FUGOO gave Skyler Irish, an avid rock climber from San Diego County, a FUGOO + TOUGH and this was his experience out in the beautiful National Park of Joshua Tree.
“We awoke early Sunday morning, excited for a big day of climbing in Joshua Tree. Just as the sun began to rise I could hear my climbing buddies, Chad and Nick, outside my tent blasting music from my FUGOO Bluetooth speaker and cooking their instant oatmeal, reminiscing about the boulders we climbed the previous day. Chad finally sended Pigpen Boulder (V4) – a project he had been working on for some time. I could just barely hear him talking about it over the track “Man” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs; this song always gets me pumped. I hopped out of my tent, with full disregard to being sore and groggy, rockin’ out, ready for the day.
After a quick breakfast we promptly left for The Outback West Boulders. For motivation during the short hike to Cole Boulder we put on Portugal The Man’s album Church Mouth, where the FUGOO multi-mount proved handy as it let me hang my Bluetooth speaker from my pack with a simple karabiner. We were all singing along the entire hike as we approached Cole boulder, where we started with a simple Cole dihedral, rated a V0. The problem wasn’t too hard, but it’s fairly high, just high enough to get your heart pumping and make your fingers sweat. While we were at Cole Boulder we thought we might as well go for Cole Arete, a V2. We all had a hard time at first, but as soon as we put on Childish Gambino’s “Bonfire,” Nick sended it with ease. He accomplished the crux in the middle of the climb with a long right-hand reach up the rock and his foot flagged to the left. He climbed with a rhythm that matched the beat of the song; it was perfection.
Throughout the day we hit boulder after boulder, pushing through the pain of the large quartz crystals that dug holes into our calloused hands. We climbed many of the classic problems such as The False Hueco Traverse, where the full 360° sound from our FUGOO echoed in the cave below, amplifying our music even louder. Some climbs we all sended, while others, none of us did. But that didn’t matter – we were having a blast. Boulder to boulder, song after song, we climbed on. The desert, in our minds, was not a barren, lonesome place, but rather a cultural watering hole, where climbers from around the world come to share the same megaliths we had climbed.
At midday we took a lunch break on a large slab boulder next to one of the largest Joshua Trees I had ever seen in the park. We discussed where we wanted to go next and relaxed while listening to some Paul Simon. The air had a slight chill, but the sun still kept us warm, almost as if the earth was in tune with our music. We picked at the gravel from our shoes after scarfing down our pb&j’s, trail mix, and bananas. “You can Call Me Al” came on the mix and we all began playing the air bass. We laughed hysterically until the music suddenly cut out. “I think my phone battery died,” I said with utter disappointment. Curious, Chad checked the FUGOO battery discovering there was still “about half life left.” We were listening to it all day and all day yesterday, and it was still not even close to being dead. The 40-hour battery life is no joke—we couldn’t believe it. This Bluetooth speaker is, indeed, better than other brands I have had in the past. Those other speakers had batteries consistently failing after a short period of time, spoiling the other trips like this I’d been on. Relieved, I knew we could finish our climbing with a full day of music, so I told Nick it was his turn to use the Bluetooth on his phone. He threw on the album Miracle, by Blackmill, and we ventured on.
We reached Chuckwalla Boulder, which is located in a particularly sandy area, sandwiched between Yuccas and what appeared to be a particularly large creosote bush. Chuckwalla has a ton of really fun climbs on it, none of which are too difficult, but it’s climbs like these that remind us of how much fun it is to boulder. We were at Chuckwalla for what seemed like forever until we realized the sun was beginning to hang low. Deciding to pack up, we started to make our way back to camp. We arrived just as it got dark, but wanted to squeeze in one more climb at Manx Boulders—our day wasn’t yet complete. We strapped on some headlamps and climbed-on. Exhausted from the day, we struggled to send any of the lines, even Right Arete, a meager V0-. Chad had the brilliant idea of chucking the FUGOO to the top of the boulder, leaving us with no choice but to send. He pressed play using the remote control watch and we climbed into the night. After a few failed attempts, we all finally reached the top, weary and tired, and just lied there, looking up at the stars while Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” put our minds and bodies to ease. Now our weekend was complete.
That trip to Joshua Tree was no less than perfect, and will be a trip I’ll remember forever. Good friends, good music, good climbs and no worries, we couldn’t ask for a better way to spend a weekend outdoors.”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: “Man”
Portugal The Man: “Church Mouth”
Paul Simon: “You Can Call Me Al”
Sam Cooke: “A Change is Gonna Come”
FUGOO is looking for outdoor enthusiasts to test our Bluetooth speaker on their next outdoor experience. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to become a guest writer!