Monday, October 22, 2012

Famous last words

L: I'm going to stay [clipped] on your rope so I don't land in the cactus.
Me: OK

2 seconds later...
Me, swinging into the cactus: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was lowering L off his last climb and he was cleaning as he came down. While cleaning on the way down, it's often standard practice to clip into the other side of the rope, especially on an over-hanging route since you would otherwise swing out from the wall and not be able to reach the clips on the wall. In this particular scenario, the climb tops out nearly directly over the cactus and I was belaying between the cactus and the wall. Before L. unclipped the last draw he had to clean, he tells me he's going to stay clipped into my side of the rope so that he doesn't get lowered into the cactus. That all made sense for about two seconds before I remembered he's about 30lbs heavier in addition to the momentum of swinging out from the wall. As a result, I was pulled into that bush of cacti you see on the left. The bush was about chest high when I got pulled in. And if you know anything about cacti spines, you'd know that I felt every one of them that went in and every one of them that got pulled out. Luckily I was using a Grigri to belay L, which helped catch him during all the cactus madness. Though my whole body was so tense bracing for the impact that I don't think belaying with an ATC would've been an issue since Ian had to tell me several times to relax my grip on the break end of the rope. My climber's safety is #1, of course =p

I just can't get over how ironic the whole situation was.

On a more positive note: I led my first 10's outdoors!

Monday, October 15, 2012


The month isn't over yet, but I felt like I needed to write a little update because I feel like we've done so much already!

At the beginning of the month we drove up to Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and I gave mountain biking a try after resisting to adopt another hobby for a while now (I think I have enough?). Well, kids, you can't say I didn't give it my all because I ended the day picking out cacti spines from my right hip/thigh! I came up to this dip and curve in the path and going by Ian's mantra of "just go for it!" I did and I ended up going into it a bit too quickly and ended up hitting the left side of the path where it curved up and bounced off the right of the bike into a field of cacti. I was really surprised how "softly" I seemed to land though, aside from the cacti of course. One minute I was going for this difficult section on my bike and the next I was half-lying in the field assessing what just happened to me. Ian & P. split off to a more difficult trail while R. accompanied me back to the car after my fall. Naturally, Ian ended his day a lot more gracefully than me.
Later that week we celebrated our 3rd anniversary & Ian took the day off to spend with me. Of course, we had to take advantage of the fact he had spare time during work hours so we made ourselves productive and finally took the carpet we ripped from the office and other construction waste from his garage reno to the dump. After that, we went climbing in the canyon for the afternoon and came home and ordered some Thai delivery for dinner. Incredibly romantic right? Well, being the practical people we are, we were really happy with how we spent the day =)

As of late, Ian's been wrapping up his garage reno and has begun moving things back into place! It's all very exciting. *cue the oooh's & aahhh's*
Yup... those are all his new-to-him toys =) There are still things that need to be done, but the bulk of the work is complete so this past weekend we moved on to our bedroom closet! We've been waiting for so long to re-do it and originally we had talked about enlarging the opening to the closet in addition to adding an organization system, but after noting all the things we'd have to do to achieve that and what we'd actually even gain from all that work, we decided it was best to leave the opening as is and just patch up and paint the interior and install a closet system to better utilize the space. This is what it looked like before we emptied it and gutted it (and before we painted the bedroom):
Luckily we just got some dressers and we've got the closet next door to use in the meantime so it's not a terrible inconvenience, but still: the plan is to get it done sooner rather than later! 

We returned to the canyon for some climbing yesterday and, as usual, it was a gorgeous day to be out =)
So what's next on the agenda... we're heading down to Shelf Road this weekend and thus our week will likely be devoted to prepping the van for another trip! We will be insulating the windows and adjusting the bed to give ourselves more space in preparation for the trip. We're trying to get in as much climbing as we can before snow season takes over our lives =)

Hope your month has been fun so far! 

Saturday, October 06, 2012


So this is happening right now...
It was bigger just moments before this photo was taken too! And now it's getting heavier as I type this. If this snow is any indication of what we will get in the mountains this year, then you can bet I am pretty excited =)