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Showing posts from 2017

Crack Climbing - Instruction #1

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While out at Joshua Tree National Park last month I did some hiking and worked on goals on learning to crack climb. Hired Seth Pettit of Mojave Guides to teach me basic crack climbing skills. Climbed for 2 full days (Day 1 and Day 2) and got on 15 pitches! Now I'm hooked. I come back to the east coast and of course it's cold and all my climbing buddies are salivating for ice to climb on. Meanwhile I'm like, "dudes, I'm still in rock mode here!" So I started looking for a climbing gym in my area that has vertical crack climbing routes plus instruction. Found one 77 miles north of me at Salt Pump Climbing in Scarborough, Maine with Tino Fiumara. Tino is the Head Routesetter and Assistant Program Director at Salt Pump. I spoke to Tino about my vertical crack climbing goals before I left for Las Vegas and scheduled my first lesson with him for when I return from my Las Vegas golfing/climbing trip.

Fast forward to today.....
I had my first lesson with Tino today and…

Red Rock Canyon - Rock Climbing

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Shaka selfie from the top of "Sweets To The Sweet" - Hamlet Wall
Spent a couple of hours this morning climbing with Marissa and Tammy at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Park! Got a few climbs in on the Hamlet Wall off of the first pullout on Scenic Loop - Sweets To The Sweet (5.7), Frailty Thy Name Is Sandstone (5.7), and To Grunt & Sweat (5.8). Being in Red Rock Canyon was surreal...the rock is so red and has a gritty feel to it. I was so stoked to be finally climbing me some red rock! What an amazing day - I sure will miss  Marissa and Tammy, but hope to be back to climb with them soon. Enjoy some photos taken of our day.


On 'Frailty, Thy Name is Sandstone' with Tammy (in blue) on my belay
Tammy leading 'Frailty, Thy Name is Sandstone'
Marissa leading 'To Grunt to Sweat'
Climbing some red rock! 'To Grunt To Sweat'


Pano from the anchor of 'Sweets To The Sweet'


Got a nice crowd of climbers even on a weekday





This trip to Las Vegas was …

Joshua Tree National Park 2017 - Food & Shopping

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Joshua Tree National Park is amazing! So glad that I had the opportunity to visit this very special place. It was such an experience climbing and hiking in the desert. I met a lot of very nice folks here as well. While here I also got to do some shopping and lots of eating out! Prior to my trip I researched places to eat and found some pretty awesome places to eat here in the towns of Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms. Here's some of my favorite places:






Fuji  Restaurant
http://www.fujitwentyninepalms.com/
Twentynine Palms, CA

Just 2 miles from the Best Western, this was my favorite place to grab take-out! From the outside, the place doesn't look like much, but don't let that stop you from ordering. I've eaten their Shrimp Tempura, spicy Tuna sushi roll and Beef Bul-Go-Ki. But I was beyond ecstatic when I saw Spam Musubi on their menu! 



Joshua Tree & Oasis Visitor Centers
These are the two visitor centers that I visited the most. Public rest rooms are available as well as …

Joshua Tree National Park 2017 - Day 8

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Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
I spent the last day in California riding the rotating Aerial Tramway in Palm Springs. It ascends nearly 2.5 miles to the Mt. San Jacinto State Park and wilderness. The floor of the tram rotates so you can see all views without moving. The ride starts at the Valley Station at 2,643 feet and ends at the Mountain Station at 8,516 feet. At the top you'll find a bar, a cafe, a gift shop and many lookout points for viewing. The Mountain Station is the entrance to the Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness. There is also a Natural Exhibit that features animals and plants native to Mt. San Jacinto State Park. I watched two films while at the Mountain Station; "Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness" shown in the San Jacinto Theater. And "Building A Dream" in the Santa Rosa Theater. Enjoy a few photos I took of my visit.


The tram ascends/descends along cables that are supported by 5 towers (aerial lift pylons).
Counterweight Pit - keeps ca…

Joshua Tree National Park 2017 - Day 7

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Rappelling off the top of The Bong

Another amazing day with Seth Pettit of Mojave Guides at Joshua Tree National Park. I spent the day climbing 8 pitches using the crack climbing techniques I learned during my first day with Seth. I was pretty stoked to climb crack so I can practice jamming. Like my first day with Seth, I took every opportunity I could to jam my hands, fingers or feet! Enjoy some photos taken of our day.




Our first stop was the Reggie Dome West Face. We parked in the (Wonderland North) parking lot of the Boy Scout trailhead and followed the climbers trail to Reggie Dome. I'm really impressed with the climber's trail signs throughout the JTree park!




This climber's trail was once a road used to access Keys Ranch many years ago.












Reggie Dome West Face



Right: The Chief I followed Seth up the The Chief (5.5),  then top roped the fun slab climbs  Speed Bump (5.6) and Fender Bender (5.8).
We were the only climbers here at
the Reggie Dome West Face.













Joshua Tree National Park 2017 - Day 6

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Laundry Day So I’m waiting for my laundry in the local laundromat and  I couldn’t resist getting a selfie with this little cutie, Gidget!
Pano - rock scrambling at Rattlesnake Canyon

Joshua Tree National Park 2017 - Day 5

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Ryan Mountain (5,457ft) Elevation: 1,070 ft Distance: 2.6 miles round trip Joshua Tree National Park Joshua Tree, CA
More desert hiking! This morning I took a solo hike up to the summit of Ryan Mountain. I thought that starting my hike at 9am I'd find the trailhead parking lot full. But when I arrived, there were only 6 cars in the lot! On my ascent there were only 8 people on their way down, 5 of which had turned back as they found the ascent to be too strenuous. Most of the trail makes its way on the west side of the ridge, with views into the park. The trail, for the most part, is in the shade until the ridge is gained. On my descent I counted close to 65 hikers making their way up to the summit. Enjoy a few photos taken on the ascent of my hike.







Summit cairn

Pano from the summit - looking to the west
Pano from the summit - looking to the east