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Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Destinations, Featured | 0 comments

Southwest Limestone: An Alternative to Vegas Sport Climbing

Southwest Limestone: An Alternative to Vegas Sport Climbing

My family and I recently spent some time climbing the limestone sport routes around the Mesquite area, about an hour north of Las Vegas. We visit the Southwest most winters, looking for a little escape from the South Dakota winter, and have always enjoyed Red Rocks, Joshua Tree, and Bishop. But this year we were looking for something new, and as we travel as a family with two young kids, we were looking for climbing conducive to the family unit. We’d climbed St. George’s sandstone and visited the VRG before, but we’d never even heard of the other, amazing limestone walls we visited this year. We were not disappointed in what we found around Mesquite! To be precise, none of the climbing around Mesquite is actually in Mesquite, or even in Nevada for that matter; the climbing is either northeast into Utah (in the “Southern Utah Hills,”) or more southeast into Arizona. Mesquite acted as a nice intermediate point for us so to stay in. On the Utah side,...

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Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in Featured, Gear Reviews | 6 comments

Belaggles | My Salvation!

Belaggles | My Salvation!

I have to admit that when belay-glasses first came out years ago, I was skeptical. “Reflective lenses so you don’t even have to look at your climber? Geesh, how lazy are people?” I thought. But then as time went on, I started to notice myself becoming a less and less attentive belayer. I would start out watching my climber carefully, but then the neck-craning would begin. A few minutes into a belay, my neck would start to hurt, and I’d crane to the right for a moment. And then I’d have to rest my neck completely, looking down at the ground. Then I’d look up again, craning to the left, doing my best to watch my climber as much as possible—but I wasn’t able to “stay” 100% with my climber. Meanwhile, I’d notice my friend belaying beside me, wearing belay glasses, and comfortably facing straight ahead while watching every movement her climber made above her. “Hmmmm, I thought; maybe there is something to this belay-glasses idea.” Finally, just last...

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Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Featured, How I Started Climbing, Personal Stories | 5 comments

Climbing with Kids – What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been!

Climbing with Kids – What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been!

Allison Coin I was introduced to climbing 7 years ago; 6 years ago, I got married and became pregnant. Therefore, my life as a wife and mother has been experienced in tandem with—and through the lens of—rock climbing. I met my husband on my first day of climbing. Then, after a year of having my world turned upside-down by the experience and adrenalin that climbing provides, I climbed pregnant, because I had to. Then I rocked babies between routes and belays, nursing discreetly in the background while cheering on others.  Both of my children were at the crag, and camping to boot, within days of being born; this is the only life they know. And I like it that way! Initially, I didn’t know what to expect from attempting the climbing lifestyle with kids; and at times I feared it was too difficult to continue. My husband spent years hiking play-pens up steep, winding trails; and for multiple seasons our route-schedule was highly dependent on inconsistent naptimes.  There were...

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Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Featured | 0 comments

Ribbons | A Poem

Ribbons | A Poem

By Allison Coin The face bears long ribbons of navy, blonde, and salmon columns that rival one another for space to expand; they are not content with hundreds of vertical feet. Soft gray ripples dilute the strength of colors, like tears that blur one’s vision. I felt small when first bowing under the weight of the cliff’s height; her streaks formed so long before my own being—maybe in a waterwave that built up to a hard, quick anger and then slowly dried up and away. Maybe a glacier, frozen hard, melted and left these remaining shapes and edges, pockets and crimper ledges— striations of colors marking the eras that have passed. But you didn’t see the ribbons; you only saw the top. The glare of the sun on the anchors: and you missed the strange accident of time and wind, that together enabled me to move—without wings or jet propulsion—from the ground to the sky.           Read more about Allison on the About...

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