Kraft Mountain Boulders

Marija took me and her 3 Estonian couchsurfers to the Calico Hills near Red Rock National Conservation Area in Las Vegas for some rock climbing. As we were unpacking the car, we realized we had forgotten the rope. As Aron Ralston said, “…oops.”

Marija tried to tell us that we could climb the 5.7 pitch without a rope. Even after watching her, we weren’t convinced. Not one to miss an opportunity to break a bone, I gave it the old college try and climbed approximately 6 inches above the ground.

So instead we went to the Kraft boulders for some bouldering. Bouldering is a term that should probably be applied to canyoneering when it involves climbing on, around and in-between boulders but instead has been unfairly given to the practice of rock-climbing without ropes. Bouldering is usually done on enormous boulders where you’re really only 10-15 feet above the ground. Sometimes you have someone underneath to spot you, sometimes you have a crash pad, sometimes you’re an idiot and don’t have anything. We went for the spotter method, which gave me an excuse to grab the cute boy’s butt a few times…in the name of safety. Here are Marija, Mait & I demonstrating the techniques of ‘awesome.’

One of the boulders gave us a chance to practice stemming, a technique where you use opposing body forces to move up, down, sideways, diagonal, upside-down, inside-out, etc. I made those last few up, sorry. Essentially avoid touching the ground. This comes in handy in canyoneering, when the ground can be cold, disgusting water. Really cool people can stem narrow slot canyons like this. I took the opportunity to apply my yoga training to create a new move involving the splits, one that I hope will impress you.

Please don’t judge me for having my helmet on weird.

A quick trip to the few petroglyphs in Red Rock, on the boardwalk at Red Springs Picnic Area, to show the Estonians some Native American awesome. These are looking pretty sad…DON’T TOUCH PETROGLYPHS PEOPLE! Sorry for yelling about it.

And a useless P.S:

Las Vegas actually means The Meadows…the Vegas Valley was settled because of the springs in the area. Weird to think of Vegas as being an oasis in the desert, huh? Sure.


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