Mountain bike Gear in a backpack

JANS.COM Goes Climbing: Bouldering in Triassic and Joe’s Valley, Utah

Words and Photos: Kendall Fischer

I stepped out of the car and into the sunshine, light breeze, dusty wide horizoned desert sprinkled with sandstone boulders.  I think the first thing I said was “can we stay here forever?”

And then I immediately felt silly since it was only my first 5 seconds ever being there, and what if for some reason it wasn’t awesome?  But Triassic (located in the nowhere south of Price, Utah) did live up to my initial instinctive expectations of awesomeness.

The free campsite where my friends and I stayed was about a half mile from the aptly named Land of a Thousand Boulders, so first thing we did was strap on some crash pads and stroll down the dirt road to check that out.

Climbers walk with bouldering pads
We spent a fair amount of time at LO1KB (as we nicknamed it), and also got to climb some of the nearby Tongue area, and took a day trip to Joe’s Valley – all beautiful places with a variety of ascents and traverses to challenge the varying skill levels in our group.

In order to assuage my little twinge of guilt over leaving the office for a few days to indulge like this, before I left I requested some sample products to test and review while away.  My reviews will fill the expert review boxes for these products once we put them on jans.com – that’s me being totally helpful to the company!  Not to mention getting to try out some great gear.

Black Diamond was generous enough to send me three headlamps, the Cosmo, the Gizmo, and the Spot.  This inspired us to go night climbing, which felt pretty adventurous and made for some dramatic photos.

A climber boulders in the night

With only one main light setting, the Black Diamond Gizmo Headlamp is the most lightweight of the three.  The new Black Diamond Spot Headlamp has two light settings: bright, and super bright at its full capacity.  The Black Diamond Cosmo Headlamp also has two light settings: one designed for close up and one for farther away.

I was excited to discover that each of these Black Diamond headlamp lights dim when you hold down the single control button, giving you tons of options, from search-for-a-missing-pocket-knife mode to read-in-the-tent-while-everyone-else-is-going-to-sleep mode.  And of course each of these Black Diamond headlamps is secured on a soft, comfortable, stretchy, adjustable band.
Black Diamond makes good stuff.  It was definitely comforting to be able to see well while cooking dinner, while night hiking to go night bouldering, and while searching the sandstone for features that might support my next climbing move.

Sandstone is the best.  It’s so grippy that I reached for chalk only once the whole trip.  It’s also kinda sharp sometimes though.  I covered my hands in cuts and painted some red tics on a couple overhanging flakes.  My apologies to other climbers who got to those holds before the rain did this weekend.

But in all my sliding against rough rocks, the Driclime Windshirt and the Scree Pant that Marmot sent me moved as flexibly as I did and was much tougher than my skin.  I ended up wearing my lightweight Marmot outerwear for pretty much the whole trip, and there was not a second that I feared damaging it nor a move that I felt it held me back from.  That’s exactly what I want in climbing clothing, thank you Marmot!

The Marmot Driclime Windshirt – I just wish it had some hand warmer pockets.  But I suppose that if I were constantly active, always climbing or spotting, I wouldn’t need pockets.  Marmot also makes another version of the same jacket that does have pockets and a hood, the Ether Driclime.

On the subject of pockets, the Marmot Scree Pant has three spacious pockets with nice, soft linings.  At first these pants struck me as a bit high waisted for modern trends, but then I realized I was quite glad to not have to worry about plumber crack, so I could focus on bouldering moves instead.

A climber reaches the top of a bouldering route

My body wore out long before my enthusiasm.  We took a rest day, reading, napping, playing hacky sack.  And then climbed some more before the threat of rain and snow sent us home.

Driving north up to Salt Lake, I was excited all over again to go back and boulder around Triassic and Joe’s another time.

Kendall Fischer, Jans.com Content Writer, Gear Analyst, Photo Editor

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