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Utah Vacation Update #3

July 26th, 2009 Comments off

We are home now… time for another update… let’s see where did I leave off…

Friday, June 17th, we stopped to see some more of the geyser basin stopping at the Black Sand Basin and the Midway Geyser Basin. The Emerald Pool and the Prismatic Pool were both fascinating, but I think the Prismatic Pool would have been much better seen from a higher elevation looking down on the pool. Afterward we stopped at the Brink of the Upper Falls to catch a view of some waterfalls. For dinner we went on a chuck wagon tour. We rode out in a covered wagon, seeing more bison along the way, before arriving at the cookout. The all you can eat buffet with cornbread, beans, steak, and more was great. I think I went back for 3 plates of food before all was said and done.

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Saturday we had to break camp and get over to Yellowstone Lake where we would spend a few hours kayaking. Chris was placed into a solo kayak where he quickly mastered steering without using the rudder and also feathered his paddles. He pulled some really nice turns and was pretty much showing off. Another party in the group was struggling and that particular mom could find no right in her son. Pretty sad. We did get to see some geysers right next to the lakes edge and a moose and wandered down to the lake for a drink. After kayaking we begin the drive south toward Moab, UT. On the drive out we spotted yet another Bison… this time walking in front of some steam vents.

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Sunday we were going to go to a dinosaur exhibit in Salt Lake City. After finding it closed, we decided to go take in the latest Harry Potter film showing at the theater next door. The slow paced weekend allowed us to get some laundry done, update the blog, and rest up before our climbing and canyoneering adventures were about to begin.

Monday evening we went out with our guide to Potash Road or Wall Street. This was our introduction to crack climbing in the desert. We climbed 30 Seconds Over Potash. This had to be the hardest 5.8 I’ve ever climbed. I know part of it is just being outdoors, and part of it is crack climbing, but wow that was hard! Afterward we moved over to Flakes of Wrath which is rated 5.9. It took me two tries, but I was able to get this one.

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Tuesday morning we started really early meeting Aimee at 6:00 and driving out to Indian Creek to climb Twin Crack (5.9) and then Gorilla (5.10). Gorilla pretty much did me in… I was exhausted at the end of the climb. I felt like most of climb I would make a couple of moves and then rest while Aimee had me on belay. Tuesday evening we followed Aimee’s husband, Jim, out to a campground in Arches National Park. The cloud cover was pretty heavy when we went to bed. I was hoping for a spectacular view of the stars as this is supposed to be the darkest skies in the U.S. I was rewarded when I awoke about 11:30pm and saw stars that were phenomenal.

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Wednesday morning Chris was itching to go on a bike ride so he took Jim’s bike and went on an 8-mile ride on a loop near the campground. Vicky and I drove the loop to capture some photos of some arches. Afterward, Jim took us on a canyoneering trip into Fry Canyon where we did a 75 ft repel and saw some Indian ruins. We also caught a glimpse of an owl – Great Horned Owl we believe. After the canyoneering we took a scenic drive on our way back to Moab. While the drive was nice, we didn’t get back to town until 8:30pm and we still needed to setup camp, get groceries, shower, eat and get ready for bed – and we have to meet Aimee and 6:30am. No rest for the weary!

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Thursday turned into one of the highlights of the trip as we set out to climb Ancient Arts in the Fishcer Towers area. Vicky and I both used aide (5.8 A0) to help us get up the route while Chris freed the route (5.10d) to the summit.

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Categories: Rock Climbing, Utah 2009, Vacations Tags:

2009 Nationals Update

July 12th, 2009 Comments off

Chris climbed very strong during the qualifying round yesterday having completed his first climb and then hitting usable surface on the final hold of his second qualifier route. 5 other climbers flashed both routes putting Chris in a very solid 6th place.

The semi-final round today was nerve racking as the route had some tricky moves that could easily be miss read. Chris worked his to about 4 or 5 holds from the finish. Chris is currently tied for 11th place and has earned a spot in the finals tomorrow. This will be Chris’ first trip into finals… good times!

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Running Orders for Nationals

July 3rd, 2009 Comments off

The running orders for Nationals were posted earlier today. For our team, the order looks like:

  • Andrew: 1st out of 36, check-in deadline 8:30 am
  • Chris C.: 11th out of 33, check-in deadline 4:00 pm
  • Cole: 19th out of 36, check-in deadline 10:18 am
  • Chris G.: 26th out of 33, check-in deadline 5:30 pm
  • Ashley: 26th out of 34, check-in deadline 5:30 pm

More information and details can be found at the SCS Nationals web page.

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