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Grand Junction Crushers – Chasing the Stoke

Grand Junction Crushers

Posted Climbing Travel

It’s a good thing we left Boulder when we did, because they got hammered with snow. We decided to stay in Grand Junction for a few days, and so far it seems like a pretty cool town.

We found a Barnes and Noble where we could sit in the cafe and use their wifi. The only outlet in the whole cafe was next to a couple of gentlemen, maybe in their 60s, who were pouring over a table full of maps. We politely asked if we could sneak under their table to reach the plug, and then asked what sort of adventure they were planning. They said they’re going on a bike ride down to the Grand Canyon. We asked if they’d be taking that Suzuki touring motorcycle parked out front (there was a helmet on their table), but no. They informed us that this trip would be on bicycles. They were planning out the route, figuring out where they could find water, load up on food, camp, etc. How cool is that!? A bike ride from Colorado to Arizona. We chatted with them for a while about road trips and they gave us some tips on some good mountain biking in the area. There are so many places in Grand Junction, it’s hard to go wrong. And then they were back to their maps.

Day two had pretty crummy weather, too. A little bit of rain and a whole lot of wind. Not so great for climbing outdoors, so we found the local climbing gym and went inside to pull on some plastic. I have to say, of all the gyms I’ve been to, this one was definitely a climbers gym. It’s not geared towards your average person who might want to try out climbing for a day or throw a birthday party there. No, this gym is for the addicts to train when they can’t get outside. There were maybe half a dozen 5.8-5.9 climbs. 80% of the routes were 5.10 and up. And it wasn’t just the routes, but the people climbing there. You could tell that most of them have been at this for a while. And the ages ranged from about 30 to maybe 65 or 70.

And then there was the little girl, maybe 7 or 8 years old. This was her second time ever climbing and she was just going for it. No fear. Great natural technique. If she keeps having fun with it, she’s going to be a crusher.

Day three we finally got outside to climb on real rock. We went to Bullethole Rock and ran into a guy showing the ropes to a father and son team. The boy, 9 or 10 years old, was running circles around me, cruising up these 5.10 and 5.11 climbs. It was pretty inspiring. I love watching kids climb.

If there’s one thing the people of Grand Junction know, it’s that there’s no wrong age to get after it.

I got on my first two crack climbs. It’s a whole different style of climbing than I’m used to. I also got my first taste of mountain biking. I’ve ridden a mountain bike on groomed trails before, but never single track. This is definitely going to take some practice before I really feel comfortable.

We’re sick of sleeping in the Walmart parking lot, so we’re going to head to Moab soon. We’ll probably be back this way sometime this year, though. There is still so much to see and do in Colorado.