Showing posts with label Red Rocks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Red Rocks. Show all posts

Friday, June 3, 2016

Bouldering in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.

Classic view from the Buttermilks toward Mt Tom
Christine and David's multi-state pebble crushing adventures over the past 6 months.

In the last few months, Christine and I have had the chance to take a couple of short trips, and to work on some creative projects. In December/ January, David's brother and his girlfriend came for a two-week visit from Sweden. We split our time between Bishop and Las Vegas, bouldering the whole time.

Monday, January 25, 2016

An Impossible Dream Realized: Becoming an AMGA Rock Guide

Climbing trip to Les Calanques in 2004. From left to right, Chad, Mathieu, and Erin.
Photo by Matthew Smith.
Sitting on the couch with my old Dell laptop, I remember scrolling through the lengthy American Mountain Guide Association's prerequisites on their website back in my college apartment in Bellingham, WA. I knew I could get through the ski guiding discipline with some work, but glancing at the rock guiding discipline made me unsure whether this was a possibility for me. To complete the program, one needs to have completed over 130 prerequisite climbs, 26 days of course and examination, guide routes up to grade V, and be confident leading 5.10+/A2 (sport and traditional). This list was intimidating to me as I had done very little climbing up to this point, and most was following my friends up routes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Red Rocks Bouldering

This past winter we were able to take a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada to boulder for two weeks. It was our first major trip in our new/ converted van, Rodney. We'd both been to Red Rocks previously to rope climb, but neither of us had ever really bouldered in Red Rocks before this trip. We found the bouldering there to be really fun and plentiful. We were lucky enough to be joined by many friends on the trip. Following are a few images from our time there.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Filling the Void

~Looking into Juniper Canyon, Red Rocks National Reserve.
This was the first year in five that I didn't go to El Chalten, Argentina.  It would have been my eighth trip down, the first being in 2006.  It's easy to get obsessed about climbing in a place like Patagonia and I had become fully obsessed; in fact, I still am.  I felt a hole inside me where that annual trip usually fits in.

Now that the time has passed and the climbing season in Argentina has come and gone I realize that the hole has been filled with some local projects right here in the USA.


Friday, January 3, 2014

AMGA Rock Courses

Being a part of the American Mountain Guides Association Instructor Team means I get to spend a good portion of the fall teaching up and coming guides the ins and outs of leading clients through the vertical world. This year I was able to teach Rock Instructor Courses in North Conway, NH; Smith Rock, OR and Red Rocks, NV as well as an Advanced Rock Guide Course in Red Rocks.

Demos on White Horse Ledge in North Conway

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rainbow Wall - Mammut Peaks Project Climb

JD and I spent the past few days climbing on the Rainbow Wall. We were one of the US teams selected for Mammut's 150 Peaks Anniversary project. Originally the climb was to be the Nose Route  of El Capitan but the team had to change the location to the Rainbow Wall in Red Rocks. 

We arrived in the Las Vegas area last Thursday just in time for the areas first heat wave. We were ready for hot weather but not for 105 to 110 degrees. This extreme heat was a major concern for the two of us. Our plans were to spend two days on the wall. We decided to adjust our plans and climb when the route was shaded (12pm to 8pm) and then descend as the wall heated up the following morning. This plan worked well as we climbed over half of the route in reasonable temps to our bivi area. It was a treat to be high up and able to rest, refuel and recover high up on the wall. The following morning as the sun started baking the wall we made the decision to descend and escape the unrelenting sun and heat. 

Enjoy the photos of our Rainbow Wall climb.   

JD's first sight of the canyons and walls in Red Rocks.
Prepped with Mammut packs, ropes, and technical equipment.

Rainbow Wall up high right of center.

Art loaded down for the start of the long approach from Pine Creek.

We were amazed to see this cacti bloom in the scorching desert heat.

The approach steepens into Juniper Canyon.

The final slabs approach to the base of the route.

JD cruising in style on the Rainbow Wall.

I was given the opportunity to climb with Art Mooney of Mooney Mountain Guides thanks to Mammut and their 150 peaks project. Learning more about big wall processes and getting to experience climbing in such an amazing place was just awesome! The heat of the desert was brutal but made getting into the shade very rewarding. Climbing with Art was a fun and educational experience. Learning how to improve systems, refine rope work, and just enjoying being up on the wall. Good team work and communication is always important for a climbing team and made our climb more successful. Art's commitment to safety and to drive forward inspired me to keep pushing myself and trust my climbing partner when he needed me to get past a challenge.

After seeing the lights of Vegas and waking up on a ledge after an amazing day of climbing; I felt inspired to keep climbing an wasn't ready to head down.

It was an amazing experience and I am very greatful to have been selected for this opportunity. Mammut, you guys rock! Thank you so much for everything. Art, I'm still amazed by some of the moves you pulled off in aproach shoes! Thank you for everything and I look forward to climbing with Art and Mooney Mountain Guides in the future!


Steep climbing ended with hanging belays. 

View from our bivi site on Rainbow Wall.

JD getting a break after a long day. 

We were treated to the Las Vegas light show. 

JD and I enjoying our bivi area.

The rising big ball of fire - starting to heat up.

JD descending the clean dihedral on the middle pitches.

Desert wear - no points for fashion but the wet bandana kept the body much cooler. 

JD and I back at the car in the early afternoon.

Thanks to Mammut for this amazing experience. JD and I enjoyed meeting and climbing together and are making plans for another climb soon!

Art Mooney
IFMGA Mountain Guide