The coast of Sardinia and so much of the interior of this island is loaded with limestone cliffs of all sizes. Terry and I have traveled
around sampling the different crags on the seaside and the interior sections.
Cala Gonone is the main beach side tourist area and well known sport climbing destination. The atmosphere is very friendly, the travel is quite easy, the food and lodging are excellent. The local and visiting climbers a very helpful keeping us on the right track to finding the fine sport routes in the area.
We found the better climbs to be in the south outside the town of Baunei and Jertzu. The rock had not been traveled as much and the routes were all equipped with new stainless bolts.
Beautiful, rugged coastline of Sardinia.
View from the crag outside Baunei.
Excellent topos with well equipped routes in the southern areas.
Another fine route to on sight – the best form of climbing – one shot to the chains.
Mooney Mountain Guides calls this blog posted trip the New Hampshire sampler – a day of sport climbing, a mountain adventure, and an alpine rock day on Cannon Cliff. This three day action packed event is not one for a week heart or mind.
Steve is a motivated man, when he sets his sights on a climb, a goal, a project he gives it 100+ percent. This was crystal clear from the beginning. United a not so favorite airline of his canceled his flight earlier this week and within a short time Steve was in the car racing from New York to New Hampshire. The weather pattern was solid, a mid week break from Peppercom was needed, and the body and mind were ready to climb.
Rumney Rocks was the first stop on Tuesday. The skies had cleared from the weekends low pressure and the cliff was drying out fast. A visit to the Jimmy Cliff got us off on the right tune, Bonsai was next with a fine display of sending a project by MMG guide Alex, and then to complete we ventured over to the Main wall for a steep technical face climb that put on the first of many pumps during the week.
A quick cardio workout romping up the Clippidy Do Dah!!!
Main Cliff action as Steve nears the belay.
Off to a good start.
The great weather continued on Wednesday which happened to be our Mt Washington mountain day. To both our surprise the mountain was in late winter condition with snow and ice covered trails from the Cog Station to the summit. There has been over 1 foot of new snow since May first which is quite unusual even for the rock pile. The new snow along with brisk temps and a stiff breeze make us feel like we took a step back in time by a few months.
Thanks to Julbo for keeping our vision in order – excellence with eyewear for mountain travelers and more.
Bluebird skies, wild rime ice, all in all a spectacular day.
The summit cone was tough – bear down and keep on trucking.
The prize Steve’s 13th time on the summit
The base area – four thousand feet lower – in spring time condition.
Our third day – time to ramp it up!!!
Cannon Cliff is New Hampshires finest alpine rock area. Our 1 hour approach to the Whitney Gilman wanders up the steep talus field to the base of the serpentine ridge. The WG ridge is a classic old school 5.7 route first completed in 1929. This was our last day objective and we were set to take it to the top.
All the movement skills are put to the test climbing on Cannon. Cracks, faces, loose shattered rock, wildy exposed moves as one works back and forth along the 600ft ridge climb. The Whitney Gilman Ridge can make one feel like they are climbing in the Alps.
The final pitch – Steve jamming and liebacking the final corner to the top.
The descent – snow and ice again?
Micro spikes on the Guide Tennies was the ticket home.
Steve and MMG guide Alex blasting home on the return.
Steve has come to New Hampshire many times to climb with MMG. This trip was one of the finest, it was
full of SERF – Surprises, Educational, Rewards, Fun time for all.
Thanks to Steve – for this amazing three day sampler.
Early season is tough. With the improved weather, excitement fills the air and climbers get anxious not only to get out but also to send. Attacking a project too high too soon often results in injury, putting the kibosh on training until you heal. Dialing down routes can help maximize your training early season (and throughout the year).
Several years ago, I was climbing with a friend of mine at Rumney, and we were warming up before heading off to our respective projects. After completing a route that I enjoyed but did not climb smoothly, I muttered, “That was sloppy.” I had wished I felt more comfortable on the route.
“Don’t untie,” he said. “Dial it down.” So I climbed it again, much more smoothly. When I reached the ground the second time, he smiled. “Don’t untie. You’re not done.” I sighed but started again. I moved more fluidly than the previous times and anticipated the next handhold and my feet found the footholds. The fourth time…yes, he made me climb it four times…I felt solid.
The more familiar you are with a route, the greater chance you have to move efficiently, grabbing the holds the best way the first time or finding the right footholds without hanging too much on your arms. Each spring, when I have been off the rock for several months, I gravitate to the routes where my body knows the motions like dialing the number to an old friend. Often times, these routes are either the same grade or harder than the routes that I am trying to onsight. Because I am so familiar with these routes I have dialed down, I am performing challenging moves without wasting too much energy trying to figure out the beta. As a result, I can climb harder for a longer period of time, enabling me to get into climbing shape faster.
This season when you climb a route that you enjoy, don’t rush off too quickly for the next one. Spend the extra time to work through the moves. Dial it down.
Movement – a core skill on the rocks, in the mountains, on the ice.
All climbers strive for exceptional movements on the stone. The precise movements in the vertical realm require a great deal – a calm focused mind, agility and flexibility, a well tuned body and positive mental drive all are needed to advance up the wall. It may sounds easy but I can assure you its not. Hours into days of specific training and practice sessions help one maintain a high level of climbing. To advance into to the next level specialize training sessions are a must.
Motion – a body in motion should remain in motion.
Right now is exciting time spring is here and it the time to rock climb – develop new projects and advance. Motion is needed to keep us on task. Frequent runs and walks are helpful for the cardio and certainly known to be an effective way to start each day. The pace of the day is set with a light and fast tone when I start with a motion exercise in the am.
Guidance – help and advice to reach the higher level.
Whether it be climbing or yoga I need guidance to break through plateaus. Yoga has become a necessary part of life for me. Practice on and off the mat yoga is helping prevent injuries through breathing exercises, flexibility, balance, power and mindfulness.
During this past month Terry and I took on a more focused spring training project. Each day we start with movement in the form of early morning walks and/or runs. The main part of the day is set aside for focused climbing sessions. Then many evenings find us at a variety of yoga studios being guided through Vinyasa sequences of all types.
Alyssa – grace and flexibility on the stone.
Power, Balance, Alignment.
Reaching for the higher ground.
Footwork – standing right upon the front toes using the Five Ten Anasazi.
Ready for the move.
Calico Hills – Red Rocks.
These steep routes require the body to stay in motion. The fore arm pump comes on fast.
Mountain hikes and runs in the desert. Fast and light
Spring time is here – it is time to leave winter behind and get into gear.
While Terry and I are in the west managing the sun and 85 degree temps Steve and Dave are getting it done on Mt Washington. This past weekend was definitely a winter type experience on Mt Washington complete with howling winds and 3 inches of new snow. Steve and Dave ventured into the Gulf of Slides area and skied 5 runs in the south bowl and a few numbered gullys. The skiing was very good and from the smiles on there faces it looks tike a very fun time.
MMG guide Steve enjoying the spring skiing!!!
Views out of the gulf area.
Dave getting ready for some turns!!!
Skinning, climbing and switchbacks all lead to the perfect run.
Thanks to Dave and Steve.
Our good friend Margie and niece Alyssa made time to visit Terry and I in the Red Rock Canyon area. There is so much to do in the Red Rock area so we did not have any idle time on our hands. Right off the planes we ventured out into the canyons to hike, to climb on the soft sandstone and to bask in the desert sun.
Margie arrived first – coming from the long winter in the Seattle area she was ready for the warm weather activities. Terry and Margie had a lot to catch up on as its been two years since our last get together. Boy how time flys.
Alyssa came in next and turned us on to Yoga on the Rocks. As an advanced yogi shen was able to demonstrate advanced inversion poses both on a rope and on the smooth slabs on rock at the base of the climbs. We in turn gave her some guidance on the stone. Alyssa picked up the transitions from ground yoga poses to the rock movements on a vertical wall with ease.
The coolness of the morning air drew us out to the desert for hikes. The early morning light, long shadows, brought a beautiful beginning to each day .
Margie, Terry and I at the Bellagio Resort viewing the fabulous display of spring flowers.
Margie getting reaquainted with the sandstone climbs – Red Rocks.
Alyssa starting off with ease on a 5.9 route at Conundrum Crag.
Alyssa – Shredding all Fear!!!
These poses requires focus, balance, power, and grace.
Early morning wake up hike.
Terry – Art
Great times with good friends and family.
Thanks Margie and Alyssa for putting some extra spring into our trip.
Art & Terry
For many of the visitors to Red Rocks the desert can be viewed afar as a bleak, dusty, barren area. It takes more than a drive through to fully appreciate what is out there just a short distance from the paved roads. On all our rock climbing trips there comes a time when we need a break from pulling down on the stone. These are the times we explore new areas and see what other activities are around. Today we took a hike in an area called Fossil Ridge that I have drove by many times – it was a short three mile circuit. Viewed from the road I never saw the beauty that lay up on this hillside – after all it was over by the gypsum mining area which we always avoided. The hike was amazing and we were treated with a beautiful display of desert flora.
Enjoy these amazing photos of the desert in spring bloom!!!
This is the road side view most visitors see of the desert.
As you leave the road the scene changes. Here the Mojave Yucca stands behind the blooming Globe Mallows.
Desert orchids in bloom.
Fish hook Cactus
Fossils from the past.
Barrel growing out of the rock.
This spring rock climbing trip was Derek’s and my third one running for the Peppercom Team and friends in Red Rocks of Las Vegas. Steve, Chris, Adel, Mark and Deivis were quite overdue for this warm weather vacation/break. The long lasting northeastern winter had certainly taken its affect on many of us and by now it was time to escape and have some fun climbing and adventuring in the desert.
The goals were set on day one by the team. It was decided that we have full days with lots of challenging rock climbing. Steep and technical sport routes, a few traditional lines with a mid week type break ascending Mt Wilson would keep us occupied for the five days. Right away the Wake Up wall kicked us into gear with a variety of climbing on slabs, cracks and overhangs. The Sunny and Steep Wall was next with a few burns on the steep climbs there and then a session on a little known route called the sport chimney which took on a sleeper type role for a 5.8 climb. These two days put smiles on everyones face and turned our eyes towards Mt Wilson.
How hard could it be to climb that peak – Mt Wilson? The day was full of bush wacking, route finding, 3rd and 4th class terrain with a spring storm adding some additional excitement. We titled the climb and day the 2014 Suffer fest as the First Creek Wash and overall Mt Wilson climb was no easy undertaking.
A few more days of cragging on the cracks and steeps routes at Cannibal Crag, the Black Corridor, and Physcial Graffiti rounded out the week nicely.
It was another fantastic spring break for us all. The desert is in bloom, the sun was high and warm, and there were lots of climbers around to meet and hang out with.
Enjoy the photos of our 2014 spring trip. If you are interested in a fun time on the sandstone rocks just outside Las Vegas get in touch. We are planning our October fall climbing days and weeks at this tim
Arrival at the wake Up wall.
Chris relaxing at the Sunny And Steep crag
“It was an awesome trip – probably the best yet! And Mount Wilson, aka ‘suffer fest 2014,’ was some legit type 2 fun.”
Deivis pulling down at Sunny and Steep
“Ditto. I can’t wait for the next adventure. These trips just get better every year.”
Chris on a 5.10c – how hard can this be!!!
Steve aka Repman and Chris on Mt Wilson
Margie and terry escaping the spring snow shower on Mt Wilson.
Long arduous climb above the wash.
Just sitting here at my desk, looking out my office window at the lingering snowbanks, and thinking about the warm(er) desert! I really appreciate the continuing opportunities to climb with you all, so thank you once again. I look forward to the next round of team Cody time soon. Until then…
Cheers, Derek – MMG Guide
Adel – Mammut logos on his gear.
Mark silhouetted on Caliban at Cannibal Crag.
“Great times as always everyone. I had a blast. Art and Derek you guys are awesome. I can’t wait till the next adventure! Next time were gonna beat Mt. Wilson’s ass haha.”
Adel raising the bar on a tough 5.10 at Cannibal Crag.
Red Rock Canyons.
Morning warm up on – Turtle Mountain.
Thanks guys it was a great week with you all.
I’m looking ahead to climbing with you this spring and summer in the northeast – at the Gunks, Rumney, North Conway and Acadia.
Chattanooga has become one of our favorite places to recreate in the spring and fall seasons. Terry and I made plans early as we knew we would be ready to escape the wintry march weather of the northeast. This March has been especially brutal in NH with cold temps and stormy weather for much of the month.
Lucky for us our timing was right, we arrived in Chattanooga with a sunny and seasonably warm forecast for our five day trip. The T Wall for trad and the Foster Falls sport routes were on the hit list.
The Tennessee Wall is a perfect place to warm up the fingers, hands, and body on the wide variety of moderate steep jam cracks and corners which are usually capped by a roof of some sort. The area is also south facing and we were on a mission to seek out the sunshine.
Foster falls is another favorite area of mine. The long sandstone wall has a few hundred sport routes – the warm ups start in the 5. 9 and 5’10 range and then its on to the harder testy sport climbs. The Crime Buttress is one of our favorite areas with a bunch of 5.11 and up routes on the steep slightly overhanging wall.
Chattanooga – the city is mid sized with plenty to do. Yoga is plentiful – we found an excellent studio called the Yoga Landing that offers a great variety of classes. There are lots of hikers, runners, bikers, climbers around – you can tell this is one of the better outdoor designations in the south east. Restaurants – we found excellent places to eat such as Sluggos, the Boathouse, and Mojo Burritos.
If you are looking for a quick three or four day adventure – I would say put this place – Chattanooga on the list
Foster Falls – in springtime condition.
Terry – first lead on the season – Golden Locks 5.8!!!
Terry sorting out the gear and the hand jams on Passages another 5.8 gem at the T Wall.
The T Wall is a shared area – copy this info you are planning a trip.
High Point Climbing Gym – brand new in downtown Chattanooga. Indoor and outdoor walls and a large bouldering section. We did not climb here as the weather was to nice – we opted for the outdoor fun.
Side walk activities.
Chattanooga has four bridges across the Tennessee River. We walked over the bridges in circuits each morning. The bridge in the photos has been closed to motor traffic and is now only a foot bridge for walkers, runners, and bikers
Our good friend Tim was spending the winter here. We met up and he showed us a quiet crag that is just being developed. Terry is seconding a very nice 5.11b route.
Tim D giving me a proper blue point belay.
The steep climbs at Foster Falls.
I’ve got to say we are now refreshed from all this southern fun.
Saturday brought on the entire range of winter conditions. I was surely surprised at the 39 degree temp outside our morning meet up at the Highland Center. Somewhat overdressed for the deep trail breaking mission that lay ahead Danny, Cindy and I entered the forest and began our ascent of Mt Washington on the Ammo Trail. The snow was as deep as expected, our only advantage was the MRS snowshoes we were footed with kept us afloat. We climbed steadily with shoes all the way to Lakes of the Clouds.
Once above the trees the winds picked up and the temps started dropping. The forecast was coming true with high winds and wind chill warnings for late in the day. With micro spikes now on our pace quickened on the supportive snowpack. Our moves were like those of a drunken person as we wavered to maintain balance in the high winds.
After a tough push on the summit cone the peak was reached just after the noon hour.
The weather gods gave us a break this time. Our upper mountain descent was uneventful and the temps and winds maintained a moderate level. We enjoyed our travels down the summit cone to Lakes of the Clouds with good views towards Vermont and New York.
Our final descent was a blast – the deep snow the Ammo Trail gave us the green light for the luge run of the year.
Thanks to Danny and Cindy for this fun Mt Rainier training day on Mt Washington.