Monday, 28 April 2014

A Roller Coaster of a Ride in Vegas and Mesquite - Good Friends Save the day

Ever since we arrived in Vegas it has been a roller coaster ride, with many ups and downs.  We have had further car trouble and Cath has had to have an emergency appendectomy.
Despite this the one thing that has kept us on top has been the amazing people that have helped us through these times, good and bad.
Cath crushing before she get sick!
Shortly after arriving in Vegas we met back up with some of our favourite Canadian’s, Kyle and Leslie. We also met some of their friends from Ontario, Dave and Erin, who were kind enough to invite us to stay at their rental house in Vegas for the next week. This offer was too good to refuse, given there was a pool and a hot tub, to boot! We had a fun week hanging with these awesome people and sampling the fun bolted routes of the Red Rock Canyon.
The day of our last night in the house, Leslie and Dave get benighted on a big route on Mount Wilson. See story her here....

After enjoying the hot tub house with the awesome Ontarians, we found ourselves homeless.  We tried to find a free camp site a little way out of Vegas, unfortunately the area we found was riddled with gun shots, bullet casings and trees full of broken bottles and cans. We made a hasty retreat back to the paid campsite to find it full and in a last ditch effort to find a cheap option we ended up in a what appeared to be a SUPER dodgy motel. We arrived to find a prostitute out the front arguing with what we assumed were customers in their cars and a bunch of probably very nice but somewhat suspect guys hanging around the front entrance. We almost drove away, but had pre paid for the room and so sucked it up. Luckily we did because it was actually pretty luxurious!

Alan and Kate at Camp

Finally we made the move to the official campsite and shared a site with Alan and Kate, which was much more relaxed.
Climbing highlights during these times were Cath and I doing the mega classic Epinephrine, an amazing long route with 3 crux chimney pitches and a 3.5 hr walk off. Well worth it, although we certainly needed a rest day after it.
Craig and Ruth (again, from JTree) were also around and Craig and I did Drifting a 5 pitch 11c and Cath and Ruth went climbing each leading a couple of scary 5.10+ trad routes.

Porter and Cath  
Mexican Cartel Styl

We also meet up and climb with Porter Jarrod who I had met in the New River Gorge some years back.
After climbing we go for Mexican.  During dinner the “cartel” baseball team seem to be arguing in the back of the restaurant and we all wait for them to draw there guns eeek! Great little place and an interesting/fun night! 

Atop Cloud Tower 5.11d, 9 pitches
Our next adventure was Cloud Tower - again another mega classic. I managed to onsight both crux pitches!! 5.11d and 5.11c and get the rest of them clean.  Cath led her first 10d trad pitch of the trip.
After this good day our luck again changed and the Love Boat died a slow death on the way back to the campsite (after a week of increasingly loud putting)  and we barely limped into our camp L

Very fortunately for us our savior arrives back in town in the form of Steve Harry, down from Canada for the long weekend.
Super Steve
While the car was at the mechanic, Steve was amazing and picked us up from our camp site and ferried us around. And with the Help of Kyle and Leslie we have a great time till our van is ready to be picked up.
The ever smiling "no problem" Kyle

Finally we pick LB up and less than 10 mins later the brakes seize, and we manage to just get car back to mechanic and get them fixed. Steve and Kyle are back on taxi duty again for the next few days– thanks guys!

That night is Cath’s birthday and we feel a little lost with out the Love Boat. However Kyle and Leslie, Steve, Craig and Ruth, Brendan, and Porter rally and we go to BJ’s for amazing burgers and cocktails and then on to the red rock casino for bowling to make a great night of festivities for Cath’s birthday.

Finally the Love Boat is ready to hit the road again, and we spend one last day in Red Rocks climbing with Steve. Cath starts to feel sick, which is the start of the next saga……

Bocce at camp Team Weakness
The crew (now nicknamed Team Weakness due to our various array of injuries and illnesses) have moved onto Mesquite for some limestone sport climbing and we meet them there to strengthen up before getting spanked on the cracks at Indian Creek.
Unfortunately while in Mesquite Cath gets really sick, and after 3 visits to emergency in mesquite hospital we still don’t know what is wrong? We are both a bit stressed.
Again Kyle and Leslie, Craig and Ruth and Brendan and Eric are an amazing support during while we are there.
Cath recovering with a popsicle after an appendectomy

After the 3 visits to Mesquite we decide to go to the bigger hospital in St George about an hour away. Finally Cath sees a surgeon that is determined to work out what is going on, and eventually discovers appendicitis and Cath has an emergency appendectomy. Team Weakness visit the hospital bringing an assortment of gifts including a giant stuffed sheep who is now the team mascot.
The sliver lining of the getting surgery in the states is that our insurance paid for a suite in the best casino in town for 6 nights!!!!

Finally Cath is well enough to leave the hotel we spend one last night camping in Mesquite be fore heading to Moab.

On all trips, the people you meet and spend time with can really make the trip, and that has been especially true during this part of the trip. We have been privileged to meet some truly amazing people on this trip
A big thankyou to all the amazing people that we have met and have helped us out…. You have made our trip!!!!

Climbing News

We were lucky enough to be around when Leslie does her first 5.14a (32) Magnum Opus at the Grail. See pictures here Leslie 14a

I manage to Red point Voyager One a new 50m 5.13a (28) at the Grail on my 3rd shot and 1st of the day.

The same day I also Onsight Homo Faber 5.12d(27) which is my second at this grade!

For more photos click here:

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