Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Crack Climbing - Instruction #1


vertical crack, hand jam

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 it was fantastic! Where I mostly worked on low-angled crack routes in Joshua Tree, the route I worked on today is a 30 foot vertical hand crack with the last 15 feet slightly overhung. It is the easiest of 3 crack routes at Salt Pump Climbing. My lesson was for 2 hours and it started off with warming up and assessment on 3 types of easy routes. This was so that Tino could see my movement, route reading, balance, strategy and strength skills. Then we moved over to the crack route. Before I climbed we covered jams, locks, rattly/insecure jams, lateral pressure and body positions. I climbed the vertical crack using hand jams in the crack while using my feet on the holds up the sides of the crack. It was fun, challenging and scary all rolled into one and I got to the top on my second try. And not gonna lie....it was work, but the constant body tension of crack climbing is addicting! Can't wait for my next lesson for feet jamming, but for now, I need to practice what I just learned!





crack climbing
Ocun Crack Climbing Gloves
Convenient, easy and fast on/off

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Red Rock Canyon - Rock Climbing



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 part of a week vacation with my husband. We got a great deal on a Stay-and-Play (hotel/golf) package! Accommodations at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino plus a round of golf (including cart) for the both of us at Highland Falls (my personal fave!), Eagle Crest and Palm Valley golf courses in Summerlin. We also played a twilight round at the Mountain Course of Angel Park Golf Course, which our hotel overlooks.


Pano view from our hotel room

Staying in Summerlin put us 5 & 10 minutes to the golf courses, and 20 minutes to Red Rock Canyon. Desert golfing with a bit of desert rock climbing - a fantastic week gone by way too quickly. 

Pano - 14th hole at 3070 feet - Highland Falls Golf Course 

There are a lot of places to choose from to eat out in Las Vegas. A few spots we ate at; Kona Grill, Mimi's Cafe (breakfast), Aloha Kitchen (twice!). And at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino we ate at The Game, St. Tropez Buffet, Peng Zu, and Du-par's (breakfast). And I don't have a photo of it, but Aloha Kitchen does have Spam Musubi! I ordered one to-go so I can have one to snack on while golfing.



In case you didn't know, Las Vegas, Nevada is considered the "9th Island". One of the reason it's referenced as the 9th Island is because there are many "Hawaiian transplants" to the desert city. Many have transferred from the islands and now live and work in Vegas. While there we met a lot of former Hawaii residents. As you can see from my photos above, there are several places to eat Hawaiian food and foods local to the island. But you can also purchase Hawaii snacks, foods, and souvenirs at CVS. We were lucky that the CVS closest to our hotel was the one that has a "Hawaiian aisle" as not all CVS carry products from Hawaii. In addition to da rubbah slippahs, chocolate macadamia nuts, Aloha Shoyu, Jade crack seed, mochi crunch, Kona coffee and Hawaiian Sun drinks, they also have a frozen section with Laulau!

CVS #8791
8580 West Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89117