Diablo Canyon, Santa Fe, NM

Clare & Dennis at Pullout for Diablo Canyon
On May 24th, we got up and headed out for Diablo Canyon. We left for the crag in two cars, here’s to carpooling! Ann, Dylan, Kate, Mark, and Olivia piled into one Subi while Doug, Zack, Dennis & I piled into another. In about 30 minutes, we were off pavement and winding around gravel corners on the way to the canyon.

Dennis at the Winter Wall

We arrived at the pullout, only to see piles of trash. Apparently, locals don’t value the place as much as we do! I hoped that somebody would do the right thing, and come back for their bags of trash.

Climbing Posse at Winter Warmth Wall Diablo Canyon

As we walked to the crag, the skies continued to cloud up, and I was hoping we could get in at least a couple pitches…As I roped up, I felt a drop or two (oh no!). I looked at Dylan, “What do *you* think?”.

He said what I felt in my heart…we should give it a shot! Even if we have to leave a beaner, at least we made the attempt!

With that in mind, I scurried up Post Moderate (5.9+). I went as fast as I could, not really allowing myself to relax or enjoy the moves. I was a bit sad because Post Moderate actually goes up 12 bolts, but I stopped after the 8th/9th one, because I was concerned about the weather. I was hoping everybody would be able to climb before the clouds opened up…so that was in the back of my mind.

Kate Confidently Strides up Post Moderate:
Kate Climbs Post Moderate (5.9)

As I put up Post Moderate, Dylan flew up Hell Boy (5.8+), passing me on the way to the anchors.

Here’s Zack Mastering Hell Boy:
Zack Climbing Hell Boy (5.8+)

I came down from the climb, and joined forces with Dylan. We went over to do Naked Lunch (5.10a), a 140 foot arete with 15 bolts! Dylan completed the climb, in style. Then, I launched up it, trailing a rope, so we could rappel off the top. As I lowered, the weather made it’s final step towards deterioration, and we had thunder & lightning displays.

Here’s Ann, before the weather went sour:
Ann Ready to Climb in Diablo Canyon

And Mark, gearing up to climb:
Mark Hanging out with Olivia in Diablo Canyon

Everybody quickly packed up and headed for the canyon floor.

As we were walking down, two young ladies, walking a dog, passed us. “Have you ever been up the canyon?” they asked.

We had just spent the morning climbing at the mouth of the canyon. And, since they asked, I became curious about climbs within the throat…”No, I replied, we’ve just been climbing”.

In response to my casual answer, they strongly urged us to explore the inside, stating that the canyon was beautiful, and we’d really be missing out if we didn’t go explore…

Boy, did I take the bait!!! So, we walked quickly up the canyon, dodging large drops of water from the thunderstorm. I hoped what we were about to see was worth getting drenched by the sudden downpour!

As we rounded the bend, a strange apparatus confronted us. It looked like a modern rendition of Salvador Dali’s Elephant painting. The desert setting, with this large metallic grey object, and bright red shiny fabric blowing in the breeze, all came together in a puzzling way.

Trickster's Ice Cream Contraption

As I approached, I noticed solar panels and a computer monitor & keyboard. I said out loud, “I wonder what this is for?”.

Just then, the owner/operator came up to us. He was holding a video camera and asked to film us.

Turns out, Duane McDiarmid, an Experimental Artist & prof at Ohio University, has built this contraption as a way of delivering ice cream to folks in desert environs. It’s free, and he is collecting names & times people visit the contraption.

I am not sure what *other* data he is collecting, but the whole thing was quite amazing. I really enjoyed having the popsicle after several hours of exertion, and it was totally neat seeing a self sustaining ice cream cooler in the desert!

After the ice cream, we all headed back to Santa Fe. On the way back home, we stopped off at a local brewery, and sampled some of their finest. We then went back to the condo, where we broke out the board & card games. I enjoyed the high paced card game, Dutch Blitz. Thanks Ann!

The next day was the last day of the long weekend, and I was sad for it to be ending. Especially, since I was having so much fun with friends!

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