365 Days of Random

Random musings about nothing at all

Red Rock Photo Blog

Honestly I don’t particularly feel like writing today and I’ve finally gotten MOST of the pictures from Red Rock downloaded (or collected) so thought I’d just do a photo blog of last weeks adventure. Hope you enjoy the shots.

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July 23, 2011 Posted by | Climbing | , | Leave a comment

Red Rocks

Sitting here writing this post on the plane home (to be published later tonight of course) I can’t help thinking about the completely totally amazing day I had today. Today was my last day in Vegas… except we didn’t spend it in Vegas. No, we went out to Red Rock Canyon for some simply amazing climbing.

After dancing for 2+ hours straight at the conference client appreciation party last night I bailed on the after party in favor of a few hours sleep before the 4:30 am wake up call. Yes, 4:30am. There are very few things that will get me out of bed at that time of day – especially when I’ve been sick all week and will only have had about 4 hours of sleep. Turns out I could have gone to the party because I didn’t sleep much anyway. I was too worried about not waking up and being late to meet the girls I was climbing with.

When we all met up in the lobby at 5am you could see that none of us had gotten much sleep. We all seemed rather low key and definitely in need of breakfast. But as we got out of Vegas and started to venture up into the desert canyons the mood shifted to one of pure excitement. You see, this was the first REAL climbing trip Squeaks and I had ever taken. Our other friend ST had been out to the canyon a few days earlier and RAVED about how great it was. When we started to plan this trip people thought we were completely insane… I mean who climbs in the desert in July… Yup. we do.

As we got closer to the canyon and ST started telling us more about where we were going and what our guide (Dan) was like we started to just get more and more excited. By the time we’d hooked up with Bob the guide and gotten all our gear organized we were just bouncing off the rock. The hike to our climbing destination took about 15 or 20 minutes and included some decently difficult scrambling up the sandstone. It was so beautiful. We were just awed and getting even more anxious to get set up and get on some rock.

We were all flying back to DC about 2pm so our plan was to climb from 6:30 until 11:30 and then head straight to the airport (about a 45 minute drive), change clothes and jump on the flight home. Sounds like a crazy plan doesn’t it… again – we were climbing in the DESERT in JULY and then planning on sitting on on plane for 4+ hours (without the assistance of showers in between). But we’re climbers and there was no way in hell we were going to miss the chance to experience some real rock destination. I mean, Great Falls VA is cool and all…. but I am afraid the stakes (and expectations have now been raised).

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous about climbing out here. I mean, I struggle with 5.8’s and 5.9s in Great Falls and the destination we were heading to was made up of all 5.8’s and higher. I thought for sure I’d struggle with it. But you know what… it was just so incredible to be out there that you stopped thinking about the grade. It was so easy to block it all out and just enjoy the experience. Like with all climbing I’ve experienced, there is just the peace that settles over you as you start up that wall. The girls I was with are rock star climbers and Dan the Guide was a fabulous guide, coach and instructor. He encouraged us, taught us stuff, and was just cool and fun to hang out with. Climbing by itself in such amazing scenery is enough to say the day was a stellar one… but the goofy photos and the laughing and the camaraderie made it a perfect experience.

Now that I’ve climbed in Red Rocks, I really want to make sure that I can plan at least one trip to some incredible US climbing destination every year. It’s re-energized me to push harder and get some leading classes under my belt. It’s also reminded me that 90% of my struggles in the gym are purely me spending too much time in my own head and getting in my own way. After climbing three 5.8’s (twice), a 5.9 (twice) and even a 5.10 in the desert in July with a 30 year climbing veteran telling all of us we’re great climbers and that we’ve got great movement on the wall I think I can jump up a grade or two in the gym and push myself over some really hard stuff that I’ve been letting hold me back recently. Definitely lots of new goals set for the second half of the year.

Oh, and by the way, climbing in the desert in July is really really really hot and you should never ever ever do it… Leave that to us hard core girls that can hack it 😉 (ok, really it’s about 75 in the shade and you don’t even break a sweat because there’s just no humidity to speak of, but shhhh… keep that between us ok).

Pictures to come later this week as soon as I’ve collected them all.

July 15, 2011 Posted by | Climbing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment