(Apes) Climb Smart, Joshua Tree

You guys were probably expecting us to post about the rest of our Costa Rica trip (actually, you probably forgot our blog existed). We're not going to lie, Ape got really busy after vacation– between work, one of us getting a new job, weekend activities, business trips, etc.– it's been hard to find time to write. But here we are. Hi! joshua-tree-climb-smart-23

Three years ago, when we were looking to get into climbing, Bear Ape found an event happening in the middle of the desert called Climb Smart. The event was originally organized by North Face, but Friends of Joshua Tree has been running it for several years. It's three days of climbing, camping, mingling, and drinking. Everyone from the amateurs to the pros shows up, all to support "JOSAR, HARP (rebolting initiative in JTNP), Climbers’ Coffee, the Access Fund and other initiatives throughout the year that protect climbing access and manage constructive dialogue with land management agencies, the conservation community and the outdoor recreation industry." Ape has been attending Climb Smart for 3 years now, and we plan on going back for more. You learn a lot–way more than you can remember in a weekend, but the clinics are a great place to start pretty much anything there is to do with climbing: top roping, bouldering, lead climbing, sport climbing, yoga, and then some. We definitely recommend this event for anyone looking to get into the sport. On top of having amazing guides (climbing teachers), you're surrounded  by people that share your same love of the outdoors, the sport, and of course, the beer.

The event begins every October on a Friday and runs through Sunday afternoon. We encourage anyone to take the Friday off from work, if you can, to get the most bang for your buck (we couldn't do it ourselves this year). The latter parts of your day are (duh) climbing-centered–the guides teach you stuff, then you try it yourself. There are several tracks to choose from depending on your skill level and what you want to learn. If you simply want to jump right into the climbing, there's open bouldering and climbing every day. The nights aren't short of activities either.  Friday and Saturday are full of food, beer, friends, and entertainment. Sponsors of the event also set up tents and you can walk around to win stuff or learn about your next piece of gear. The entertainment is usually some ridiculously inspirational movie and some speakers. Seriously, these people will make you want to go climb up El Capitan's nose in Yosemite the very next day. When the party's over, you head back to your tent to keep drinking with friends, get philosophical, and stargaze. It's amazing... even when you drink too much and spend the next day hungover.

You don't have to take our word for it (reading rainnnbowwwwww), but it's a very fun time. Fine, fine, here's the pictures:

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Not that it's a bad thing, but when you see one part of Joshua Tree... you've basically seen it all. It's still awesome, though!

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Yep. We fit all of our camping gear in there. Max 2 Apes, though. Heh.

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We didn't get many pictures of our first day, but holy crap, we were hungover the next day.

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This is a top roping setup, meaning that you set up and anchor at the top of the rock. Did we just teach you something? Ape is Guide.

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Ohhhh yes. Beef Ape made it to top of that fucker.

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Baker Ape almost made it to the top of this one... couldn't mentally push past that height (working on it), but it was pretty damn high!

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As you can tell, there's isn't much to hold on to up there. Something you don't forget from Climb Smart is that climbing is 90% feet, 10% hands.

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And, of course, Ape being dapper and all, we got dapper.

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Fly as fuck.

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"You're from LA? Of course." PFFF. Of course you want a picture.

Baker:

Jacket – Members Only

Shirt – Express

Tie – Harrison Blake & Apparel

Pocket Square – Pocket Squa.re

Pants – Dockers

Shoes – Steve Madden

Socks – Sprezza NYC

Belt – Anson

Beef:

Jacket – Members Only

Shirt – Gap

Tie – Winners Circle

Pocket Square – Harrison Blake & Apparel

Shoes – Cole Haan

Belt – Anson

What do you think, humans? See you next year? Hit us up! You know where to reach us.

Stay epic.

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