Thursday, April 14

countdown to CO

With only a week left here in Sin City, it's hard to imagine packing in half of what I'm hopeful to get done. While firing off a few more quality climbs is high on that laundry list, so is saying goodbye to the brilliant nightlife and all of my newly made friends in the area. It's been a wicked trip - and one that I foresee myself repeating for years to come when the winters get harsh in Colorado. Next time I'll bring a drill....
Arrow Canyon - an amazing place..
The last week I had to fight some crappy weather that came with a major storm system. I took a little extra rest and even made my way into the gym for a session (first time grabbing plastic in a WHILE). I did, however, get to have a look at the incredible Arrow Canyon. A truly interesting place, packed with some high quality stone. You approach through a limestone slot canyon, with petroglyph inscribed, water polished stone walls towering hundreds of feet above you. You follow a series of bends to find a rad little cave, lined with nice long routes. Some of the more moderate climbs feature amazing quality of stone - like blasphemy wall but with more texture. The cave routes are on much worse stone, but still offer up a fun, steep challenge. I liked the thuggy 'Swamp Thing' 13c, 'Brown Sugar' 12d, the technical 'Heart of Glass' 13a and the super cool 'Tangled Up in Blue' 12a. It was a rad day, and nice to check out a new spot - I can imagine some seriously bad ass, hard, technical routes going up in this canyon..
Swamp Thing - Hayden Eatchel photo
Pawel on Tangled up in Blue
I made my way back to the Cathedral for a couple days as well, eager to check out some of the steep routes on the right side of the wailing wall and fire off a few classics I'd yet to have a go at. I managed the powerful 'Treebeard' 13c, but was uninspired by Joey's 'Unforgivable' 14 b/c and unfortunately Andy Raether's 'Slaughterhouse Five' 14 b/c is still pretty dang wet... hmm bummer. Instead, I made my way up the interesting and unique 'Half Baked Half Broken' 13d, and fired the bouldery and tricky 'Pucker' 13c. I finished the day checking out 'Sonic Boom' 13d, a monster line that goes out the Cathedral adjacent 'Golden'. I sussed my beta and ticked a few holds, eager to return the following day.
Melissa Kelly puts down her first 5.13.. 'Holbytla'
I warmed up and decided to jump on an alternative start to Sonic Boom - a bouldery and dynamic 13b called 'Latter Day Sinners'. After managing a flash, I decided to just continue into Sonic Boom (technically a link up called 'Trunk Monkey') and surprised myself by making the summit on this towering and super cool 14a. I finished the day flashing a seeping 'Space Shuttle to Kolob' 13a and a powerful, hard 13b on the right side called 'Indulgence'.
drinks at the Mandarin Bar.. Andy Mann image
No better way to cap a climbing day like this than to return to Vegas and hit the strip - we had a truly killer night and now, with under 3 hours of sleep behind me, I'm busy resting and getting psyched to check out a multi-pitch route deep in Red Rock Canyon tomorrow!

I've seen the final cut for a wicked video short that Andy Mann and I made about climbing at the VRG and my time here in Vegas.. It should be out soon.. stay tuned!!

My summer plans are solidifying, and I'm already getting excited about the next trip.. soon after I clock some hours route setting, training, hanging with family and relaxing in Boulder for a little while. Recognizing my desire for freedom, my taste for adventure and my future goals, I'm convinced that it's time for me to fully commit - and in such a spirit I'm planning on moving out of my place and into a truck.. no fixed address...hitting the road - FOREVER!