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.
The past few weeks has been a pretty amazing guiding time for me. Very fortunate comes to mind, as my work as a guide brings me in contact with so many positive, energetic and interesting guests.
This photo blog shows just that – in the course of my recent work with Mooney Mountain Guides our guests, family members and friends have been turned on to adventure climbing events in amazing New Hampshire places. The climbing is plentiful and varied whether we are on skis, on the ice, or ascending a mountain. Smiles are plentiful with suffering common too – but one thing we all commonly enjoy, is reaching for the top!!!
Margie and Dylan – on an exciting adventure – out of the normal routine!
Roland buffing out his ski touring skills to prep for the Haute Route.
Conditions were icy but we made the best of a sunny day and had a full mountain tour.
Long time guest Aubrey getting after the steep ice at the Flume.
Aubrey is a technician on the ice and mixed – armed with Petzl Ergo tools and footed with Boreal Ice shoes.
Laurie – a mother, a professional, a mountain traveler, and now an ice climbing addict.
Laurie and I had three amazing days sampling ice climbs in the notches of NH.
Laurie – mixing it up from ice to the stone.
Lisa and Sylvain drove south from Montreal to ski tour on Mt Cardigan. We had an absolute blast spending the day together.
The ski tour turned into a mountain climb – with grand smiles on top of the summit.
Mike has been with MMG for twelve years – it all started with skiing. He brings his entire family on some events but this one was just for him. Steep ice was our goal and we had at it.
Two sunny but cold days one at Crawford Notch and the other at Newfound Lake.
Thanks to all of you for climbing with me – it has been a pleasure and I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Margie and Dylan were up for an unusual adventure. They both enjoy trying new sports and do like to push their limits. Margie is an avid runner and Dylan is in season playing hockey. Both were very fit and up for the task of a steep mountain approach to start the day. Once we accessed the ice climbs the ball was rolling and we climbed and climbed!!!
Usually a family outing is learning the moves on the slab route and climbing it a few times, then maybe the gully on the left for a finnish of the day. Dylan was not ready he kept asking for something steeper and harder. Our finale was the center route where both Dylan and Margie climb a line right up the steeper headwall.
It was an awesome day with two very energetic climbers.
Margie learning the ropes right away while Dylan climbs above.
Ready for the ice – Petzl Quarks in hand.
Time to replenish – the engines are running low.
Dylan on the ice, ready to climb inside the cave, and icicles to take away.
Thank you Margie and Dylan
Had a great day climbing with my brother Mike and Nephew Emmett at Kinsman Notch. Emmett recently saw some of my ice photos on Facebook and he really wanted to give ice climbing a try. I think he’s hooked on the sport and will be back again. We had an excellent day climbing, exploring, and sliding in the snow. It was a fantastic winter adventure for all.
Emmett – armed and dangerous!
Emmett learning the craft.
Time to climb
Emmett reaching the top on the Shamrock route.
Mike back on the ice – its been awhile but he got right into the swing of things.
Mike again on the steep pillar of ice – nice job on this one.
Kinsman ice caves – very cool place.
The Mooney’s – Mike, Emmett, Art
Happy ending the glissade.
Smiles all around – thanks to Mike and Emmett for making the long journey to NH.
The ski conditions are pretty nice in the NH area right now. This past storm blanketed the area with over a foot of light and dry powder and ski tourers are out and about on the mountain trails. Paul and I enjoyed a full day over at Mt Cardigan yesterday. We skied the Alexandria Trail and the Dukes Trail both from the top. The Alexandria was bumped out like a ski area but the Dukes had a nice carpet of snow that made turns a bit easier and smoother.
During our tour we met up with friends Missy and Jay and toured with them on the Dukes. Jay is a Cardigan regular and he took us into one of his secret stashes for a bit of untracked snow.
Paul getting into his stride skinning up the hill.
Paul topping out on our second run.
The upper Dukes area – great place for a transition, food and drinks, to ready us for the long downhill run through the forest.
Paul in the secret powder stash.
Thanks to Paul – great fun ski touring with you.
Each week is so different in the guiding I do. I move around NH and Vermont climbing on the ice climbs, different peaks and all over the rock faces. It is a very challenging and exciting line of work that I love. This past weekend after a week on the ice I met up with a great group of new climbers and headed to the peaks to learn and practice skills for a couple of winter ascents. Our prep led us to climb NH’s big one – Mt Washington.
Ten of us summited the mountain in whiteout conditions. Being on top with this group was a fantastic experience for sure. We were able to climb efficiently and safely up and down – and all came home with great memories of a weekend adventure that will last a while.
Enjoy the trip photos of our Mt Washington climb.