Fun in the (Winter) Sun


Joe Villacci samples some local choss on a balmy January day.

This past weekend I had an experience, one of those eye opening ones, that has changed my perspective permanently. On Saturday, several of us decided to head out to try to climb some rock, despite a forecast that called for a high of 25 in Carbondale. We had heard of a local spot that bakes in the sun even on the coldest days (not the Puoux), and we decided to check it out. We figured even if we just took the backpacks for a walk it would still be fun, and for some reason that sounded better than skiing to all of us, which is strange in itself.


Driving out we joked about how this was probably a waste, and as we got to the cliff, we remarked at just how much snow was on the ground. We were a little surprised to see several other cars, but figured they were just hikers out for a jaunt. But as we packed up the gear, two more climbers showed up, giving us hope that maybe this wasn’t as dumb as it seemed when I left my house that morning (and was cold before I got to the car.)

A quick stroll brought us to the base of the cliff, and to our surprise, two other groups were already out there, enjoying the sunny stone! Once at the base, we encountered warm temps and soon were ourselves climbing up sunny rock in t-shirts, on this early January day, with the air temps in the 20’s! All of us, veteran climbers, were blown away and soon became giddy with the realization we could indeed climb the rest of the winter outside, and not just at the road choss of the Puoux. This was the much preferred wild choss, and mostly splitter at that.

We climbed a bunch of pitches until the sun sank behind the hills, and then headed back to town to finish up with some pizza to top off an excellent and unexpected day of great climbing on our local stone, in January!

5 Responses to Fun in the (Winter) Sun

  1. BJ, don’t tease like that….everything but where?

    Andrea January 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm
  2. Is that New Castle?

    Cooper January 14, 2010 at 10:42 pm
  3. Steve January 15, 2010 at 5:16 am
  4. LIES!

    Derek January 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm
  5. of course, I shoulda known! Fortunately, though for skiing, the snow returns this week!!

    Andrea January 19, 2010 at 6:07 pm
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