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Joshua Tree Climber's Carnival: Start the Year Above Ground!

Young and old meet in the J-Tree community of climbers.
Young and old meet in the J-Tree community of climbers.
Mark Edward Hornish

It is a well known fact that Joshua Tree National Park boasts some of the greatest rock climbs on the planet. It is “destination climbing” for enthusiasts from around the world.

This weekend, you have the opportunity to meet that large, varied, and well-traveled community by celebrating New Years at the three-day Joshua Tree Climbers Carnival. Mingle, enjoy live music, presentations by the sports top athletes, and peruse the industries latest and greatest products. Free clinics, led by some of the country's top climbers in unison with local guides, will cover a wide variety of topics offering tips for newcomers, novices, weekenders, and experts alike.

The activities start with a New Year’s Eve Bash, which will include live music from newborn honky tonk superstars Cactus Pricks (who rock hard and have a tambourine player!) and local faves the Techo Hillbillies. The party continues throughout the weekend, with live music each night, a beer garden (hosted by the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce), sponsor booths, athlete presentations, slacklining (if you haven’t tried it, you’re in for a treat), and, believe it or not, an arm-wrestling competition! (My advice: don’t arm-wrestle anyone who keeps their keys on a carabiner).

Festival admission is $10, good for the entire weekend. The event is taking place in the lot directly behind the venerable J-Tree institution Coyote Corner, where the lovely proprietresses will sell you a cool hat and some hand talc, let you use their wi-fi (tips requested), and, best of all, sell you a shower! Yes, you read that right, they have showers in the back for climbers who choose to camp in the park.

To get the the event, head to the town of Joshua Tree, and turn right at the West Entrance onto Park. Impossible to miss!

Be sure to check the festival’s website for more information. 

Oh, and, from this Examiner to all of you:  Happy New Year!