In May of 2008 my wife and I were walking out of REI in Saratoga, CA and passed the climbing wall. In my 12+ years of being an REI member, I’d never seen anyone ON the wall but on that fateful day there were a few kids climbing. We turned around, went back in and asked what it cost to climb. “Free for members!” was the answer and within minutes I tore through the easy route they put me on and was getting my first pump on the more challenging route. After pushing through the crux, I came down, went to the car with the stiffest forearms you can imagine and couldn’t get the keys out of my pocket or hold the steering wheel. From REI, we drove to Planet Granite, signed up for the rock climbing class and have been members ever since. I climb 2-3 times a week indoors and as often as possible outdoors. When outdoors, I prefer multi-pitch trad but also enjoy sport lead climbing when trad isn’t available.
On the northern foot of Volcán Tolimán is a lesser climbed lava dome, Cerro de Oro (“Hill of Gold”). The hike and summit provide gorgeous views of Lago Atitlan, Volcán Tolimán, Volcán San Pedro, and Volcán Atitlán.
And… we discovered a Mayan ceremonial site along the way, and some ancient Mayan stone statues at the summit.
Last year at InfusionCon, Jon Goldman asked if I wanted to climb Camelback the next morning in time to catch the sun rise from the head.
I blurted out YES before he could finish giving me the details and the next morning we found ourselves heading out of the resort around 5am.
This year at InfusionCon, a group of us planned a Sunset climb up to the hump of the camel and got together quite a group for what proved to be a challenging, fun and gorgeous ascent. Continue reading “Hiking Camelback in Phoenix”