apAdventures » Route Climbing

…and the route climbing persists

September 18th, 2019


climbing at The Murray Wall on Mt. Lemmon

posted by ARR

Route Climbing?

August 4th, 2019

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!

The kids are really into this route-climbing business. Should I be worried? ;-)

posted by ARR

Summer gym memberships for the WHOLE FAMILY!

September 25th, 2015

Kids really got psyched about this. We went 2-3 times a week!

posted by arr

Ivan Goes to Maple

June 12th, 2012

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

Cute Ivan

Cute Silas

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

Maple Canyon Trip Report

June 11th, 2012

…coming soon!

posted by arr

The 4 of us

May 29th, 2012

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

The Playpen (34.5lbs) Goes to Maple…

July 27th, 2010

…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

Maple Canyon

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


June 27th, 2010

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!

More wimpering

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

Wee Elaine

Silas & Liz

Hey no crashpads. This is kinda nice.

Posted by arr

Father’s Climbing Day

June 20th, 2010

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

Goin’ Vertical

July 22nd, 2009

“Goin’ Vertical.” This is Paul’s classic phrase when standing under a route climb, tied into the sharp end, ready to ascend. We’ve all heard it, we all know it. Classic Paul. Problem is, it’s been soooo long since we’ve put a rope on that this phrase seems a bit old-school….or “80’s” as our friend Mike so bluntly put it – hearing it for the first time last weekend. Ok, so maybe that’s a bit exaggerated. It’s been a while since we route climbed, but not decades. I think our last roped adventure was Indian Creek…3 or so years ago. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not so long…is it? Well, if you compare it to 9 months of pregnancy, yeah it seems like forever!!

Which brings me to the “Why.” Why routes now? Why ditch the bouldering and have to deal with the bothersome logistics of gear, ropes and oh-so-boring belaying? Why? Because this chickie here ain’t havin’ fun on the boulders no more – that’s why! 16+ extra pounds with a big ‘ol belly in the way of my hand-foot-matches and abs barely strong enough to sit myself up in bed at night is just plain crampin’ my style! Yeah, that’s why! Solution: My fancy new full-body harness* and route climbing…err, easy route climbing, that is. And top-roping of course. Now let’s just see how much longer this full-body harness will fit me and the bambino….

Paul on Delirious, 5.12a Mt. Lemmon, Arizona

Paul belaying Holly on just another Mt. Lemmon slab. Bored?

Me and the bambino hanging out under the Enchanted Tower, New Mexico

The Enchanted Tower, NM

Boulderers in route climbing gear! Gah! We’re not in Hueco anymore, Django. Mike (climbing), Jeff, Paul and Raquel

Mike sending Humpty Dumpty, 5.12a at the Enchanted Tower, NM

My Morgie

Morgan’s buddy Django

Mike cleaning Rubber Mission, 5.12b after Paul’s send of the extension to the top of the Tower, Mission Impossible, 5.12d

A view from the Tower down to our cozy little campsite (see the van?)

posted by arr

* Note: For the non-climbers reading this blog, a full body harness secures the climber around the shoulders and legs verses the waist. Top-roping provides a method of climbing where you are secured to the rope at all times and do not fall when you let go from the wall. This allows the climber to continue to comfortably and safely exercise with zero impact to the belly.