Spring Blur

April 21st, 2024

A quick recap of a jammed packed spring:

Gymnastics, gymnastics and more gymnastics
…requiring a trip to Las Vegas, where we made a short escape to Red Rocks between Silas’ competition on a Friday, and Ivan’s on a Sunday
Lucky for us, all other comps were in Phoenix this year
Which was good because both kiddos qualified for Regionals, with Silas making the Arizona All Star Team!
…and he has now also qualified for Western Nationals, which is next weekend
After over a dozen comps this winter/spring, I finally warmed up to the idea of hotel’n it to simplify all the driving back and forth to Phoenix. While the van will always hold the place of first class accommodations in my book, when there is no place to park it other than on pavement and after a disgusting experience of The Worst Hotel Room Ever in trying to save a buck, I finally was won over to the more comfortable option of a nice hotel. Alright, alright I’ll go with it! At least for just this chapter in life.


In between comps we squeaked out some trail mileage, for my sanity
Chiva Falls in the nearby Rincon Mountains, 9 miles
Paul literally dragged me away from my work computer for this gorgeous evening run one super busy day amongst the chaos. A trailhead less than 10 minutes from the house is very convenient when life is in the blur state. And Paul is a good husband. 😊
Our desert babies delighted by the concept of mud puddles after a rainy day hike to Douglas Springs Campground, 12 miles, also in the Rincon Mountains
Douglas Springs Campground was fun, but taking the same trail past the backpackers campground and on to Cowhead Saddle at 18 miles round trip and 4k feet elevation gain is more fun, especially when it’s my birthday

And capping off our busy spring craziness:

A week at our favorite place on earth
No trip to Yosemite is complete without a little weather. And yes, those are snowflakes you see there whipping around
Ivan and I ignoring the rain and “warming up” on Unnamed Mantel, v1 on the Goodrich Boulder in Camp 4. Gotta work for these v1s baby! Love it!
Paul sends another highball classic on the Yosemite bouldering tick list, Cookie Monster, v7. Why must all the “classics” be highballs? 🙄
A rowdy game of Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza with Paul’s parents, who joined us for a good portion of the trip
Kids did a day with grandparents while Paul and I raced up Snow Creek trail. Only 10 miles covered in total, but the 3,000 foot elevation gain was only over 2-3 miles! It’s 4 days later as I write this and my booty is STILL sore!
Snow Creek! Yeah, really
Ivan on his favorite climb of the trip, Unnamed Face, v0 at the Bridalveil Boulders
Despite the last few months being packed full with everything *but* climbing, I managed to pull off a send of a problem I found last trip but didn’t have the juice to put together, Bionic Traverse, v5. Yes there was battle, and yes said battle destroyed any hope of sending anything else in this short one-week trip. But I did it gosh dang it! Sore booty and all!
Big tree
Bigger tree
Last day best day. Circuit Breaker, v2 / 5.11b

Watch out summer, here we come.

posted by ARR

Full Weekend

January 29th, 2024
Two Moves for Sister Sarah, v3
The Feather, v11
Devil’s Butthole, v6

Gymnastics meet in Phoenix followed by Hueco bouldering in El Paso. 😳

posted by ARR

More West Mountain

January 16th, 2024
Paul, and now Michael too, continue to work out The Feather, v11
Silas continues to find very precarious places to chill
Ivan sends Kang, v3
And I try out 1969, v9…less than 24 hours after having a conversation with my friend Raquel on how I was taking a break at trying climbs at my upper limit.
Alas, I am such a sucker for hard movement. But I will try very hard not to drag my family here for weeks on end trying to put this one together!

posted by ARR

Gorgeous Sunset Run

January 15th, 2024

When the opportunity presents itself, snatch it and run!

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Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2024

Starting the year off with a great run on a gorgeous desert day.

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A West Mountain Day

December 29th, 2023

…and I don’t mean skirting around the bottom of West, enjoying the easy-to-get-to ground level classics. A West Mountain Day is a big day. A day where there is hard manual labor, skill and sometimes bravery required to get oneself to the climb of the day, so much in fact that it can become difficult to discern the effort spent climbing from the effort spent on the approach/descent, as one is just as demanding as the other. On days like this it’s best not to do the math. Never mind that you may have just spent more time hauling heavy pads up and over and through and under boulders than you did actually climbing boulders. Never mind that the full-body work over of soreness and exhaustion might not be from the climbing, but the getting to and from the climbs. Never mind that that wide leap over the gaping pit of death with a heavy pad and flip flops may have scared the shit out of you worse than today’s highball. It’s best to never mind all that. Because the mission is the climbing, and all the rest just minor details that never make the evening’s recap of the most amazing climbing day ever.

The top of West Mountain, here we come
Looking down on North Mountain
Poop, v0. Not as bad as the name makes it out to be
More Poop
Duodenum, v1
Higher up on Duodenum, v1
Boop, v3. These are seriously the worst names ever
Planet Zeist, v6. Classic
The Feather, v11. Ultra classic

posted by ARR

A Tucson Christmas

December 27th, 2023

We opted to stay home for Christmas this year versus the whirlwind tour of east coast friends and family that we typically do. This decision was quite a big deal, as we’ve been traveling east for the holidays for the last 19 (nineteen!!) years, with only 3 exception years. There are pros and cons to all that holiday traveling and also pros and cons to staying home. Fact is, neither option is perfect, which is fine. And traditions morph over time, which is also fine. As a good friend of our’s recently put it, trying to keep everything the same year after year is not only impracticable, but downright impossible given that the entropy of the universe is always increasing. With chaos and disorder growing with each passing day, how can one possibly expect anything in life to remain the same? Traditions included? Upon hearing this I immediately drew a correlation in my mind of the chaos and disorder that Paul and I thought we were in when Silas and Ivan were little babies, and how I sometimes long for what now appears to be those simpler times. Today’s chaos and disorder is SO much greater than in those days! Bottom line, there is just no holding the universe back people. And so, we had an absolutely lovely Tucson Christmas this year, complete with plenty of entropy but with the spirit of all our friends and family traditions still firmly intact.

posted by ARR

Home for the Holidays

December 26th, 2023

Merry Christmas!

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Another Buffet Day

December 23rd, 2023

“Buffet Day” is a term we use to describe a day out at the boulders where one goes from boulder to boulder, sampling various climbs, sending only what one can do quickly. We’ve decided to be in sampling mode these first few trips to Hueco, trying out the new stuff, or stuff we’ve never been on. What I love about Buffet Days: there’s no “saving” oneself for the big proj. Just throw yourself at something and send now! And if the climb sucks, move on!

Today’s Buffet Day highlights:

Ok, so this is clearly not a Buffet Day boulder problem. It’s sunrise at our campsite. And dang beautiful at that!
Ivan running right up Gingivitis, v2, a piece of rock we’ve walked by a million times but never climbed
And right next to it, Third Reich, v5. Quite good, and not too hard
Next, Paul burls his way up Orpheus, v6. And then we both sample the v8 that climbs into it from the left, Eurydice
Needing one last helping from the buffet before calling it a day, Ivan asked if we could go back to Orifice Affair, v1. So psyched we did because: Send! (Today felt WAY easier than the other day. Perhaps a hold didn’t break after all, haha)
Ok, just one more climb. Paul attempting Smooth Move, v7. A massive dyno. No send but sure fun to try.

Great day!

Posted by ARR

Winter Solstice Sledding

December 21st, 2023

Well, today was supposed to be a climbing day at Hueco. But thanks to a southwestern winter storm that decided to plant itself over El Paso for way longer than forecasted, we needed to find another adventure for the day. Sled riding anyone?

White Sands, New Mexico. Happy Winter Solstice!

posted by ARR