Monthly Archives: November 2009

For Amusement

I came across this short movie of scottish “summer” climbing in 1978. Pretty funny stuff.

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Vegas Baby! (or rather Red Rocks Baby!)

I hadnt quite worked out how close Red Rocks was to Vegas, I realised as I drove through downtown close to midnight. After 16 hours of driving with only one 20 minute nap (I pulled over first!) things were starting to feel very surreal as the caffeine in my system began to fade. The small sketch map in the front of my borrowed climbing guide showed four different roads and there were a lot more than that. I turned onto West Charleston boulevard in certainty that this was not going to take me to the spectacular climbing area I had heard about. Twenty minutes later I was doing laps of the Desert camp ground trying to find campsite 47 and my friends. Red Rocks really did live up to its reputation, vast hillsides of rock, a huge variety of styles, confusing (and soft) grades and it was indeed, really close to vegas.

The best part of being in Red Rocks was definitely the friends I managed to climb and catch up with, Cori, Jor-el, Rachel, Rachel, Nadia, Kai, Mick, Amber, Cara, Kevin and Alfredo. I left Red Rocks with the knowledge that I have not even scratched the surface of what is on offer there – I will be back. Some photos…… Jor-el (and i think Nadia belaying) heel hooking and pulling hard on an unknown route at “moderate mecca)

Me trying to follow Kai’s good style through the roof crack i convinced him to lead (photo taken by Nadia)aa
Another beautiful hike in – on our way to “Sunny and Steep Wall”
Kai going for the onsight of “serpent” (5.11a) at sunny and steep (that route name could be wrong)
The ever proffesional Mick pearson gets his eyebrows trimmed by Rachel before our night out on the strip in vegas (Check out for Micks “Kaf Adventures”)

Our night out in Vegas (in the Rhumbar) From left – Jor-el, Rachel too, Mick, Nadia, Me, Rachel one.

A tree with some red rocks behind.
Kevin and Alfredo spotting Cara onto the start of a route in the “Black Corridor”

Amber and I after my last days climbing – a cold day where i forgot my belay jacket and had to “warm up” ambers for her a few times…..
Rachel G pulling down………………..
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Concrete sequential Experience

Is my learning style. More commonly refered to as kinesthetic. So i now know kinesthetically what it feels like to drive down a snowy road at 20 miles an hour, slide, hit a barrier, keep sliding and slide off the road sideways off 20ft embankmant on the other side. I know that I will never not wear a seatbelt, i know what it feels like to be upside down, to see the crap roll with the vehicle (including the old battery that narrowly missed my head) and to escape with only one slightly sore muscle in my left leg. I know how to use a cops speed gun and its limitations (having spent some time in a cop car), what it takes to pull a large 1989 chevy van back upright and what it looks like when a tow company gets their vehicle stuck towing a van off road through a snowy forrest. I know how it feels to know that it is a friends van and what its like to tell them (and have them tell me “you better have photos”) and how kind and helpful insurance and tow truck company people can be. Its been an educational couple of days

Before I rolled Beastie (the van) things were going well, I drove down the East side of the North Cascades to Vantage to do some climbing with Whitney at the beautiful “frenchmans coulee” where it was, for once, a joy to be back in the desert and have dry feet. I then drove south and east into Idaho and hung out with Megan (Habel) and her awesome dog Haida for a couple of days in Cascade. Then trying to get back into Oregon I drove out of Baker city and off the side of the road.

So for Ryan “you better have photos” Mcdonald (and everyone else who asked) enjoy.
Megan (in her lovely work clothes) with Haida
One of beasties last sunsets, the grass lit by the head lights
Whitney waiting patiently for me to put down my camera and belay. Jigsaw crag, Vantage
Someon climbing the classic 5.9 of the main wall – the routes here are long and sustained – and steep.
Checking out routes late in the evening – why do my friends always take photos of me reading the guide book…… climbing geek?
Looking down the road, where beastie and i ended up.
Looking up the road, i hit the barrier on the right side of the road (left in the pic) and slid across and sideways off the embankment. Beastie almost managed a full roll. not quite though.

Thank you to all well wishers – I am still feeling occasionally shaky but unharmed and am taking a couple of days to relax and work out the best way to get to red rocks for some climbing.

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