May 16th, 2021...I remember that day distinctly. My first official outdoor climb and it was at Great Falls, Virginia (first one got rained out, so we don't count that one). A group of seasoned climbers showed up that fine crisp and brisk morning. I was in awe and intimidated. They made the climbs look easy. Well, lemme tell you...trying to climb on glass ain't easy. Nonetheless, I'm not one to back down from a good juicy challenge, especially if it's guaranteed I look the fool.
It's my turn. Ok, I got this right? I mean, how hard could it be from the color coded indoor rockclimbing gyms I just started climbing at in late December of 2020? Not. The. Same. About half way up this one particular wall, I fell and swung big time to the left. A string of curse words spewed out of my mouth. Apparently, I was well remembered for that.
That fateful day, I ambitiously fantasized about a climbing trip somewhere magical. At first, it was gonna be Mexico. About a month or so later, my friends and I decided to change the venue to Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas, Nevada. Good call. So, for the few months leading up to mid-November, I climbed indoors and outdoors whenever I could. I had no idea what to expect and I was nervous and excited about it.
We had a diverse yet small group. Manageable and terribly fun to hang out with. We did the Airbnb and Turo thing. We mostly made our meals so savings there. For six days straight, some of us went to the canyon for the entire day, as in 8-4. It was a bit chilly when it was overcast. When the sun came out, it was gor-geous weather. The sky couldn't be more blue. The canyon was so majestic.
Hiking often involved some rock scrambling. Honestly, at times, I felt it made Old Rag (a popular and challenging spot in the Shenandoah) look like child's play. Fucking loved it! The flora and fauna. Dude. So different from the East Coast. Lemme say, climbing back out East on that slippery shit, well, Red Rock was opposite of that. You put a quarter of your big toe on a spot, it stayed there pretty much. Aside from the climbing, I really enjoyed the company. It felt right to be around people, but not too many of them. It felt good to support each other and cheer each other on. It felt communal to share meals and talk about anything and everything. Laughing lots and lots.
This was an epic trip. Some highlights...my first lead climb to completion outdoors, climbing 5.10a,b,c's, and one 5.11b (didn't finish). Things that made it more colorful...houseflies from hell. They were everywhere in the house. Homemade pizza. Cowbell. We always needed more cowbell.
Farewell for now, Red Rock. I've fallen for you (pun 100% intended).