posted by ARR
climbing at The Murray Wall on Mt. Lemmon
posted by ARR
We changed it up a bit this summer – bought a rope and tied in! Here are some random shots from Mt. Lemmon. We’ve been heading up there and doing routes most weekends this summer. Climbing local is quite a treat…so easy!
Don’t get me wrong though – this mama is totally antsy to get back to the boulders ASAP!
posted by ARR
For the last few years we’ve been coordinating a yearly climbing trip to Hueco Tanks with our dear friends Brian and Jen from Pittsburgh and their two kids Seb & Oren. This year, we all decided to mix it up a bit and do something different (read: April decided she was waaaay to pregnant and miserable this spring to enjoy climbing and toasts of tequila at Hueco). We decided on route climbing in Maple Canyon, Utah instead…after Ivan’s birth. Jen & Brian had never been to Maple so we were excited to introduce them to it. And it had been a while since the last time Paul and I were there. For a humorous refresher on our last trip, read here: The Playpen Goes to Maple.
All in all, this trip was a success. While we don’t really have any big tick list to report, we did get plenty of climbing in even with the logistics of keeping a 5-week-old warm, clean (relatively speaking) and happy. And we got to catch up with good friends and introduce little Ivan to them all. In addition to Brian, Jen, Seb & Oren, our dear friend Linda also met up with us as did our german buddies Grit & Manu (whom we hadn’t seen since Swizzy when I was pregnant with Silas). And wait there’s more: we also got to see my sis Holly and boyfriend Joe as well as THE one and only Courtney who all live in SLC.
It felt good to stretch our muscles doing what we love best after such a big chunk of time off. The forearm pump, the feel of a rock hold in my hands, the apprehension of a hard move, the joy of making it to the top without falling – love it. It felt good to work my lungs and legs lugging heavy packs and kids up a long and steep trail to the rocks. It felt good to yell the coined climber cheers “C’mon. Nice.” to my husband and friends as they fought their way to the top of the climbs. It felt good to collapse down in a camp chair, exhausted after a hard day’s play with a cold beer or sip of whisky, wishing that a dinner genie would magically appear and make dinner for us. It felt good to sit by the fire late into the night, surrounded by great company, discussing the routes of the day and the crux moves that made us fall. It felt good to get all dirty and greasy over the course of multiple days and the ultimate satisfaction of a shower at last! And most importantly it felt good to be out….all 4 of us now (plus brown dog Morgan!)….climbing, camping, hiking, playing. Having fun.
Perhaps contrary to popular belief given the lack of posts over the last 9 months and then the huge dump of new baby photos, this website has not fully turned to all-baby all-the-time. There will be climbing. Lots of climbing. Lots and lots of climbing. This trip was a hearty “smack of the reset button” as Paul so perfectly put it on the drive home. :-)
4.5 week old Ivan all cozy in the van on his first roadtrip
First stop: Flagstaff Arizona, our campsite for the night
Ivan digs the site
Silas checking out the Glen Canyon Dam
Our second campsite somewhere in southern Utah on the way to Maple Canyon (yes, it took us 2 days to get there. Hey, we were being leisurely!)
There were horses at this campsite. Silas’ reaction: “Soooo cooool. Soooo aaaaawesome.” Where could he possibly be getting these words from?!
We’re here Ivan! Maple Canyon! Open your eyes!
Linda on Zen Fen, 5.9 at the Zen Garden
Silas with diggers
Dad with Ivan
Grit with Manu
Ivan with gear
Seb (9 years old) on Zen Fen, 5.9
Silas watching mt. biking videos with Joe at his and Holly’s place near Park City
Aunt Holly hanging out with Ivan for the first time
Ivan chillin’ at the crag
Motors running in The Pipedream cave (I wish I had a sound recorder for this!)
Brian sending Deliverance, 5.12c despite the loud motor derby below
Oren (6.5 years old) on Bob’s Bolts, 5.4 at The Schoolroom
Silas and dad roping up
Silas scoping Bob’s Bolts, 5.4
Silas working the bottom 7 feet of Bob’s Bolts, 5.4
Sorry dad, diggers still rule over climbing
Jen and Oren
Linda looking all hot-climber-chick
The crew goofing off at The Bridge Buttress
Jen on an unnamed 5.10d at The Bridge Buttress
Dad and Ivan hanging out at The Pipedream again
Paul redpointing Orgasmo, 5.12c at The Pipedream
Jen on a redpoint burn of Deliverance, 5.12c at The Pipedream (which she later sent, yeah grrrl)
The drive home. Another stop in Flagstaff and a hike up on Mt. Humpreys
Mama and Silas on the Weatherford Trail on Mt. Humphreys
Dad and Ivan on the Weatherford Trail on Mt. Humphreys
Livin’ it up during the last few hours of the vacation: a Sammy Smith’s Brown Ale toast to the new family and our first adventure together
posted by arr
After 7 total weeks of having the grandparents here in one combination or another (first my mom, then my mom & dad, then Paul’s mom, then Paul’s mom & dad), it is now just the 4 of us. It’s quiet and a bit lonely…but only for a minute or two until either Silas or Ivan perks up with a cry, a shriek, a giggle or a long-winded story about screwdrivers, diggers or helicopters. The extra help was absolutely wonderful. Paul and I even got some date-afternoon’s out of it! :-) A big humungous thank-you hug to Grandma, Papa, Pittsburgh Grandma, & Pap Pap!!!! Thank you!
Now we’re busy packing for our next adventure: a climbing/camping trip to Maple Canyon, Utah. Woohoo!
Grandma & Silas reading Curious George
Pap Pap & Silas cuddling
Ivan giving Pap Pap a big squeezy hug goodbye
posted by arr
…as do the diapers, wipes, bottles, toys, changing pad, baby Patagucci fleece hoodie, burp cloth, extra outfit in case of a diaper blow-out, plastic garbage bag to hold diaper blow-out, books, binky, sunhat (~5lbs), baby backpack and baby (22lbs).
Add to that the standard sport climbing gear: 70m rope (11.24lbs), 21 quickdraws (5lbs), harnesses, chalkbags, shoes, food (~2lbs), water (~2lbs),
Add to that 1 extra gal. of water for the dog because we didn’t think to bring her doggie backpack (~8.35lbs).
Grand total = 90.09lbs
Split that between April and I = 45.05lbs/person
Then carry that for about a 1 hour hike (from the lowest Maple Canyon campsite because all the others were booked), uphill to the Pipe Dream Cave in 80 degree 100% humidity heat at 7AM to beat the crowds.
Then try to send.
Throughout my 14 years of climbing I’ve often been faced with undesirable circumstances when wanting to climb. I’ve sat 4 hrs in a car with a dog drooling on my back (without the recommended raincoat) on the way to the NRG, walked around all day in dress shoes and shorts at Hueco in the winter because I forgot my approach shoes and pants, sat for 24 hrs continuously in seats that didn’t recline on a flight to South Africa, climbed with chills and a fever in France because there were only 4 days left in the climbing trip (cuz if it ain’t rainin’ in Font you better be climbin’), shared a shot of whiskey with a good old West Virginia local sporting a fishing rod and a pistol just to make sure I was on his good side in order to feel at home at the crag…just to name a few.
So as my cotton underwear sagged from sweat and the thin straps of the playpen bag started to rub my shoulders raw, I noticed a slight smile creep onto my face, the smile of insanity. And then I looked back at April to check her upward progress. When our eyes met we couldn’t hold in the chuckle of a madman. “What the hell are we doing?” No sooner did we notice our extreme situation when two people hiked up and asked us if we were backpacking. “Nope, climbing” we both replied without hesitation, in unison. And that sums it up. We’re simply climbing. Climbing in crappy circumstances is better than not climbing at all, as April would say. As soon as my feet leave the ground it no longer matters how far I drove, how long I hiked, or how much weight I carried to get here. We love it, all three of us!
Rest stop on the 15 hr drive to Maple Canyon, Utah
Silas stretching his chubby legs
Two days in campsite #9 before we got booted to the bottom of the canyon
The 34.5lb playpen
Silas doesn’t seem to mind its weight
Chillin’ at the Zen Garden
Chillin’ at the Pipe Dream Cave
The Pipe Dream
Morgan without doggie backpack. Lucky dog
Resting after a day of insanity
Pancakes for fuel after day of insanity
Silas loving the Pipe Dream
The campsite at the bottom of the canyon
April’s sister Holly in the Schoolroom. She and Joe joined us for two days from SLC
Me onsighting Sweet Peas, 5.12a
April on Sweet Peas, 5.12a
Aunt Holly and baby Silas checking out the cobbles
Joe on Sweet Peas
Me onsighting the soft 50, 5.13a
Joe leading a 5.9 at the Oxygen Wall
Silas is #1
An interesting stop on the way home
The Colorado River below the Navajo Bridge
Posted by pjv
Lots of exciting new happenings going on down here in this hot neck of the desert. First off, yes, it’s still over 100 degrees outside, which has been driving us to higher ground: Mt. Lemmon. Hiking, running, and now finally….drum roll please…ROUTE CLIMBING! Yes, boulderers, you heard me right. We’ve climbed routes now two weekends in a row, and we’re planning on doing more of the same next weekend….a route record for us over the last 5 or so years I’d say. We’ve decided that it’s just plain too hot to train hard outside on the woody, not to mention the nearby boulders. Also to make matter worse, our beloved cool pines of Flagstaff are dealing with some nasty fires. Ahh, alas the rope it is then. I have to admit, I am just a teensy bit excited to change it up.
Me wimpering up The Adventures of Nad & Huck, 5.9. Hey! It’s been a while people!
My boys with a front row seat for the wimpering
Matt showing off for wee Elaine (his 7 week newborn!) and wife Liz on Ain’t My First Rodeo, 5.11
Linda and her furry baby, Seana
The Seana looking very majestic
Trying to get Silas to take a nap in his “nest” at the crag
Silas & Liz
Hey no crashpads. This is kinda nice.
Posted by arr
For Paul’s first Father’s Day, I thought it might be a good idea to round up other fellow climbing fathers to spend the day climbing with, while us mamas looked after the babies. So Tom, Mia and Henry joined us up at The Helmet on Mt. Lemmon for some route climbing today. And we had fun!! …but I think I can speak for the fathers in that these two bouldering-boys need some more endurance! haha. :-)
The fathers getting serious to climb some routes: Tom & Paul
Mama and her baby: Mia & Henry
My baby: Silas
Posted by arr