Friday, 1 April 2016

Photo Essay - Deep Water Soloing
Deep water soloing is a rock climbing sport that is done over a large, deep body of water, as seen above.
Deep water soloing also uses quite less gear than normal on land rock climbing. Given that one gets wet in deep water soloing, it is smart to bring an extra change of clothes and wear less. Another good reason to bring less is that the best season for deep water soloing is during the hot Summer months.
Safety is a big factor in deep water soloing as well. The way that one hits the water is extremely important, as the fall can be over 100 feet. One can get the wind knocked out of them. In addition to this, it is important to go deep water soloing with other people as a safety precaution.

Types of Rocks

Granite, a type of igneous rock (Rocks formed from cooling magma or lava)

Sandstone, a type of sedimentary rock (Rocks that are formed by a buildup of sediment)

Slate, a type of metamorphic rock (Rocks that are formed by other types of rocks changing over time)

Day 9: A Reflection

Today being the last day of A-term it is customary to reflect upon the two week period coming to an end. At the beginning of the trip I was expecting to be  challenged physically on a weeklong trip with a couple of my friends. To my surprise this was not the trip that I ended up taking. The trip was so much better, not only did I spend time with good friends, I made new friends and got to know peers better. I was challenged physically and mentally, and learned that I could do a lot more than I initially thought I was capable of doing at the start of this course. All of the activities that we did throughout the trip were so much fun, my personal favorite was Wednesday, at Enchanted Rock when we got to go caving. Even though we all came away with some bumps and scrapes it was exciting and the whole group was engaged in the activity.  I think that I speak for everyone when I say that if I could do it all again, I would and I would give it 110%. Looking back at the trip I am left with fond memories and look forward to similar trips in the future.

Day 9 - wrap up

We started off today by hurriedly moving our tents outside so that they could air out a bit before the storm rolled in. Afterwards we gathered in our alcove to finish giving presentations that we had started back in the first week of the A-Term. Jodi and I gave a presentation on several subjects. We talked about some of the wildlife that we might see on our trip, such as Texas horned lizards, white tailed deer, and the omnipresent turkey vulture. We also talked about techniques used in cleaning the anchors used for lead climbing, as well as top rope climbing. We also talked about proper rappelling techniques, as well as the dangers inherent to this part of climbing.  We also unpacked and stowed away most of the gear that we had brought in from the bus yesterday, including the tents once they had dried. We then listened to Caleb give a presentation on the culture of climbing, which had been his primary project this A-Term, as he could not join us on our trip. Afterwards we had a discussion about our reflections over the trip, specifically what we though could have been done better. 

~Adam Wygant

Ice Climbing Photo Essay

A stranger using his Ice Pickaxe and Shoes to climb on ice.'automne.jpg

A traditional pair of hiking shoes with cramp-ons on.

Super cool Ice Pickaxes.

Day 8: Photos From the Wall, The Greenbelt Wall!

Megan, Riane, Rains and our rock about guide, Bailey, scale one of the massive rock walls we climbed with extreme caution, skill, concentration, and climbing technique.

Asa, the climber, Jackson, the belayer, and Rains, the back-up belayer, prepare to ascend a route on the Greenbelt wall by going through the proper climbing safety commands, and protocols. 

If you look carefully you can see a wild monkey in the corner of the picture. Oh wait, that is Rains Browning climbing a famous 5.9 called The Scrambled Egg Sandwich. 

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Day 8: The Final Countdown

We awoke at 6:30am and began the process of breaking down camp and breaking fast simultaneously. As our outdoor skills had become finely honed throughout our journey, we were packed up in no time. We headed on our way to the Barton Springs Greenbelt to begin our final day of climbing. Upon our arrival, were once again greeted by the familiar faces of our guides from Rock About, and grabbed our rock climbing gear and took a small, pleasant walk across a picturesque creek to our climbing spot.  There were several climbs, and we went into them with quite a fervor, and completed all the climbs. Most of the climbs were what we were used to: normal top roped climbs. However, a few of the more challenging climbs were directional climbs which used additional anchors to help guide the rope so that if the climber fell they would not be injured by the features on the pitch. Towards the end of our time at Barton Springs we skipped rocks and a few of us even took a brief dip in the pristine waters. Sunburnt and tired, we proceeded to a local Austin restaurant  Baja Bob's which served wonderful tacos and burritos for a late lunch and began the long haul back to Houston. The bus was silent as we began out trek back, perhaps due to sheer exhaustion, but also possibly due to a sense of satisfaction. A satisfaction from climbs topped, hikes completed, and obstacles overcome.