The Fourth Annual Jtree Tweetup, which officially took place from November 9-11, 2012 (though many came early and some stayed later) was a lot of fun as usual. This year it was cold and windy, though thankfully not as windy as the forecasts had originally said it would be (one day had predicted gusts of 50 miles per hour, but I’d guess we only experienced 30 mph gusts at most). The hearty Twitter climbers braved it all to camp, meet and climb. One of the things I love about JTree Tweetups is seeing my Twitter friends in person and how a bunch of strangers can become friends. Sometimes a little adversity can bring folks together.
As usual, we had a great mix of #climb folks attending, including Tweetup veterans but also eight newcomers. Veteran Tweetup goers, Bill Urbanski, Patrick Gensel and two of their friends won the Traveled Furthest title since they came out from Pennsylvania (no Canadians this year). Another far traveling #climb Tweetup goer was first timer, Kat coming from Oregon. A Tweetup First was having not one but 3 kids in attendance, with two of them under 2 years of age and the youngest being 9 months old! Start them young right?
Climbing was a quest for sun and wind protection so we ended up at Thin Wall (yeah not much sun there, but a good wall for folks to get acquainted with/ reacquainted with Joshua Tree National Park Rock), Headstone, Echo Cove, Hidden Tower, Little Rock Candy Mountain, Old Woman, and Brown Wall. Small groups also climbed on The Blob and on extra scrambles, and bouldering areas.
We were fortunate this year to have great sponsors, including ClifBar, Action Wipes, ClimbOn! (who was a Firewood Sponsor), and Mountain Mama (who was also a Firewood Sponsor and literally brought a bunch of firewood). Eastern Mountain Sports sent products for giveaway / review which we randomly distributed (watch for reviews on them). Chaco (who sponsors me as part of their Ambassador Team) also stepped up as a sponsor for the Jtree Tweetup this year by providing a $60 gift certificate to giveaway as part of the Rockgrrl.com 10 Year Anniversary events.
Personally I had a great time, this year a number of folks showed up before the official weekend so I had help with campsite wrangling and an easier time of figuring out where to climb since we could hit popular routes on the weekday. Thanks go to Michael, Terri, and K for helping me with the early site wrangling and to Luke and Lizzy for suggesting some climbing areas and putting up ropes.
On this trip I also got to mix business and pleasure, squeezing in a photo shoot for Teresa of Mountain Mama and her family at Ryan Campground and at Gunsmoke before we joined more Tweetup goers at Hidden Tower.
Climbing wise I got to on sight a 5.7 trad climb in the Little Rock Candy Mountain area and to climb new to me routes there — including a strange face route I somehow turned into a “5.8, my a**” climb instead. It was also great seeing others challenge themselves, Terri on sighted an unusual route on Hidden Tower and Nina got her groove back after a break from climbing, leading Wild Wind (5.9).
At the end of the trip there was talk about how next year will be the 5th Annual Jtree Tweetup, we even tried to get the group campsite before I had left the park… but it was booked. That’s ok, we’ll still be doing it, so keep an eye out folks, we will be doing it again!
My Twitter list of Tweetup goers (minus friends who did not have accounts set up): https://twitter.com/rockgrrl/jtreetweetup4/members
Slideshow of photos from the 4th Annual Joshua Tree Tweetup (you can see the photos in non slideshow format here):