Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's been awhile

So I've been a tad bit on the lazy side with updating my blog. You could say that I've completely neglected it and if it were my child the state would be seeking custody of it. So I'll do a quick recap of everything since June climbing The Nose.

Climbed at the South Side of Looking Glass and got on Second Coming, a fun 5.7 crack with stemming. Liz and I took a couple of pitches to the top and left Balli, our newly rescued black lab, at the base. She's been a great addition to the now family of four, two humans and two dogs.

I finished with Wellspring and have now started with Fox Mountain Guides and Climbing School as a Climbing Instructor. I hold the positions of Chimney Rock Park Director and Office Manager. Chimney Rock is a State Park and FMG has a partnership to provide climbing lessons, guided days, and 'tasters' for their clients. 'Tasters' are walk-up climbs where for $15 you can climb a pitch. I'm there every weekend and have really enjoyed introducing so many people to the sport. As the Office Manager I'm communicating with clients and scheduling trips remotely online and with the company phone. Its been fun talking about climbing with people on the phone, explaining how much we can offer them.

I got out with a new friend at the South Side again and climbed Genesis crack in WET conditions. It was the only reasonable climb to get on that day, even given that we had to find an alternate face climb for the second pitch to avoid slick wet rock. Balli came out on this day too and I left her on the ground tied up. She got loose (ate one of my cordalettes in the process) and proceeded to get herself in trouble. Found some sort of snake, probably a rattler from local beta, and got bit. The image above is her swollen lower jaw and neck before I took her to the vet. She was fine by the next day and swelling went away in a couple days. But she was extremely scared and probably in pain when we rappelled to the ground. Poor girl, stinks learning the hard way.

Got out climbing again with a bunch of Fox Guides to Cedar Rock, and sent a couple 5.11b's off the couch. A hand full of stops at the gym yielded the strength to fall a couple times on one 5.11b and onsight another 5.11b. I had no idea I could muster that type of ability with so much down time behind me. My eyes are now wide open, and I'm eager to find my limit.

I shadowed a couple days of private instruction as well. Our head guide Ron had a client out working on lead climbing that I tagged along for, and Karsten had a client out working on multi-pitch leading and rescue scenarios. These were excellent days to see some interesting techniques and different teaching styles I may implement in the future. I also went out with Ron short-roping acting as a client, and took notes on technique and efficiency. There's so much I can still learn, and I'm ready to move on to the next step.

I'm looking at some AMGA Rock Instructor courses in the spring, particularly one in Joshua Tree. Still can't get over how great this spot is, and my familiarity would really help during the course. Just need to tackle 30 or so more multi-pitch climbs and learn all the rescues from my fellow guides. Should be able to take care of a few of those multi-pitch climbs with a trip I'm taking back home in a couple weeks.

I'm NH bound on the 26th, leaving after work at 5pm to start 16 hours on the road. I'll make a stop on Cape Cod to visit a friend and catch up before continuing to home, and getting on some NH granite with my friend Noah. An extensive trip report will follow, and Cannon should be on the list.

For now, a couple more weekend days at Chimney rock, a couple days out with clients, some office work, and the Western North Carolina Climber's Weekend are what I'm looking forward to. And maybe I'll fit in some time to get a second job. All in all, I'm primed for a great fall ahead. See you on the rock!