A week in Vegas

After 2 months of bouldering, we packed away the climbing shoes and headed (via Death Valley) to Las Vegas to meet up with Mig’s aunt and uncle who were there on vacation, as well as his mom, who was flown out by the family in celebration of a landmark birthday! I (Bonnie) also met up with some friends from “way back when,” which was really nice. Our time was spent eating (Vegas actually has one of the best Thai restaurants ever – thanks for the recommendation Omar!), hanging out by the pool (A.D.J.’s first swim!), doing a little shopping (love those outlet malls), doing a little gambling (Mig is the lucky one between the 2 of us), walking “the strip,” aaand more eating (if I don’t see another buffet for a while, I’d be okay with that)! It had been a decade since I was in Vegas and Mig had never been, so Luc and Manon – who are Vegas veterans – became our tour guides. They took us through all the big classic hotels, to their favourite restaurants and more (merci beaucoup!). Las Vegas is a bit surreal, which anyone who’s been there knows, and we found ourselves sharing many laughs and looks of disbelief and/or disapproval as we observed the craziness around us. We also took a drive through the scenic loop of Red Rocks, which is really stunning – even on an overcast day. We’re not rope climbing on this trip but the drive definitely got Mig psyched to come back!

It was a great time with family, an enjoyable and (if I do say so myself) much-deserved rest, but when the week came to an end, we were both anxious to get back to the serenity of the wilderness and back on the rocks. Next stop was Joshua Tree National Park – an amazing destination for both climbing and photography! Stay tuned for pics!

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Leaving Bishop

After a month-long stay in Bishop, we felt – yet again – that we were leaving a new-found “home,” and right when we had peaked in terms of our climbing. As usual, we had to leave problems behind (un-tried ones are easier to leave than those un-finished and Mig and I each have a problem that we came *painfully* close to sending – “something to come back for,” they say). We also left behind new friends (who actually live in Bishop – not just fellow transient climbers). Finally, we left behind the lovely little mountain village that is Bishop, with its famous Dutch bakery, climber-filled cafes, the Mountain Light gallery, cheap motels, the airport Thai restaurant, happy hour at Whiskey Creek, the Pizza Factory and Holy Smoke BBQ!

All good things come to an end, though, and our time there was definitely a good thing. We climbed with so many awesome people! After the Reeves left, other friends from Toronto (and surrounding areas) showed up: Cassandra, Dennis & their little girl, Keith and Kaska, and the Durago brothers came with Loic (who basically sent everything in sight) and G6 marketing director, James Koka. So much fun! And then there were all the other Canadians, many of whom we already knew from comps and other climbing trips, a few Kiwis, some Americans, and “Leo, from Japan.” A big thanks to everyone we climbed with for making the Bishop-leg of our trip amazing!

In terms of climbing, the idea was to switch gears and try some harder stuff. It’s definitely not easy on the morale to come back at the end of the day without having topped anything out, but it was really fun to sample a bunch of awesome, tough problems (some of which felt doable and others not so much)! Thankfully, stepping up our game paid off; we each walked away with a personal best! Mig did an amazing send Acid Wash Right and I sent Water Hazard & Aquatic Hitchhiker. Projects aside, ee also had a fabulous time on other classic Bishop probs, such as: Jedi Mind Tricks, Cue Ball, Mr. Happy, Karma (new!), and Fly Boy Sit.

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Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California

Last week, we spent another rest day walking around the beautiful country side of California. This time around, we visited the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, near Bishop, in the Inyo National Forest. The forest is host to the oldest living organism on earth. The trees are anywhere between 2,000 – 4,700 years old! I’ve wanted to visit this place for a long time, after having seen amazing pictures of the trees. I was really excited to finally make it happen. Here are some of our favourite shots from the walk. Enjoy!

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