Thursday, November 8, 2012

RocTober 2012!

So I hate beginning blog posts by saying "it has been a long time since the last post, so here you are...", but DAMN!  I have been so busy with work and play since the last post about Angel Wings that I have had scarcely a moment to update Life in the Vertical.  So with that said, here you are, the latest installments of semi-nomadic dirtbag ramblings...

September was rough; 4 trips up Mount Whitney, 3 of those with our group being the only ones up there, a rarity for sure. Then at the beginning of October I drove out to the climbing and casino mecca of the West, Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas, NV with Jen in order to climb a bunch and train for my upcoming AMGA Rock Guide Course and Aspirant Exam.

I hadn't climbed in Red Rock for 5 or 6 years, so it was interesting to get used to sandstone climbing again after spending so much time on granite.  There is definitely a learning curve to the soft stone, and becoming comfortable with protecting the thin patina face climbing with thin wires is an art to be sure.  We got on some classic routes such as Triassic Sands, Wholesome Fullback, the Fox, Y2k and Frigid Air Buttress before deciding we needed a break before my course.
Jen seconds the first pitch of Wholesome Fullback

Since we were in Vegas, what better way to relax than to take in some of the nightlife?  Jen had gotten us amazing tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Mystere show, and if you have't seen a Cirque show, I can only say,"what are you waiting for?!"  These amazing acrobats make us climbers look like couch potatoes!  And the entertainment of people watching on the Strip is pretty hard to beat too!

Mount Wilson and Cactus Flower Tower as we approached to climb Cinnamon Hedgehog on CFT.

Jen took off the next day and I got ready for my RGC- 10 days of guiding assignments, examination, and evaluation.  A couple of the days were rained out, which was perhaps a blessing in disguise, since the rest of the course would prove to be pretty draining.  We climbed some excellent routes, learned a lot, and got a lot of feedback to enhance our guiding and to get us ready for the next steps in the AMGA programs.  I am happy to say that I passed my Aspirant Exam and am now signed up for my final Rock Guide Exam in April.

I went back to Mammoth for 6 days to relax, not think about climbing, and started packing for a 2 week stint in the desert.... 

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