I am just days away from heading off to yet, another climbing adventure, with the child on top of this rock with me. And, I realized that I have not posted about all the fun we had the first 4 months of this year 😳 I am so behind on my blog!!
One reason I haven’t blogged about this period of time is that I had soooo many pictures to sort through! Much like the trip I made this time last year, with my blog buddies in Montreal. I have been blessed with an abundance of riches 😊 Just like then, I had to sit down and force myself to pick the best moments out of a mountain of happy memories. So, here it goes!
Our first stroke of good fortune was that our son, Ryan, decided to spend the winter months with us in Tucson. He stayed from January to April, which meant I had an outdoor climbing buddy at all times 😆 The second was that our dirtbag pals (a dirtbag is a person who lives in a van, traveling from one climbing area to another for weeks, months or years at a time) made a stop at our place! Joan and Dean are on a mission to climb and visit every national park and climbing area in the US🌟
There is no way I could document every time we were out cragging. Often there was some subset of this group out, and with other local folks mixed in, climbing, biking, or at an acro yoga class! This was an intense period of physical activity to be sure! So I will attempt to hit the highlights.
One of the earliest trips up the mountain involved all five of us. We made our way up to Goosehead rock, which has several routes of varying difficulty. This is a mile past Windy Point, as you head up MT Lemmon.
As you can see, we had a colder than usual winter in Tucson this year. More snow and rainfall than usual. This meant that we had to get out whenever we could get a weather break. And, sometimes we had to head indoors to get in a climb.
We did get another chance to make it up to the Windy Point climbing area. Unfortunately Dennis was working and Joan was not feeling well, so it was just Ryan, Dean and myself. I say it was unfortunate because this was, by far, my favorite day of climbing😊 The sun was out and we hit up two of the most picturesque climbing areas on the mountain.
We set our sights on Hitchcock Pinnacle Rock first. I have wanted to get on top of this the moment I laid eyes on it last year 😍
We had the area to ourselves, and made a simple plan. Ryan would go up first, leading the easiest route on the right (5.7) and then belay up me, and then Dean.
A huge thank you to Dean for these great photos! I will cherish these always❤️
Now it was Dean’s turn!
Of course, summit selfies at the top of all of us!
There is another route, a slightly harder (5.10a) on the left side that we wanted to try. So we rappelled down and went back up! Check out the right side of the tower, see that ledge? near the base? The climber has to pull over that roof.
After we finished playing here😆 The guys wanted a bigger challenge. We made our way a short distance to the other side so they could climb Steve’s Arete.
This is a gorgeous climb and a 5.11a, not something I wanted to try, so I just took the pics
I believe that Dean went first
Both of these guys are strong climbers, and they struggled at times to send it. When Dean said “now it’s DeeDee’s turn”, I said “pass”! Next time😲 maybe.
Of course, they were interested in the harder route on the right, “Green Ripper” is a 5.12b and it took Ryan several tries to send it, but he got it!
You can see his climb here: on his youtube channel! Its a three minute video.
After this the weather turned cold again, so our next two trips out had to be at lower elevation on the moutain. We made our way to La Milagrosa canyon a couple times, which required passing through some water. Off came the shoes😂
The first time found us at a crag called “the beach”, mainly because it is always in the sun☀️ Ryan spent a long time working an overhanging 5.12, he came close but didn’t quite send it. It did make for some pretty pics!
The second time we hit up the “Main Wall” I really liked this area, even managed a few lead climbs myself 👊🏼
The weather shut us down for a few days for climbing. So Joan and I did some partner yoga🧘🏻♀️because of course, who wouldn’t!
Did I mention that Joan is crazy!! I guess I am too 🤪
Our last climb was back at Windy Point, but Hawk Rock this time
While the guys worked on a couple routes, Joan and I climbed up the back way to watch from the top. We also wanted to take a look at a slack line that was set up on a nearby peak.
After a few other climbs, here and there, Joan and Dean departed for Red Rocks in Vegas. They would be meeting up with Ryan while he worked his way northward. It was sad to see them go, but we are all planning on climbing again next winter.
It was time for our daughter, Alex, to visit for the weekend. Alex, Ryan and I went to “Crags Against Humanity” which is low on the mountain and very easy to get to from the car. We went so Alex could get in a few climbs, and to help Ryan train for a rock rescue drill that he needed to perform at his AMGA rock guide II course that he would be taking at Red Rocks.
And I am saved!!
So now I am caught up!! Until Monday (three days from now) when Ryan and I start climbing at Smith Rock State Park. We went as a family two years ago! I wrote a post about it but I haven’t been back, until now.
So excited, and lucky, to get to climb with my kids💕
If you want to learn more about Joan and Dean’s adventures, you can find them on Instagram @love2dirtbag
Ryan is on IG @rtillson_ and he posts climbing videos at youtube: Ryan Tilley
OR click here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6kqvEAyZZHVkIjfLCRo0Yw