Met up with Dan Hart and Phil Jones at the local climbing gym and headed back to Dans to pick up his wife Alicia to go out climbing for a few hours up to Mount Charleston. Dans dog Hazel rode with us in the four wheel drive and buddy rode in the car with Alicia. We arrived at the car park and in was a little cool but nothing to overwhelmingly cold. As we hiked up to the crag I could feel the altitude kicking in.
Today I found out the meaning of “Desert Alpine” climbing. The crag was called “The Hood” and the elevation was approx. 7500 feet (2286 metres); 78 metres higher than Mount Kosciuszko. It was 44 fahrenheit (7 degrees celsius) and you could feel the temperature dropping as we hiked in with the snow on the peaks . Dan, Alicia, Phil and I only got a couple of routes in before we couldn’t feel our fingers…………..but what a view! I really enjoyed the climbing and the limestone was slick and the routes were awesome. We went and warmed up at the lodge with a scotch.
We headed back to Dan and Alicia’s for a nice home-cooked dinner and a couple of drinks. I met the kids and they had a great time playing with the Australian that mum and dad had brought home for them.
In retrospect I would really like to spend the winter up there and just hangout in the mountains. It is a truly beautiful place and the town of Charleston is so incredibly picturesque and quaint it is remarkable. Dan drove through what is known as “Old Town” and showed me where he used to live as a kid.