevior. I’ve been told it is usually noisey in the morning up there though.

    Sorry. No good camping beta from me.

    #2 Guide books.

    I have A Bouldering Guide To Utah by Baldwin-Beck-Russo. (large black guide) It is VERY good and should give you all of the information and approach beta you need.

    I also have Utah Bouldering by Grijalva-Bigwood-Pegg. (Smaller white and red cover guide) Although it doesn’t contain as many problems, I find the approach beta clearer in some situations.

    Ideally, they work VERY well in Tandem.

    As you are swinging through Denver, I would be happy to let you borrow them if you like. Also, free stay here if you’re psyched for a tour stop on your epic trek.

    #3 Must do problems:

    As you mentioned, almost EVERYTHING in joe’s is amazing.

    To list a few absolute favorites, I would say:

    Killed by Numbers v5
    Maxi Pad v6
    Sit down comedian / comedian v6
    Scary Monsters v6
    Planet of the Apes v6
    Pocket Rocket V5?
    Pimpin Jeans v4
    THE ANGLER v3 (absolute must)

    The list could go on and on, but these are my favorites so far.

    Psyched man! You’re going to have a fun trip!

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    • Narc January 13, 2009 at 11:11 am #

      Thanks for the info and the offer. I will definitely let you know.

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  4. Neil January 13, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    Joe’s is a great destination — I hope you can make it.

    Camping – There is free camping right on the side of the road in both the Left and Right forks in Joe’s Valley — but very primitive. At the top of the Left fork is a nice campground that offers picnic tables, fire pits, and bathrooms for $10 / night – but I don’t recall there being running water..(?)

    Guide – There’s the “black” “A Bouldering Guide to Utah” and the “white” “Utah Bouldering” which in my opinion both have some serious drawbacks. The black one is more complete and up to date – but also seems to be more confusing in it’s area and problem descriptions.

    Rest Day – A close by site is the Gulch Overlook at the Little Grand Canyon about 20 miles east of Orangeville. Spectactular view and you’ll probably have the place to yourself.

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    • Neil January 13, 2009 at 10:37 am #

      Also – in 2008 the pay camping was snowed in in the first week of April but in 2007 it was open.. So I’m not sure if that was an unusual year or not last year – but hopefully it’ll be cleared out regardless by mid-april.

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      • Narc January 13, 2009 at 11:12 am #

        Interesting. Did the pay campground only have pit toilets? Where do you get drinking water?

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        • Neil January 13, 2009 at 11:27 am #

          Pit toilets only – yes. We’d buy water from the Food Ranch in Orangeville.

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        • sock hands January 13, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

          yer face is a pit toilet!!!!!!!!!1111111111111

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          • Eric January 17, 2009 at 5:05 pm #

            JJ – “pit toilet face”? Really?? ;P
            I’m sitting here in the law school library next to a treatise on defamation… Hmm….

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  5. sweatpants January 13, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Jealous dude. I’ve been dieing to get back to Joe’s. I second the absolute neccesity of doing The Angler. One of the best problems anywhere.

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    • Narc January 13, 2009 at 11:15 am #

      What are you waiting for? Make it happen!

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      • sweatpants January 13, 2009 at 11:47 am #

        good question sir.

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  6. Drew January 13, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    Well I don’t know anything about Joe’s; but you’re driving right by Moab, consider stopping for a night to camp at the BLM sites along the river, and do the boldering area there–it’s right across from one of the campgrounds. And I don’t know if you rope up or not, but there is ton of great climbing right outside of town, or in Arches NP (both sport & trad).

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    • Narc January 13, 2009 at 11:08 am #

      Thanks Drew. We do like to rope up but this trip will probably be all bouldering.

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  7. Luke January 13, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    Lizzy and I will be out at Joe’s from the 22nd to the 26th of April with some of my friends from Bucknell. It will also be our first trip. Thanks for soliciting info from the community! The bouldering looks pretty sweet!! Perhaps we will see you there.

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    • Narc January 13, 2009 at 11:26 am #

      It looks like we will just miss you but hopefully this info helps you guys out!

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  8. Situner January 13, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    As Drew mentioned, an overnight at the big-bend camping area and bouldering area would be VERY worth your time.

    (and you could see Arches National Park)

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  9. hayden January 13, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    Climb Castleton (the Kor-Engals route is an super classic) and then head south and go to the needles area of Canyonlands and Indian Creek (only a few miles apart). These two spots are at least 3 times cooler / better rock climbing than Joe’s Valley. Avoid the town of Moab at all costs, minus a fuel up for the car and some groceries. There are also some sweet native american art in a small rocky canyon (with an amazing 25 foot solo-able squeeze chimney) about 30 minutes from Joe’s that is worth checking out, if you are interested shoot me an email.

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    • Narc January 14, 2009 at 6:21 am #

      Ever the contrarian eh? I will shoot you an email if we decide to check out that canyon.

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  10. greg January 13, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    Narc, congrats on getting out on the road. ill still be stuck in WI! boo. but suggestions for the trip…

    mono e mono
    pocket rocket
    golden plates
    etc.

    i have a utah state bouldering guidebook thats huge. if no one has one in the milwaukee area shoot me an email [email protected] i live in kenosha area and im willing to lend you it for the trip.

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  11. sock hands January 13, 2009 at 12:59 pm #

    narc, note that while it may be noisy at the reservoir camping joint, as situner indicated, all of the free camping spots will be noisy starting at 7am if i happen to be there with my doggers when you are there. in april, that will be a possibility. i have no qualms about waking up sleeping hippies and free loading climber pukes. you all only exist to provide me with beta and pads. i’ll slap a fool who disagrees with this destiny.

    wills a fire and maxipad will both suit your lurpiness well and are ultra proud ticks. they make anything else suggested for you total lowball contrived lame crap by comparison.

    the black guide tends to get the nod more than other guides, though the red guide is best for moab, i believe. note that moab is probably about 3+ hours from joes valley… 6+hr round trip “rest day” drive doesn’t seem too great… if you do this, just do not plan on returning to joe’s.

    note that if for some reason it is hella cold and snowy at joe’s when you go, the free camping at triassic is usually 15 degrees warmer, more sheltered from the wind, and the problems are a better bet for dryness, though the top outs are total rubbish sandy choss…. it’s a shame since the shapes and blocks at triassic… plus concentration… is so much better than joes… the choss factor kills it and joe’s takes the cake.

    for many years i have defaulted to joe’s rather than hueco. i have some regrets about this and i feel justified in other respects. in any event, it is a fantastic area that deserves a visit.

    that said, you better be going there for the purpose of working out beta for me and carrying pads for me. otherwise, i slaps a bish.

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    • Narc January 13, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

      Thanks for the Moab advice, I don’t really want to spend a “rest” day driving all day when we will be spending 48 hours driving already. I made that mistake on our trip to CO.

      We are planning on arriving in Joe’s on Good Friday and climbing the next week. You should join us so we can share pads on The Wind Below.

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      • Situner January 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

        Wills a fire was going to be included in my original list, but it scared the piss out of me. Therefore, excluded.

        Wind Below is beyond scary. Far beyond.

        (unless you climb 9 without thrutching…a technique I have a long way to go before mastering.)

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        • Narc January 13, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

          Wind below is a pipe dream. I have a hard time climbing v4 without thrutching…Sock hands and a fully healed Situner should still come out though!

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          • JPWill January 13, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

            not a pipe dream! send it! crux is at half height anyway!

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  12. austin January 13, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    I would recommend ..Wills a Fire (v6). Amazing climb, big moves.. straight forward. Aesthetic. Delicious.

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  13. sock hands January 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    for a steep line, “water painting” is one of the best at joe’s… zero approach. it’s only detracting point is that it’s fairly low.

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  14. sock hands January 13, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    oh snap i forgot SKUZZLOCKS! THE BEST LINE IN JOE’S VALLEY!!!

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  15. JPWill January 13, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    Hey Duder,

    Don’t get scared off The Wind Below. V8 version is contrived, and skips a semi-hidden second-knuckle deep positive mono that makes it V5. I saw it onsited, flashed 5 times in a row by different individuals before I got on it, and I did it my second go (after flailing the first move), and I’m a puss.

    No lie, it’d be criminal not to get on it. It can be tricky to find. For the powerline boulder, park at the same large lot as you would for the Wills-A-Fire area up the left fork (you’ll see the ridiculously huge pine tree). Head back down canyon (away from the resevoir) about 100 meters on foot, and then head straight up the steep rocky hillside. A trail is not obvious but is present. You’ll eventually see a very thin powerline running just over the boulders, and if you do see the trail, it will take you to the base of this massive boulder. It is approx 5 minutes up the hill from the road, if that. Don’t hit the powerline while topping out or you take a huge whipper, sans rope.

    I would highly recommend the Black Guide book, although Neil speaks the truth about directions being better in the White book.

    That said, excellent lines include:

    -Wills-A-Fire (flashable V6)
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_1AC8NGosE5g/SE2irPoheBI/AAAAAAAAASY/nqfUs9W4Fws/s1600-h/DSC_9262.JPG

    -Frosted Flakes (very hard V4)
    -Maxipad (V6)
    -Kelly’s Arete (flashable V5)
    -Scary Monsters (amongst the best of V6s)
    -Planet of the Apes (fun V6)
    -Resident Evil (V8)
    -Golden Plates (hardddd V7)
    -Michaelangelo (high V3)
    -The Buoux Problem (hard V3)
    -Caveman Traverse (V4)
    -They Call Him Jordan (broken and harder, V8ish?)
    -Beyond Life (the most amazing looking V10)
    -Save Yourself (mislabeled in the black book, center line on the Eden block in the Garden of Eden and to the right of Anatomy Act, the arete on the left… there’s a left exit (easier, V7ish) and a right exit (harder, V9ish?))
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_1AC8NGosE5g/SE2isbJszII/AAAAAAAAASo/Ydz-P59Ocuo/s1600-h/DSC_9409.JPG

    -Killed By Numbers (V5, see one of the Dr. Topo youtube videos), across the road from the Mine Cart in the cave/boulder
    -The Wind Below (V5, mislabeled as “The Man From the Past” on youtube.com)
    -Team Effort (either stand or sit)

    BTW, there is a “video guide” that I haven’t seen by Nathan Cando. Here’s a clip on youtube.com:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcLtrAprClw

    Rest day activities include drinking cheap 3.2% beer from the Food Ranch (the gas station in Orangeville; they have killer chicken tenders, trust me here), and the wave pool in Price. 100% worth the 45 minute drive and $2 entrance fee.

    Lastly, consider driving across the San Rafael Swell, which is the long dirt road that cuts out the large zig zag on the freeway, and will save you 30-45 minutes of driving, if you have a reliable car. It is one of the most beautiful drives in Utah. I can give you beta over the phone.

    Jonathan

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    • JPWill January 13, 2009 at 7:31 pm #

      Whoops, I forgot to mention Pimper’s Paradise and The Angler, which are great too.

      And while Pocket Rocket, Mono E Mono, and the stuff on the UMWA boulder are all ok, I think they’re a bit overrated.

      JW

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    • Narc January 14, 2009 at 6:18 am #

      Thanks for all the beta JP. Your comment got flagged because of the links which is why it might have disappeared.

      Whereabouts on Wind below is this hidden mono?

      I’ll definitely hit you up for some more info before we leave.

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      • JPWill January 14, 2009 at 9:18 am #

        if you take a look at some of the video clips, there’s first a really large move from one big rail to another big rail. from here you see the climbers make a large lockoff to a small crimp, and then lock this left hand crimp down to get a right hand crimp.

        From the big rail, you can get a right hand mono– it’s where a couple of seams come together– get your heel up, then move to the first left small crimp.

        I’m not making this up 🙂

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  16. Michael January 13, 2009 at 9:35 pm #

    Narc –

    If you need any more info on Joe’s, then give Darren Knezek at MountainWorks a call. He could help you out and might even know of some people that will be there that weekend that could show you around.
    Here’s the number to the shop: (801) 371-0223

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  17. sock hands January 14, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    wow, i never new about the mono. i would argue it’s a huge stretch to call the wind below contrived, but if folks eschew the newly discovered hold for a harder tick, then i guess it would be warranted. suffice to say that in the first two years of existance of this line, i never heard about this hold/beta ever ever. never saw it, but holds in the joe’s sandstone can be very difficult to spot if not chalked up and you’ve got your blinders on.

    hmm

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    • JPWill January 14, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

      yeah, sorry, i’m a bit over-zealous about re-grading The Wind Below, and it’s not an obvious hold until it’s pointed out, but it is right in the middle of the line. No detriment to the previous beta, I think it’s a proud line and a difficult move the way I’ve seen it done on the videos online, but I was blown away to watch several people flash it in a row. nonetheless, for a pansy like me, it makes the line not to difficult physically, without detracting from the mental crux of the high move into the pocket jug.

      There’s a couple of seams that come together just above the second large rail…. right in there…

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  18. chris January 15, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    hi there..
    I’ll throw in my two cents, though hardly a need, you have a full page of good info.
    I’ve spent a lot of time in Joes, and I can say
    1) if you only have a week, dont leave for anywhere. April is pleasant, and the setting is beautiful
    2) camp free- see above
    3) the black guide. let me emphasize the .
    4) maxi pad, team effort, wind below, wills o fire, the angler, skip area 51, skip smokin joe boulder, do FAs in the left fork. there are MANY boulders.
    5)nothing but desolation surrounds joes, for many miles. the towns are very sad and strange. I cannot emphasize this enough. it makes for uneasiness undefinable. Odd.
    6) move away from the mid”west”. i imagine this has occurred.
    7) hueco is about as far! many developed problems, obviously. If you’ve been to one, though, go to the other. they are both equal in my mind, yet I prefer joes slightly more, for assorted reasons. if you’ve never been to hueco, and it is equally possible, go to hueco. for instance, if you could climb midnight lightning, and it was in front of you, you would, right? hueco is a necessary tick.
    good luck, and have fun!

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    • Narc January 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm #

      Thanks a bunch Chris, the more info the better. Do you think it would be too hot in Hueco by mid-april? We don’t require “perfect” conditions, just sub-80 would be nice.

      #6 is a constant thought on my mind, yet a difficult one to rationalize given the current state of the economy.

      Have fun in Font!

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  19. Anthony Chertudi March 24, 2010 at 1:06 am #

    If you like I’ll give you a full tour!

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