This past weekend was bittersweet. I completed a new 800 ft line in Zion National Park with Mike Brumbaugh and somehow got a staph infection. We established it ground up in March over two days, but the weather turned on us so we came back as soon as we could in April.
Juj Monster (5.12) is mostly 5.11 climbing with one short section of 5.12. It is one of those climbs that takes on improbable climbing with even more improbable sequences, but there is excellent protection the entire way. There is a roof on every pitch and you will make a natural anchor in one or two places. The gear is basically from fingers to 5 inch and you will need two ropes to get down from the bolted anchors. The climb needed just a couple protection bolts to make it safe and maintain the fun.
It’s one that I will do regularly just because it’s so unique.
At dinner after freeing the route, my elbow swelled up to look like the photo below. I couldn’t move my arm so we headed home the next morning. By Monday I was admitted to the hospital where I came to find that infection was spreading through my arm quickly and that I needed surgery to get it out. Holy crap was all I could think. I never bruised, bumped or had any major damage to my elbow and now its the site of fast growing bacteria.
4 days later after living in the hospital I am home and ready to heal. I received a ton on antibiotics and care and am happy to have so many folks cheering me on to recover. See you outside and stay healthy.