Photos courtesy of joesvalleyfest.com
Bouldering: the art of climbing in its simplest form without the use of ropes, harnesses and hardware on rock faces that are shorter than the walls at cragging areas. So, what about this sport brings visitors from across the world to Joe’s Valley in Emery County? Professional climber Steven Jeffery took time to explain at a recent Emery County Business Chamber luncheon.
Jeffery has been a competitive climber for over 15 years, finishing in the top of all major competitions in the United States, a recent press release about the climber stated. He began climbing at age nine and quickly became one of the nation’s top competitive climbers as he pushed indoor and outdoor standards throughout the 90’s, both at home and abroad.
In Jeffery’s early years of climbing, he made his first trip to Emery County. There, he found his way into Straight Canyon and Cottonwood Canyon for some of the most unique bouldering experiences in the world.
“We are always seeking the next adventure,” Jeffery said of himself and fellow climbers. “What Joe’s did is provide some awesome new lines.”
Climbers will find sandstone boulders throughout Joe’s Valley that are seemingly made for climbing, along with free campgrounds. Jeffery also took time to praise another treasure found in Emery County for boulderers: Food Ranch.
“Food Ranch was always that place that was safe to us,” Jeffery shared. “It was always this friendly place that I could bring my friends.”
Jeffery went on to explain that Food Ranch, along with Emery County as a whole, has continued to evolve and welcome climbers throughout the years, especially following the growth of bouldering in the past five years. This growth has led to the Joe’s Valley Bouldering Festival, which celebrated its pioneer event last year.
With the first event’s success, the Joe’s Valley Bouldering Festival is slated to take place once again October 6-9. At the event, attendees can enjoy clinics, climbing, yoga, free camping, presentations and even cowboy games. Those in attendance will also find lives music and local artisans along with professional climbers.
For more information about the Joe’s Valley Bouldering Festival and climbing in the local area, please visit joesvalleyfest.com. Tickets are also available for purchase on the website.