This last week we have been in Arizona and enjoying some awesome great weather! This of course means for me more and more rock climbing at every turn! We have done a lot of fun different adventures but this particular one was the best.
We went out to the mine area (particularly lower lunar landing) in the Devils Canyon pass by oak flats in Arizona. I had never been there before and was very excited to try it out for the first time.
Initially I had made plans to go with my good friend Nick Barney and his wife but we added on his little sister Natalia and also my cousin Kyler.
Kyler is autistic. He is pretty high functioning. He was able to serve an lds service mission and he blends in well. Nicks wife didn’t even realize he was autistic until the thing was entire over! But he had never been rock climbing. My uncle had mentioned earlier this year that he thought Kyler would enjoy it and I figured what the heck! Let’s do this!
So the climb we selected was an easy 5.5 climb called snorkeling in the rhyolite. I led it and thought that it was pretty run out even if it was only a 5.5. It was a very fun route for the grade. I thought that maybe a 5.6 would be a better grade for it. It only had one crux spot but it definitely favored the taller person. I loved the big flake after the crux to the finish. It was very fun! But definitely not a climb that you want to take a fall on lead on.
So we got all set up. I had nick do the belaying so I could take pictures. Kyler requested a video of him. (I’ll include it if the blog will alow me but we will see.)so he was off. He went slowly but did well. It started off slabby and you could see that he was hoping for bigger holds. But he went up and did that section without too much real difficulty. Then he got to where the climb went vertical. Getting onto that face was definitely the Cruz. He couldn’t figure out his feet at first. So we recommended maybe he could skip that section and go right around it instead. Which he went straight for. And it worked at first. He got his feet on and started going up a corner areate/Crack and looked like he was going to just fly up it! Until he grabbed a hold that was just a little more slopey than he was ready for. He caught it, matched on it and off he flew! He probably swung about 8 feet to his left and back on route where we probably should’ve kept him. He didn’t even let that phase him though! He just shook it off and hopped on it. This time his feet were high enough that he could finish the route and had a blast going up the giant flake and giving me a high five at the top!
Kyler at the flake
Kyler before the fall
I sure am proud of him doing that! He did great! After that the rest of our group each got to do that climb once. I wish we had had time to do more there but we had Christmas parties and families to see. All in all I was impressed with how well everyone did seeing as we didn’t have very many people with us that had done a ton of climbing. Nicole liked the climb. I am sure we will go back out there again if the opportunity arises.