Over the winter, Fayetteville can be a cold, wet, and empty place. Most of the climbing and rafting population is out of town until the sun comes back out, and the tourists start to roll in. For years, I’ve spent my winters guiding ice and alpine climbing in New Hampshire’s frigid White Mountains. However, this past year, I hunkered down in the tiny town of Las Vegas, NV and guided clients of all abilities up the towering sandstone walls of Red Rock Canyon. Standing atop these massive walls, I find myself drooling as I look out and wonder how many holds have yet to be touched. When you enjoy moving as fast and light as you can, sometimes you forget to stop and look around once in a while. After months of climbing on the red sandstone of the west, I found myself missing my “home” in the wilds of West Virginia.
This past April, I lined up a bit of guiding and spent the entire month visiting friends, working with great clients, climbing as many pitches as I could, and baking a few pies! The spring can be hit or miss in the southeast, but most years you can expect better conditions before the leaves pop out. I was there at the right time, and I had an insatiable hunger for that swirling orange and white stone. Whether I was rope-soloing by myself in the “outdoor gym” that is the “Endless Wall” or sharing a rope with some old friends, it was the happiest I’d been in months.