Saturday, March 29, 2014

Climbing Wall Prototypes

Hi and welcome back!

Our friend who is going to build me a rock wall made a prototype and sent us some pictures.

I think he did a really great job, and I can't wait to get started with building it.  It looks like it could have anything from a slightly overhanging wall to a roof to a dihedral.  I'm so excited to give it a try!

He said that if we have any other ideas about the wall, we can make changes.  If anyone who has a wall has any tips or suggestions, we'd love to hear them.  We were talking about making it 10~15' tall, too.  Although we need to figure out if we're going to use crash pads, a toprope, or something else to protect against falls.  We'll have to see.  Anyway, it looks like we should have this ready to go this summer!

I realized a little while ago that I never answered the trivia question I posted about the first American to climb all the 8,000 meter peaks.  It was Ed Viesturs!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Hi and welcome back!

For Christmas I got a pack of 35 rock climbing holds to start a bouldering wall my dad was going to build me. Unfortunately, he isn't very handy so we made a deal with one of our friends that if I pick up their dogs' poop for a while he will build me one. I start my work tomorrow.  I'm not looking forward to it, but it will be worth it.

This morning, Maisy ran away, and my dad, my brother Jed and I went out looking for her.  For part of the time we were looking for her in the woods down by the pond, and Jed kept complaining about getting stuck in the "snicker bushes."  We tried to tell him they were "sticker bushes," but he wasn't listening.

We didn't find her, but this afternoon after we got home from climbing at the gym, we found her laying in the sun out in the backyard.  She smelled a little like skunk, so dad had to give her a bath.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Almost Spring!

Hi and welcome back!

Lately it's been well above freezing, and almost all of the snow is gone.  

The raccoon that dad and I found dead and frozen by the pond at the beginning of February is now out from under the snow.  Most of the skin is gone, and it's ribs are exposed.  It's pretty gross, but interesting.  We'll have to be sure to keep Maisy away from it.

On Friday I found this video of Mark Hudon from Right This Minute, the same show I was on just after Christmas.  He's on a ledge climbing Leaning Tower in Yosemite, when a peregrine falcon comes up onto the ledge and lands about five feet away from him and his climbing partner, Scott!  You have to watch it.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

My First Twofer!

Hi and welcome back!

Last Thursday and Friday, dad and I climbed Mt. Davis (the highest point in Pennsylvania) and Backbone Mountain (the highest point in Maryland).

On the way to Mt. Davis, though, we bought a climbing rope!  We picked the Sterling Kosmos, which is a 10.2mm rope.  That means this summer we're going to start climbing outside.

Observation Tower

It took us about 1:15 roundtrip to climb Mt. Davis.  The trail was about a mile each way from the parking lot, but it wasn't steep at all.  The temperature was in the low teens when we started, and it was very windy.  Most of the way, the snow was about a foot deep, but in spots it was closer to two feet.

Once we got to the top, we found an observation tower that was about 50 feet tall.  It was already windy at the base of the tower, and at the top the wind was about 40 mph.  We climbed up to the observation deck, but it was too cold to stay for more than about three minutes.

Smallest Church in the Lower 48

On Friday we drove to Backbone Mountain.  Right before the trailhead, there is the smallest church in the lower 48 states.  The pews hold 12 people, and if all the standing room is taken up it can fit just 24!

Backbone Mountain was a little more than a mile to the summit, but it was a pretty steep switchback trail.  The way the trail was, most of the time the snow would be about 3" deep, then in other places it would be up to my thighs.

It took us exactly an hour to get to the summit.  At the top there was a mailbox that had a logbook to sign, a sign marking the summit, and a huge stone cairn that was about 5 feet tall.

The Summit of Backbone Mountain

We couldn't really see anything from the top of Mt. Davis because of the snow, but the view from the top of Backbone Mountain was incredible.  I think we could see 50 miles into Pennsylvania on one side, and the same distance into West Virginia on the other.

Thanks for reading!