Rendezvousing in Vegas

Chris and I have been spending our time in Las Vegas for the past two weeks.  We came down for the 11th Annual Red Rock Rendezvous, a climber’s festival, and of course to see family and friends.  My brother, my niece, one of my cousins, and dear family friends (my pseudo family) still live in Vegas.

The Red Rock Rendezvous is always a crazy weekend.  A few weeks before the event I always get a little nervous energy-   there are SO many people and there is SO much going on!  It’s funny to bring a bunch of relatively introverted climbers that spend a lot of time with just their belayer and a bunch of rocks together for one of the most social events in climbing of the year.  The nervousness quickly turns to excitement and lots of laughter as soon as I run into a familiar face and sip some of the delicious New Belgium brews.

The Rendezvous is a great excuse to catch up and mingle with the climbing community from all over the country.   Bryan O’Keefe and I were climbing at the Cannibal Crag for the Petzl photo clinic on Saturday, and then Chris and I helped with the Kraft Mountain trash cleanup on Sunday.  There is a super good group of people with the local climbing community that host this event (The Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council), and we had a blast with a barbecue and raffle afterward.  There is always the mega party on Saturday night at Bonnie Spring’s old western bar where inevitably the night ends with too much whiskey and deafening karaoke.

After the Rendezvous, Chris and I were able to get out to Red Rock to climb a few days, and it was as beautiful as always.  The cactus flowers were blooming and the weather was warm and sunny.  We climbed a few traditional routes outside, but mostly we climbed in the gym.

That’s right- I said we climbed in the gym.  It was perfect weather, Red Rock Canyon is a fifteen minute drive from our town home.  We headed east to the indoor climbing center instead of west.

What is wrong with us?  Well, after climbing outside in Europe for 4.5 months without incorporating other training such as fingerboard, campus, bouldering, or opposition, we felt weak.  We hit a plateau with our climbing performance, and we are excited to try to get stronger.  Weird, huh?

For the first time in my climbing career, I’ve consistently been following a training program two to three times per week inside.  Chris and I have been following our friend, Mike Doyle’s outline.

I have to admit, there are days in the gym I almost have a breakdown.  What am I doing here?  Why am I not outside, working on a project?  I am a much more stable person when I am working on a project, working toward achieving a tangible goal, and seeing improvement (albeit minor) from day to day.

Is the training working?  I don’t know.  I guess so.  Honestly, I am still skeptical.  Sure, I can hang by two fingers on a small edge for longer and do more pull-ups and push-ups, but is this really going to help my rock climbing?

I think most importantly of all, I feel like my body is more balanced.  After a few months of only climbing outside, my shoulders and elbows ached and I felt like I could have been on the brink of injury.  After 6 weeks of strength training and consistent yoga, I feel stronger and healthier.

We’ll see.  Chris and I both have big climbing goals in Colorado for the summer.  But most importantly, we are having fun and learning together.


The Petzl photo clinic at the Red Rock Rendezvous (photo courtesy John Evans)

keira climbing

My 5 year old niece, Keira Robinson, and I taking a break in Red Rock Climbing Center


My brother George, niece Keira, and second cousin Leilani having dinner at one of our new favorite restaurants- Honey Salt


Having girl time and a latte with guapa Norah Siller


My mom’s best friend and one of my “pseudo” moms Renee Gibbs- at 63 years old looking hot and showing me how it’s done in silks class- cross training perhaps?

One comment

  1. Katy Tutt · · Reply

    I love you, Heathbar!!! So glad you are living your dream- you deserve it!

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