Martin, Colin, Zach and I have been completing our first aid refresher this week. This is a compulsory and essential part of the Mountain Guide and Mountain Instructors qualification. Thanks to Eric Pirie for an excellent course.
Over the last couple of days I have been at Aberdour and Rosyth. Firstly, on Thursday with Lucy and Doug looking at lead climbing skills and yesterday staff training with the Falkirk Team.
Rosyth was mostly dry with some seepage on the odd route. The second pitch of Fish Head Arete at Aberdour is loose at the moment, particularly in the middle section.
For the past week Ivor, Martin and I have been climbing in the States of Utah and Colorado. As well as climbing many great pitches of rock we have also climbed some stunning towers in Colorado’s Monument Valley and Arches National Park near Moab. Here are a few thoughts on how to maximise your time here;
- Begin your trip at Wall Street, Moab. Maybe the best road side crag in the world?
- Buy Ocun crack climbing gloves.
- At wall street do not put any kit down in the vegetation. The burrs are very painful to the touch.
- McStiffs (Moab) does great smoothies which are a real treat after a tough session in the sun.
- Staff at Pagan Mountaineering (Moab) are very helpful and offer good guidance on routes and venue’s.
- The new ‘High on Moab’ guidebook is excellent.
- The Mountain Project website has lots of useful information including a number of desert towers not mentioned in the ‘High on Moab’ or ‘Supertopo’ guidebooks.
- Root Canal on Molar Tower is a good first chimney to try. Much easier than North East Chimney on Off Balanced Rock which receives an easier grade.
- American climbers are very friendly on belay and abseil stations. It is not necessary to adopt a European stance ethic!
- The walk to Independence Monument is one hour not forty minutes.
For more photos please visit the facebook page.
For the last week, Ivor, Martin and I have been staying at Las Vegas in the USA and climbing at the awesome Red Rocks. The weather has been superb at this world class sandstone climbing venue.
Below are a few thoughts on how to have a great trip to this amazing climbing venue. These are in addition to the excellent info present in the Supertopo climbing guidebook..
- Read approaches very carefully and then interpret them!
- The second edition of the full Red Rocks climbing guidebook is very useful.
- A British trad climber will find it useful to carry more wires than mentioned on the topos. Often when camming devices are suggested we were placing bomber wires.
- At weekends choose a venue that has a number of routes at your grade as the most popular routes can get busy.
- Twin Peaks in Las Vegas does great food.
- The Black Corridor crag is an awesome, friendly sports venue in hot weather.
- There is excellent info about red Rocks on the Mountain Project website.
- Near Desert Rock Sports on Charleston Boulevard (on the way out of town towards the Red Rocks loop road) are good local restaurants and a wholefood supermarket if you would like some healthier food options.
- Red Rocks is in the Moave Desert. Think about water, shade and how tight your rock shoes will be in the heat!
- It is worth getting a detailed road map of Las Vegas city centre if you intend to stay there.