Category Archives: Rock Climbing

Stories from Rock Climbing, or something in that general area

Climbing outside! At beacon rock! Multi-pitch!

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Friday, 01-Nov-2019

Fall is my favorite time of year. It’s bright, the leaves are beautiful, it’s cold but not freezing, and the sun is still up for a fair amount of time. It’s the perfect season for rock climbing.

 

Thankfully, we were able to make a bit of time, and Sarah and I headed out to The Beacon for a quick three-pitch jaunt up the SE Face.  It was amazing to stretch out our climbing muscles again; placing gear, building anchors, and facing the cold wind through the Columbia Gorge.  We had a blast!

We’d been debating continuing to the summit, but honestly, after Pitch 3, we were pretty burnt and cold – it was NOT a warm day, and while I love climbing in the cool weather, this was getting just a little into the “cold” side of things.  We conferenced quickly, and decided that it’d be better to descend… everything after Pitch 3 is pretty weak anyways, so we weren’t really feeling drawn to it.

Instead, we rapelled down, packed up our gear… and then hiked to the summit!  Woo!

Volunteering with a summer camp and Teaching people to climb again!

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Friday, 28-June-2019

It’s been so long since I’ve taught someone to climb… I think the last time was sometime back before I came to Oregon, maybe?

I forgot how fun it can be!

I even learned that the age of the new climber doesn’t matter – previously, I’d mostly taught mid-20s people the ins and outs of climbing… Today, I taught kids age 4-10 how to climb!

Or… more accurately, I just made sure they put on harnesses safely, and then belayed them as they scampered up the walls like spider monkeys, and gave out more high-fives than I’d given out the entire rest of 2019.

Let’s go back to the beginning – Sarah’s working for a summer camp this year as their resident climbing coordinator, and I came to help belay on my Friday off.

It was a more complex process than I’d expected, but it’s good to know that working with young kids not only requires the usual belay checks, but also a full background screen. Trivia fact – not a murderer, still.

It’s my Friday off, but we’re still getting going early. A quick breakfast, then off to the Mazamas Mountaineering Center to set up for the kids. Harnesses get laid out, ropes uncoiled, and crash pads are put out below the routes.

It’s incredible how different the Mazamas gear room is from the NUHOC gear locker. They’re so much better funded, and so much more climbing-focused… They have two entire rooms dedicated to rope storage – two rooms, each one bigger than my entire gear locker!

With all the glorious gear laid out, we gave belay tests to the other volunteers, and braced ourselves for the swarm of campers… The schedule was oldest to youngest, not that it really mattered though.

I belayed, gave encouragement, and high fives. At one point some kids tried blindfolded climbing, and then we evacuated after an attempt to clean the blindfold set off a fire alarm.

Trivia fact: microwaving a wet hankie for 10min can start a fire.

Second trivia fact: kids love fire fighters. We had a good time.

Aside from the fire fighters showing up, the day was pretty chill. I particularly enjoyed climbing with the youngest kids though; we had extra volunteers, so I was able to climb up to the top and provide encouraging high fives to everyone who topped out!

Daniel’s bachelor party – a Richmond Adventure

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02-May through 05-May, 2019

Richmond, Virginia

A weekend party.

Daniel’s getting married over Memorial Day, and since we’re all smart enough to know that a good bachelor party will leave bruises we knew that this weekend was the closest that we could be to the wedding, while still giving him time to recover enough after the adventure.

Thursday, 02-May-2019 into Friday, 03-May-2019

I did that thing, again.

You know, the thing that I almost always regret? Where I take a red-eye flight, so that I don’t have to burn an entire day flying from coast to coast?

Well, this time I didn’t regret it!

I landed in Richmond at 8:30am on Friday morning. First things first, I grabbed a coffee.

Then, a Lyft, and then I called Brian, so that he could be ready to let me into the room he’d rented in the Richmond Hostel.

Our goal of the day was to, first, wake me up enough that I could actually be useful. So we went to a diner, we all ate excellent diner food, and I drank a lot of coffee. With me awake, we could now head to the real target – Manchester Wall.

Manchester Wall has nothing to do with the city of Manchester – instead, it’s a series of pillars that once held up a bridge across the James River in Richmond. A bridge that no longer exists, because the Confederate army destroyed it right before Richmond was taken in the Civil War. And now those pillars are bolted, and available for climbing!

(Editors note: the above statement is not quite accurate, as Daniel has informed me. It turns out that the South side of the river James was previously a city called Manchester. And, as such, Manchester wall is the piling of the Richmond-Manchester bridge, on the Manchester side. THANKS, DANIEL)

After climbing we needed food – a brewery called Legends Brewing happened to be right nearby, and also happened to be amazingly delicious… both excellent qualities for a group of sun-drenches, dehydrated, hungry creatures such as ourselves.

*** Honestly, the rest of the weekend was amazing, but I never had a chance to write up a full story about it. Now it’s July, and I still haven’t posted anything… so please forgive the brevity, and enjoy the photo gallery in place of a long winded storytime.***

Friday: climb, legends brewing, traditional southern restaurant for dinner, first Friday, Tom Petty coverband

Saturday: breakfast, go-karts, little ceasars, paintball, showers and painkillers, BBQ, drinks drinks drinks! Small breweries, Tang and Biscuits, barcade, some rooftop bar, regret.

Sunday: regret. Some food, some napping, breakfast, regret, flying home, regret.