Climbing in Mississippi Palisades and Pictured Rocks

We’d planned a climbing trip with S&E months before, but when the weekend came, the weather forecast didn’t look too promising. Not within a seven hour drive from Chicago at least. Where it was slated to be warmer down south in Kentucky, it looked rainy. In the end, we piled on the layers, and headed out west to Mississippi Palisades and Pictured Rocks in Iowa.

From 2012 October Iowa Climbing

The colors are beginning to peak at the border – we’re only glad we got to be outdoors this weekend (we’ve plans to camp in Wisconsin this upcoming weekend, but the forecast appears cold and wet again, bleah).

Susan had warned us that the Palisades was a popular climbing crag, but due to the cold, ours was the only car in the lot. 🙂

From 2012 October Iowa Climbing
From 2012 October Iowa Climbing

It was way chillier than we’d anticipated, so we had to layer up… here’s Jeff rappelling down the top rope system we set up

From 2012 October Iowa Climbing
From 2012 October Iowa Climbing

We spent Saturday climbing at the Palisades, then stayed overnight in a motel in Iowa before hitting Pictured Rocks the next morning. When we awoke, the temperatures were just above freezing and we were glumly contemplating just to drive back to Chicago, especially since Eugene seemed to be catching a cold. But we decided to quickly check out the park since we were already in the area, and when we got out of the car, we were pleasantly surprised that it seemed quite a bit warmer than the day before. So we threw on our harnesses and busted out the gear.

Gah – really smooth and polished rocks there! I led a short climb and nearly lost my lead-head; I was so nervous I would slip! The handholds themselves were very positive, so I mainly muscled my way up the rock. Nonetheless, it was still exhilarating to be outdoors. I’d like to go back to the area again – in the summer, so we could camp, canoe, climb, and go spelunking in the cave systems there. 🙂

Some awesome shots by S:

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