Toby Trippin' - City of Rocks MP Gathering

  • I was invited to attend a get together with the MP "Bran Muffin Crew " at the City of Rocks last weekend. Pandemic fatigue had me going stir crazy so I decided to risk an outdoor gathering.


    Arrived early Friday evening after a couple extra vampiric hours in traffic due to some I-84 highway construction tomfoolery. Camped out at the Sisters.


    Pretty crowded scene but my buddy from way bitd shared his site. Met a few interesting folks. There were a few times when things got too close for comfort and I found myself backing off a fair bit but the paranoia was manageable. Mostly hung at my friend's campsite and did not spend much time w/the larger group.

    Dwain was already using the tent pad so I set my tent up in a nook twixt' his Taco-ma and my Fusion. Nice that the rangers were accommodating. Last time I was there w/the family I had got major grief for not using the tent pad. I mean, hey, I was tent camping w/the family and those pads are bivvy size. In any case, nice that they were a bit more realistic this visit.


    A couple smokey shots of "The Sisters":



    And a couple old geezers waxing nostalgic for the good ol' days when we could climb them.....



    I'd always believed they'd been closed due to critical raptor nesting habitat. And maybe they were initially. I am told modern days the issue is protecting the "Historic Viewscape". I guess the ID Historical Society is raising quite the kerfuffle over climbers ruining historical viewscapes along the California and Oregon Trails. Reportedly the Access Fund has been involved in the issue as well. One the one had I think this is really lame but on the other I can see their point. Plenty of rock at The City. A big attraction of the Sisters bitd was they afforded one of the few opportunities for multi-pitch fun. Modern times the Access Fund bought Castle Crags and donated them to the guv'mint so that's a better option. Still, I am happy I had the good fortune to have climbed them bitd. As I recall, I really enjoyed the view. Big shout out to Urmas Franosch and Michael Forecash(sp?) for sharing the adventure. The best of times. 😁 👍


    A look north Saturday morning. The smoke was pretty bad and getting worse. So much for historic viewscapes, eh?

    After a few hours of visiting and swappin' lies it was time to go so I geronimo'd on out of there. I had arrived via Declo, Albion and Almo since the gathering was at The Sisters but I decided to head home via Oakley and Burley and cruise the main drag one more time. Despite Covid-19 and the smoke, it was quite crowded, with most parking pull outs at the various areas full. I momentarily waxed nostalgic for the good ol' days and the nomadic life style when passing my favored Site 46 but otherwise feel content to leave The City to the hordes for whatever it may yet have to offer. I sure am thankful I got mine when things were still prime.


    I wonder if I'll ever see this sign again, eh?

  • too smokey to climb? Despite all the crowds when we were there in 2018 we found solititude several time. we were the only party out at NBraxies pillar the day we went there. also was not busy over on jacksons thumb and that other dome.. it all worked out pretty well for us. sorry you guys got smoked out!

  • Did you climb?

  • @NickG said in Toby Trippin' - City of Rocks MP Gathering:

    too smokey to climb? Despite all the crowds when we were there in 2018 we found solititude several time. we were the only party out at NBraxies pillar the day we went there. also was not busy over on jacksons thumb and that other dome.. it all worked out pretty well for us. sorry you guys got smoked out!

    Folks definitely went climbing. The usual self organizing groups suspects ..... I was recouping from a bout of food poisoning and had not eaten much of anything the couple days prior, feeling pretty drained, and not wanting to be too far from an outhouse. Dwain was coming off a four year climbing haitus and a back surgery so between the fat n' pink factor, 6K plus elevation and the smoke.... we were content to visit and catch up since our paths had not crossed in decades. Dwain had initially intended to stay thru the 21st but he ended up bailing Tuesday. Air Quality Index was way bad and getting worse with the Trout Fire, just outside Oakely adding to the Airpocalypse blowing in from California, Oregon and Washington.

    @Scole said in Toby Trippin' - City of Rocks MP Gathering:

    Did you climb?

    Nope. Alas, my craggin' days are over. Sigh. Still, would likely have been tempted by some beginner-something footwork rig just to get back on the rock had I been feeling well. Maybe someday. Got a couple hand surgeries on deck for when the local hospital is no longer under siege by Covid. Seems that may be a while longer wait yet.... In any case , underlying issue is genetic so the surgeries are a temporary fix. Wash, rinse, repeat.... In the interim, doing things w/my hands like rock climbing are "ill advised" so as to avoid stimulating naughty genes.

    Still.... maybe... someday..... 🏔 ⛰

    On a related "glad I got mine" note; I overheard some younger bucks in the group recounting their recent Elephant's Perch adventures: Nine other parties on the Perch! Holy, holy, guacamole!!! This is "Alpine Climbing". You have to work for it. Bushwhack up a creek (although I am told it's a now a well worn trail) - hoping you had the right one cuz there was scant sign of human passage. I'd been hanging around Stanley and checking in at "The Perch" in Ketchum for the better part of a week before hooking up w/a "kid" on summer temp hire gig w/the Forest Service to climb it up with - experienced enough to provide confident second, solid belay, but perfectly content to let me lead all the pitches. Sweet! Must have been living large at the time and took advantage of the ferry service offered by Redfish Lake Lodge back when that consisted of a kid running you to the picnic area at the opposite end of the lake in an open 14' aluminum boat sporting a small outboard, and in so doing shave five miles and a couple hours off the approach. Hiked another three plus miles from there with pretty much no sign of trail on the last bits. Climbed the Perch the next morning. Had the place entirely to ourselves. Stellar viewscape to enjoy whilst my partner cleaned. Recall being a bit perplexed on the downclimb but got that sorted, broke camp, and hiked the nine miles out - much of the last five miles or so by headlamp. Great trip. I shudder imagining the lost beauty of such awesome sauce becoming so "trafficked". Maybe good for preservation and such but the hordes are definitely a double edged sword. Just damned glad for the memories. May they last a good while longer yet..... 😜


  • one of the key reasons we keep putting up new routes on obscure rocks is so that we have a crowd free climbing spot..

  • @toby Going back to climbing areas we once had to ourselves to find line-ups on routes, overflowing parking lots, and noise everywhere is definitely a turn-off. Yeah, I'm glad for all the people who are getting out and enjoying it, but man, it has its sad side as well.

    Still, as Nick says above, there are still plenty of places to get away from it.

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  • @zBrown What a great Thread! So glad you guys posted up! Love the pictures! Hugs to you all!

  • hey there say, wow!!! wonderful to see a trip report, that gave some 'time out' for just a bit, from the pandemic...
    yes-- STILL keep care... but, say, wow!!!

    thanks for sharing... 🙂
    i KEEP trying to get over here... just so 'good busy'' now a days, 🙂
    but-- the winter is coming, and no yard to take care of then...
    so-- in the middle of painting and piano, i hope to finally visit more!!!

    keep up the good work, sharing NEAT stuff!!!!

  • Hey! It was nice to meet you, and the others! Sorry you weren't feeling well. If you want out on some rock sometime, just let me know, eh? Happy to give you a catch, anytime. Helen

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