Archived Posts from this Category

Pictures From the Spring

Posted by on 16 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: ASI, Rock Craft, Uncategorized

I’m sorry it has taken forever.  Here are some pictures from Seneca Rocks, Coopers Rocks, my packed car (a few days after the picture was taken 2 bikes were added to the back), Deep Creek Lake, Wisp, back to Seneca, and then finishing up with Akron’s climbing wall.

The last few months have been very hectic. After Easter weekend I started with classes 7 days a week.  Monday was Math, Tuesday was Mt. Biking all day, Wednesday was Math and then work at the Rental Center in the afternoon, Thursday was Mt. Biking, Friday/Saturday/Sunday was Climbing

After finals week the dorms closed. This did not mean that I was going home to relax and start the summer.  I stayed out in Garrett County for another week, then down to Seneca Rocks for 4 days, then went to Ohio for 3 days, back to Garrett County for a night, and then I drove home.

Why did I stay?  Well I had a 3 things on my calendar.  I had one exam the following Monday and Tuesday. (5/11-12/09)  This exam was the Maryland Top Rope Site Manager Certification Exam consisting of a written test, skills test, and a day of managing a group. (I passed every part of the exam.) The Venture Crew planned to be out at Seneca Rocks to do the via ferrata at Nelson Rocks on the weekend of the 15th-17th. (Pictures of this can be found here) Since that is only about 1.5 hrs from school I decided to stay around rather than driving home and then back out there.  I went down to Seneca Rocks Thursday the 14th.  Nelson Rocks was a lot less scary the second time. (Plus, I had the experience of Seneca in between my first time to Nelson and my second)

After relaxing with the crew over the weekend the original plan was to drive home with the family and Crew.  This changed when Andy offered the AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor course and exam. I decided that it was a good certification to have because it would help me gain knowledge to teach the Climbing Merit Badge for the Scouts.  The American Mountain Guide Association’s Climbing Wall Instructor course and exam was held at The University of Akron. (5/18-20/09)  Andy met me at ASI Monday morning the 18th and we drove up to Akron. There we met Giana who was also taking the class with Andy and I.  It was odd having Andy in the class with me instead of teaching the class.  (Even though he still knew more and everything was more natural for him)  Wednesday evening the class ended and I found out that I passed, which was really good because there were times during the class which were challenging.  That night Andy and I drove back to Maryland.  I stayed the night and then drove home Thursday.

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Posted by on 02 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: ASI

Cold Weather Outdoor Living Skills was this last weekend.  Here are some pics which should explain some of the trip.  We hiked up from Timberline to the Dolly Sods.

Andy and I stayed in the quinzhee (Athapaskan word for a snow shelter).

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Rock Craft 3 Vertical Rock Rescue

Posted by on 28 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: ASI, Rock Craft

Final weekend of climbing for the fall semester.

Friday was a bit cold.  We went to Humphey’s and did some lowers off a rock slope.  Then at night we learned how to do a belay escape.  The belay escape enables the belayer to remove him/herself from the belay system.  Belay Escape Sequence

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After 4 Weeks of Use

Posted by on 27 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: ASI, Rock Craft

If you go to the post on October 5th you will see the picture of my gear after the intro class.  Here is a shot of my gear 3 weeks later.  The original shot has the fresh tape on it and some minor scratches on the carabiners.  Now you will see the paint worn off of the large orange carabiner and a ton more scratches.

Rock Craft 2

Posted by on 21 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: ASI, Rock Craft

This past weekend I had Rock Craft 2.

Friday:  Massy, a guide from the other climbing place, took Sean, Janelle and me climbing up the face.  That night we were in the gym learning the belay escape.  This technique is used if we ever have to escape out of the belay for emergencies.

Saturday:  Jess, Lee, Sean, and I woke up at 5:45 to get ready to head to the top.  We left SRMG a little after 7am and reached the top 50 mins. later.  The recreational trail they say is 1.5 miles but it seemed longer with a pack and 2 ropes on my back.  I said that I would rather do the stairmaster then the recreational trail.  Once we made it to the top I was drenched with sweat even though it was about 45 degrees out.  After cooling down I ended up keeping all of my layers on for the rest of the day.

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Rock Craft 1

Posted by on 13 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: ASI, Rock Craft

Second weekend at Seneca Rocks and it was another perfect weekend.  I brought the camera and it came in handy.

On Friday I was with Tony (the man who wrote the guide book) and Jess and we climbed some small stuff next to the StairMaster.  Then that night, after the gym session, Tom asked me if I would help set up and belay for the Boy Scout troop.

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Intro to Traditional Rock Climbing

Posted by on 05 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: ASI, Rock Craft

I just got back from Seneca Rocks and unfortunately I did not bring my camera.  Tom Cecil (the owner of Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides) did take some pictures of me on the rocks.  I might try to get those and post them sometime in the future.

Here is a picture of all of my gear.  The harness I bought back in January but everything else was included with the course.  I will take my camera next weekend and snap some shots (if i can without shaking too much)

I got a 100% on my skills test today!!  It included being able to tie into the rope, set up a belaying anchor, belaying, and then coiling the rope.  We learned how to do a bunch of other stuff like ascending using a prussic, belaying using only a carabiner, rappelling, and setting up top-rope anchors.

Back Country Living Skills

Posted by on 09 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: ASI

Day 1 Sun. Aug 24, 08

The adventure begins today. I was so anxious and pumped that I woke up an hour before my alarm went off. Finally at 7am I got up and had a hoagie for breakfast. I got ready for the trek and then began my hike on the incline up to the COAS building. Most of the members from my group were already there going over what we expect the rest of the week to be like. Once inside we met with our instructors and checked the food list. The majority of the food we repackaged in order to cut down on trash and weight. We then went outside and formed a semi circle behind the trailers with our packs. Garrett went through the personal gear checklist and made sure we had what we needed. I brought a few extra items which Garrett helped me sort through and I ended up running a pile of clothes back to my car. When he was sorting through everyone else’s pack I started laying all of the food out in the middle of the circle. After everyone was done with their personal gear we divided up the group gear into 8 piles. Everyone took a pile and packed the gear into their packs. I ended up taking some empty water bags, a filter and then some food. After all of the packs were packed and weighed we all headed inside for lunch and use of the, soon to be sacred, flush toilets and clean running water. Right before we all headed out we had a meeting with everyone to make sure that no one was left stranded in the bathroom. Our group all filed into a 15 passenger van and off we went. On the ride I listened in on Andy and Garrett’s conversation of their summer. I learned a great deal about what the future may hold for me. We dropped the first group off on the side of the road and I looked around knowing that this was going to be our concluding destination on Thursday. Next, our group got dropped off and quickly had to grab our bags. The next thing I knew the trailer was up the road. The trip has begun. Before we took another step we popped down the tailgate of the only truck in the trail head parking lot and looked at the map. The trail started out extremely stony. Then the trail was littered with bigger and bigger rocks. Our first break was after a short steep hill. There was a nice view off of the trail a bit, on a boulder field. Garrett and Sam talked a little bit about risk management and how it was going to be an important aspect of the trip. The pace was set well by Reed. Next thing we knew Garrett had wandered off onto a small intersecting trail and told the rest of us to follow. This established campsite off the main trial was going to be where our first night was going to be spent. We dropped our packs by the fire circle and emptied the group gear. Our first task was to find a good location for setting up the tarps. After picking a good place for two tarps we went back down to the fire circle and grabbed our packs and the tarps. We set them up with no problem. The next lesson was the most disgusting and the most important, the cat hole. After going over the cat hole we went and threw the bear bag line. I have set many of these up in my past when I went to Philmont but they had cables already set up. On my second try throwing up the rope I got it over the branch. We then moved onto water filtration. There was a small stream next to the fire circle where we all had a go at pumping water. When the water bags were full we had time to relax and talk to each other. At around five we started dinner. Josh set up one of the stoves while I nervously watched. Unlike most people my age I am not a fan of fire. I took over in lighting the stove which was a first time experience for me. It took me a few times just to light the lighter but I got the hang of it. Dinner for the night was spaghetti. Though I am used to little clean up, everyone pitched in and cleanup did not take too long. When everything was cleaned up we brushed our teeth making sure to broadcast everything. Next on the agenda was to hang the smellables. We hoisted up the bear bag line and then chilled until it got too chilly. That night we went over what you should do if a bear was to come and attack you. Continue Reading »