Vegas Vacation Day 1: Physical Graffiti

So many things happened on our first full day in Vegas!

We started our day early. Like, even a morning person would say it was an early morning kind of early. Because we knew we were a large group and wanted dibs on a particular climb.

So we dragged our butts out of bed. After arriving on late flight. Checking into our hotel around midnight-ish. And catching a very late dinner. And thus started the trend of sleeping maybe 4-5 hours per night.

Some of the group had been to Red Rocks the previous year. And I was warned that it could be scorching hot at ground level and snowing by the time you get to the top of the mountain. So I dressed in layers. 3 layers, like the good Canadian I am. I wasn’t about to risk getting cold.

Learning Experience #1: I forgot about the other extreme. It was about a 45 minute hike to our climb and I was ROASTING about 15 minutes in. I tried to press on and keep up. But I was overheating and slowing down because of it… so I had to stop and take off my warm layer

Learning Experience #2 : How in the world was I going to fit the clothing into my already overfull pack?! Pack light if you’re climbing multi-pitch.

Anyway, by the time we arrived, we found that a group was already climbing Big Bad Wolf. And there was another waiting. So we changed our plan and set up to climb Physical Graffiti, which happened to be right beside it.

Learning Experience #3: Don’t plan any sightseeing, insist on a stop, dawdle, or in any way delay the group in the morning. You might not get your first pick of routes!

We split into a group of 2 and a group of 3. I excitedly fastened my GoPro to my helmet. I was the coolest kid at the crag.

Being my first multi-pitch, and a trad multi-pitch at that. I followed. (With some more experience, I hope to lead such a climb some day!) I was giddy the entire first pitch because this climb crossed off many “firsts”: climbing outside of Ontario, climbing sandstone, and climbing a multi-pitch. This pitch was also made super fun by the group next to us who started a sing-a-long. Second pitch was a bit more challenging. The winds got stronger and the temperature cooled off a bit. I could barely communicate with my leader… and the leader that was following behind me. (Next time I won’t make fun of the idea to bring walkie talkies.) The second pitch was also a bit more challenging. Just breath. I had to tell myself a few times when I was unsure of a move. You’re essentially on top rope. You’re safe. From there, we anchored ourselves in for a while and waited for the others to catch up. Then, as a group, we scrambled to the top to enjoy the view!

We hung out here for quite a while. We took pictures. And practiced yoga. And some basic acro yoga (flying bird).

To top off an absolutely amazing day, we picked K in Ohio up from the airport that evening!

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