Southern Illinois Climbing

Picture of Gokul.

Gokul going up the Yosemite Slab.

I spent a recent weekend with 7 friends climbing at Jackson Falls in the Shawnee National Forest of southern Illinois. I had no idea there was an actual forest with hills and cliffs in Illinois. I always thought the state consisted of Chicago and a bunch of flat farmland dotted with windmills.

It ended up being a fun weekend of perfect weather with highs in the 60's to low 70's, whereas it was snowing all weekend in Madison. The forest was beautiful with climbing a few minute's walk from our campsite and a waterfall in the middle of the canyon. The climbing was also fun with lots of sport routes to choose from. Chimichonga had the most interesting name out of anything we climbed, though I thought it should have been named either “Chimneychanga” or “Shimmychanga.” We finished the weekend with some bouldering/top-roping on the Yosemite Slab, an almost featureless rock with about a 55% incline. Fun times!

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