Local Training Grounds: Woodson

 

This weekend I had the pleasure of joining the community of The American Alpine Club and Mesa Rim for a clean up of our local San Diego crag, Mount Woodson. There was a great turn out and upon walking down the hill at the end of the day, it was quite refreshing to see what a difference we all made to this wonderful place. Think about the impact we could all have if everyone treated everyday with some of those intentions. Walking around the city, neighborhood or even shopping mall and being able to take responsibility that this is our world and we need to take better care of it. Even if it’s just one piece of trash, no matter how small, they all add up to a bigger picture. It’s important to hold responsibility for ourselves and others that don’t understand or take the time to embrace how great of a place they are ruining by drawing graffiti or throwing their trash on the ground rather than packing it out. So those who made it out, Thank you.

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Mount Woodson has been my local training ground, spending full days frolicking among the boulders, or waking up before the sun rises to get in a quick session before work. It has been the place to help grow my foundation to crack climbing while also giving me a place to easily practice my trad placements and building anchors. There are a lot of hidden gems surrounding the more obvious lines and still so much that has yet to be explored. Every time I go, I am happily surprised by the people I run into and the new area’s I am introduced and old climbs I’m oh so familiar with.

As I made my way up the Mountain for the cleanup, I ran into a group of climbers who greeted me with a trash bag and good stories as we tromped around finding odd things from diapers to old rusted cans. We continued hiking, eventually passing the classic Robing Crack which seems to always be calling my name. My first trip to Woodson, I was inspired by my two friends, Pat and Mike who seemed to fly up this slice in the rock with ease while I couldn’t manage to pull off the ground. Setting my bag of trash on the ground, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to climb as we passed this boulder. With the support of Youth Team Member Declan, his father Kevin and Kristine, I made my way up the crack feeling alive as my hands morphed around the rock into secure jams. Upon reaching the top, with it being a busy Sunday afternoon, I was greeted by cheers and claps from fellow peers. The down climb is a little bit trickier, but shortly found myself back on the ground and continuing up the hill and enjoying the great company.

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I knew that I was going to climb when I started up for the clean up, so I included a harness, shoes and chalk in my pack, just incase I found people with gear or pads that would allow me to join in the fun. After reaching the summit and chatting coworkers and volunteers, I took my time to enjoy the views and make my way back down the trail. The day proceeded on running into more friends who invited me to join in the climbing party on some super sweet slabs on Starface. The picture below has to be my highlight of the day where we set up a TR on my all-time favorite Jaws, teaching Levi a little bit about placing gear and the joy of painful finger locks. From the look on his face, I’d say he enjoyed it!

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Some of my favorite climbs if you haven’t done them yet and find yourself reading this are as followed:

Rexrodes, Cat Crack, Robbins, Baby Robbins, Jaws, Cornflake, Elsa’s, Milkbar, Rockwork Orange, The Cave, John’s Crack, and Starface.

 

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