The SUU Outdoors staff led a group on a rock climbing trip to Pocket Rock on Saturday, Sept. 23 in below 40 degree weather. Though 10 students had originally signed up for the trip, only five arrived to depart at noon on Saturday morning.
“I love how few of us are here,” one climber, Cloe Stocking, said during the trip. “I feel like I’m actually getting to know everyone well.”
This intimacy proved beneficial for other members. Seth Barton, the trip leader, was able to personally teach and practice basic climbing techniques with beginner climbers Jacob Mortensen and McKay Hatch. Riley Carter, a new SUU Outdoors staff member, received one-on-one training from his coworker, Joey Vanstaveren, on how to clean a route (the ability to climb the wall, collect quickdraws and belay down without assistance).
Though everyone was told to dress warm, the staggering temperature was still a surprise, occasionally dropping below 40 degrees. Around 1:30 p.m. a light snowfall began which continued until the trip ended.
The rock is sharp with several small holds. Due to the brisk outdoor temperature, the wall was even colder to touch. Many of the climbers shredded their fingertips without knowing because their hands were numb.
“If you don’t bleed, did you even climb?” Hatch joked after realizing his finger was bleeding.
Pocket Rock is located just past the west hills of Cedar City. There are four traditional routes with ratings from 5.7 to 5.12 in difficulty and average 60 feet tall.