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22 Climbers to Jackson falls, So Ill

And no injuries!  And all had a great time!  Very fun weekend with True Adventures.  We had seven cars, three of which went early.  Of those three, only one was able to decipher the last bit of directions .2 miles is quite different from 2 miles.  No worries, we caravanned at the end and managed to pick them all up – cell phones are fabulous.  We also all managed to stay in the same campsite.  I love Jackson Falls as there are no rules, and even better no cost, camping is free, and the area is beautiful.  We arrived late Friday night and everybody managed to get their tents up and sleep. 

View of our campsite at Jackson Falls

View of our campsite at Jackson Falls

 Will and I headed to the rocks early Saturday morning and got the ropes set on a few climbs.  It’s a bit tricky to get newbies into the canyon as you have to go hand over hand backwards down a knotted rope, maybe 30 feet down a steeply angled cliff.  Got everybody on the rock both Saturday and Sunday, lots of smiles and frustration and people accomplishing more than they thought and learning new skills and getting scared and stretching themselves.

Another highlight in my mind was the waterfall – falls about 25 feet into a small pool – that is great for swimming.  I’d say at least half of the crew went swimming.  And two of us jumped off the cliff into the pool, which was pretty scary as it’s only about 10 feet deep and has rocks around.  You need to hit your landing area fairly well.  Provided another burst of adrenaline for me.  I flailed on the climb Lovely Arete, though did managed to make all the moves actually easily, just was a weenie on lead, need more practice on on-sight leading.  Check the video of some other fellows jumping that gave us the inspiration.

In front of Lovely Arete at Jackson Falls, Southern Illinois
In front of Lovely Arete (11a) at Jackson Falls, Southern Illinois

Lots of people got ticks – not tiny deer ticks that carry lyme disease, just regular ticks that are still not so great to have around and pull out of your skin.

Great weekend, Jackson Falls is terrific and all the folks on the trip made it that much better.

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