Posted in Living in..., rock climbing

Bouldering at Buffalo Park

Last week my friends and I got a chance to go and see the Northern Arizona Cross Country Team race in the Big Sky Championships. The NCAA Division I teams did very well. The boys got first and the girls got third. I will post images from the race a bit later!

After the race we too a short walk over to a patch of boulders that have some amazing climbs on them. The boulders and the race were both at our beautiful Buffalo Park in Flagstaff, AZ. They are basalt rock that is littered with crack routes and finger pockets as well as little baby crimps and and big slopers! It is a very interesting place to climb, and it provides a little bit for every level of climber to struggle on.

 

The boulder patch is only about 300-400 feet long, but it is host to many quality climbs. For more information on Buffalo Park, check out the Mountain Project website guide here: http://www.mountainproject.com/v/buffalo-park/105936090

So there it is folks, come and see us sometime! If you want to do it this year, you better do it quick. We just got our first snow in Flagstaff today! It was barely an inch in town, but more will come soon I am sure! There will also be some more videos or images to come as the scenery changes! Thanks for visiting 🙂

Till next time,

Kyle Simmons

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Posted in Living in..., Reflections

An Afternoon Ride

March in southern California brings with it warmer weather and clean spring air. Scattered showers clear the air of its usual dust and smog, and make way for blue skies and sprawling views. On one particular afternoon my mom and I headed out to her stables to see Buddy Rosko, her large brown and white paint horse. He is a gigantic creature and moves with incredible grace and ease (when he wants to). My mom knows how to control him much better than I, but I did manage to get him to a gallop once or twice.

The stables are home to a variety of horses young and old, male and female. There are even a few stallions, one of which was not too pleased with my presence and especially not pleased with my camera. Within the inner workings of the stables there is a lot dirt, dust and drama. “This horse doesn’t get a long with that horse”, “the brown one bites” and “Don’t get too close to that one!” are all something you can expect to hear when dealing with these large creatures.

As large and bold as horses may be, they are graceful and often useful in the hands of a trained equestrian. They are beautiful creatures which have become close friends and companions of the human race, and once you move past the fear and other obstacles you can approach one and communicate unlike any other animal.

I hope your week has been filed with excitement and good fortune.

Till next time,

Kyle Simmons

Posted in Living in..., rock climbing

The Riverside Rock Quarry

Today I had the privilege of climbing at the Riverside rock quarry with some friends. The quarry has long been abandoned, but it left behind a treasure trove of vertical space for southern california rock climbers to develop. The long exposed cliff band is home to over 400 routes and was pretty busy for a thursday afternoon. Most of the rock is surprisingly good quality, leaving only a few spots exposed to looser chipped areas. We ended up doing a few different routes throughout the course of the day, and all of them were fun and challenging. Overall it was quite a success and I will be making my way back ASAP!

 

 

We were so worried about our climbing safety, we completely forgot about our animal safety. On rappel from the top of a route my foot landed in a clump of brush and exposed a large diamond back rattlesnake! We were so shocked and intrigued by the creature that, of course, we had to poke it. The snake was one of the most apathetic I had ever seen, but eventually he got tired of us and slithered into his hole. I even bumped into a pretty big lizard who decided to show off a little bit for my lens.

The Cliff Band looking left
The Cliff Band looking right

The day was amazing, the climbing was superb, and the weather is still nice in So Cal, so get down to your local climbing crag soon!

Till Then,

Kyle Simmons

 

 

Posted in Photo of the Week

Photo of the Week: March 18-24

A tad early, but here is this weeks featured image. In Balboa Park last friday we stumbled across some pretty interesting trees with even more intriguing root systems. The huge roots grew over and under everything that stood in their way in the ongoing quest for nutrients. They even made their mark on one of the stone walls that got in the way.

Hope you enjoy!

-Kyle

 

Joshua Tree is a subject that is the focus of many of my posts. It is a place that every time I go, I feel calm and in-tune with my surroundings. When climbing, the fierce grip of the rocks clings to my fingers and feet. It is my favorite place.

When I went this last weekend, I had the privilege of going with my roommates and my friend Greta visiting from Arizona. We got there early saturday and did some boulder hopping. We ended hiking up one of the main domes in Hidden Valley just in time for sunset! At the top were holes dug into the rock from water and Greta made herself at home in a perfect sized spot and I found myself in mine right next to her.

It is ALWAYS windy in Joshua Tree. Crash pads are constantly disappearing from underneath your feet, tents blowing over, and no chance of keeping your hair from going insane! We started to get a bit cold and decided it was time to make our way back to the car and find a spot to camp. We had a few things to consider including park ranger detection, an available spot for a fire and shelter from the wind. I knew a spot I have always wanted to camp at, so we went for it!

Where we spent the night, all cleaned up for the daytime

Every chance I get to go to Joshua Tree is a pleasure. The climbing is supreme, the people are friendly, and the view is world class. People congregate from all over the world to pay homage to the vast expanses and incredible rock formations. Rich in nature and history, Joshua Tree is a place that needs to be appreciated and protected as long as it is on this earth.

Greta at Sunset
Me eating an apple

Joshua Tree brings out the supreme beauty and childish nature of all who visit. A place where you can be who you want to be, and do what you want to do as long as it is in the common interest of the park. Complex, artistic, shapes provide a seemingly endless natural playground and access to great rock is unmatched. Wherever you are, make sure to visit it soon!

-Kyle Simmons

My Favorite Place