Posts Tagged “climbing”

The busiest week of the semester is over.  This is good.  All that remains is a week of 3 exams and then a month of sweet, sweet break time.  So as a mental break before the begining of this past week a few of us went out bouldering.  The place we went is called  Boulder City and it’s in the Falcon Colorado bouldering guide book.  The link above will show you where it’s at, and a proper map or knowledgable local will get you there.  High clearance would be a good idea, dont need 4-wheel drive though.  We spent quite some time on this V3 traverse which was super fun.  Also, that same day, a buddy and I drove up to get some shots of our project research areas near by and spotted some bighorns.  Always great to see some wildlife!  Here are a few pictures from the day…check out my flickr stream under Links to the right for a few more.
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Big Horn Sheep
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View from the bouldering area
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Bryce, sending.

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This past weekend we had a 3 day weekend that provided the perfect opportunity to have a ASAP staff training on rock climbing site management and anchor building down in Tres Piedras.  We went over safety and techniques for managing a top-rope (what you would see in gyms) and top-belay (belaying from the top of the climb) as well as how to set up the anchors for each respective method.  Myself and another ASAP employee, Rob, led lessons on knots, gear, gear  placements, anchor theory, and how to safely manage the area when leading trips.  A local badass and longtime professional climbing/mountaineering guide, Mark, was with us and went into detail on all of these systems and proved, as always, an invaluable resource for the training.  I dont know if he will read this but…Mark, you rock.  It was awesome having you with us!   Here are some pics from the trip:

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Going over one of the anchors we built.

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Cora, working on getting the rope down to the ground from the anchor.

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A tricam, in passive mode (just google “tricam”); Dan belaying in the background.

For those of you who may be checking out Adams and are into the outdoors, ASAP will get you where you want to go.  Maybe you want to go hit up the local rock climbing spots on the weekend or  go to Wolf Creek to get your deep powder fix.  Or, maybe you are looking for a sweet (the sweetest?) job on campus that will keep you involved and teach you a tremendous amount of skills across the spectrum of outdoor recreation.  Get outside!

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Tomorrow, the Adams State Climbing Club will be going to the School of Mines in Golden, CO for the first Collegiate Climbing Series (CCS) competition of the season.  There will be 5 comps spread out over this semester and next spring.  They are always a good time and a great way to meet other climbers from other schools.  Wish us luck!

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Yesterday, another volunteer and I hit up some sport climbing outside of the park.  It gets really hot here in the summer so now is the time to get out there.  The climbs were short, and fun.  I found what looked like some petrified wood in the sandstone as well.  Heres a picture of said wood, and the Green Valley canyon we were in.
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Yesterday we hosted our comp for the Collegiate Climbing Series.  The showing from other schools was a bit disappointing but the comp as a whole was a lot of fun.  For the comp we had to strip all of the holds that were on the wall and then re-set all new routes.  Being a competitor in this comp, I wasn’t allowed to climb any of these until yesterday.  Im pretty stoked on having a new set of boulder problems and routes to project on.  So I’ll be spending the next few weeks working on those and hopefully getting outside to climb on some real rock.  The snow is melting quickly and only remains in places that get no sun.  The wind has picked up and the temps are warm so I think I’m going to go do some kite flying!  See ya!

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Last Saturday was the first of the Collegiate Climbing Series for the Rocky Mountain Region.  We took 1st in men’s beginner, and 1st and 2nd in the women’s beginner categories.  The rest of the team got a decent foundation for some points as well which are cumulative over the series.  The series is comprised of 5 competitions, all but one of which are in Colorado.  This year is my first year competing and while I’ve only been to one of the comps, its been a lot of fun.  Sorry, no pictures this time but I will try and get some at the next comp.

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Day one of the semester has come and I couldn’t be more ready.  However, the winter break was amazing and hit all angles of fun, learning, and straight up laziness.  First on the break agenda was a 10 day trip to Arizona with a few friends to climb around the Phoenix area.  Warm sunny days and cool nights (not unlike Alamosa), led to some pretty amazing climbing weather.  This was the first time we were down there so much of the time was spent looking for the climbs and scoping things out but we definitely found some gems down there.  Queen Creek and Devils Canyon are amazing if you are interested.

Next on the agenda was another 10 day jaunt.  This time back to the homeland and other side of the country: Charlottesville, VA.  This is where the general laziness ensued.  It was perfect.  Seeing old friends and juggling with my old Air Raid Juggling Club crew was truly fantastic.  The juggling back in the “C-Ville” definitely rejuvenated my passion for passing clubs.

From there it was back home to Alamosa.  The Adventure Program here at school was doing a “Winter Intensive Training” that I was part of.  Other than the lack of feeling in my toes every day for 5 days it was great.  We did avalanche training, ice climbing and anchors, and learned the art (read: hours of digging) of making a quinzhee (hint: pile snow on top of backpacks to save some digging time).  During that training I found a new love: alpaca socks.  Just get some, you will understand.

Now its time for the spring semester of school and as I said before I couldn’t be more ready…and excited!  I kind of miss the routine of school and the early mornings of drinking coffee and listening to music before class.  Im super stoked for my Mountain Geography class and Adams State  is going to be hosting a climbing comp in April.  There is a new area of relatively untapped climbing to be explored as well.  All in all, its gonna be a good semester.

Here are a few pictures from the break…

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I can feel it.  Project due dates are nearing, tests are around every corner, and work to do outside of class is like a steady stream, always flowing, always there.  This is, of course, a pretty standard college semester.  However, I can feel the apex of the semester approaching at top speed.  It’s that point where all the big projects seem to be due at once, it’s your last chance to bump your grade to the next letter up, and where all classes converge into a black hole of brain melt.  As always, time management is key and distractions are in abundance.

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The view while leaving our research area.

The Soils project is going along smoothly.  Our second trek to the field is this Saturday and it should be our last.  We didn’t get some needed info last time we were out and we also lacked a needed tool:  the bucket auger.  So, this time we will be digging lots of holes to help identify soil horizons (layers) we weren’t able to last week.  From there, its to the lab to test for pH, water content, organic content, bulk density, particle density, porosity, composition and I’m sure there is some other test/measurement I’m forgetting.  From there its to the computer to map our location and compile the information into a paper and PowerPoint presentation.  Lesson learned from this class: Dirt is no joke, and quite complex.  Seriously, it can cripple and destroy civilizations.  If you are interested in how soil has impacted societies throughout history here’s a book we had to read for the class.  Not the most amazing read, but he throws some good perspectives out there.  So, next time you see your local soil scientist, give him or her a hug because they just may be responsible for keeping your food growing and buildings from collapsing.

There is also a project in my Natural Resource Management class that I am working on as well.  I’ve decided to do some research on the mosquito control here in the valley and Alamosa specifically (this is also another paper and PowerPoint).  It should be interesting.  And of course, there is a project that will be soon assigned in Mineralogy class.  We will be assigned (or get to choose?) a certain area of the world and talk about the minerals and such that can be found there.  This will also surely be the ever popular PowerPoint-and-paper one-two punch.

It should be a busy next month or so with many hours logged in the library.  These projects are always a bear, but you learn so damn much about your topic that it’s kinda great.  It’s like some crazy hard hike that kind of sucks when you are doing it, but when you look back it’s all warm and fuzzy thoughts because in all reality it was awesome.  Ok, so maybe having to do the projects isn’t that “awesome” but it is good experience wether you like it or not.  Maybe I need to go on a hike?  Regardless, I am looking forward to December 17th, the last day of exams and the 18th, the tentative departure date for a south-bound climbing trip!

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This past weekend the ASCC (Adam State Climbing Club) went down to Stone Age climbing gym in Albuquerque, NM. It was a blast. We got to check out a sweet gym, hang with a friend and Adams State alumni, Matt, and compete. Our fearless leader Amy D took 1st in her division and community member, Morgan, took 2nd in his division. And almost equally exciting: one of the students, Deanna, took home a rad new road bike she won in the raffle!  This was my first comp and while it was super crowded, it was a lot of fun.  Watching the open (advanced) division finals was amazing and inspiring.  Some of the stuff those guys and gals pull off is super impressive.  Here is Julian Buatista who took first place in mens doing some crazy figure 4 action…
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…and Carlo Traversi sending hard with some upside down toe hooks…
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The lighting in there prevented many of the pictures from coming out that well, but there are a few decent ones to get a feel of the comp in the flickr stream.

Stone Age also had a yard sale after the comp so some of us got some killer new gear on the cheap. The ASCC will be going to competitions all spring as well as taking trips to go pull on the real rocks in the great out of doors.  And, of course, we will be training all winter for the comps in the spring in an effort to bring home some glory to Adams State!  Let me know if you are interested in the club!  Its not just for students either; faculty and community members are welcome to join.

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This past Saturday and Sunday, I got to spent all day both days climbing down at Tres Piedras, NM.  Tres is a sweet climbing spot about an hour from Adams State in the Middle of Nowhere, NM. On the first day, the objective was to practice setting artificial anchors and of course, climbing.  I got a chance to do my first trad climb as well as climb my personal hardest route outside.  The second day was just having fun and climbing all over the area.

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Climbing trad routes where you have to set your own protection has opened my eyes in a few ways.  First:  you can climb all sorts of new routes that don’t have any pre-set climbing anchor points!  Second, and more importantly:  it forces you to focus even more on the climb at hand.  Its pretty awesome how much you zero in and shut everything else out when you are semi-terrified and trying to set a piece of protection the size of a small marble that is supposed to save you if you fall.  I would never really consider myself an “adrenaline junkie” and I see how people could see this as a way to get “a fix.”  It’s not really that way to me.  It’s the level of concentration and mind game of it mixed with the raw and beautiful art of ascending a rock for the hell of it.  Maybe the Zen of climbing or what have you.  Regardless, it’s amazing and I encouraged everyone to get out there, anywhere, or just come to the climbing wall at school and pull on some rock!  Check out the Flickr stream on the right if you want to see more pictures from the trip.

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