by Miguel Diaz
Last weekend was really great! On Friday, a good friend who graduated from Embry-Riddle came to visit and we hung out with him for a while. On Saturday, I had my Industrial Hygiene class, and we did our individual topic presentations. After that I was able to finally relax after a long week. But the highlight of the weekend was Sunday, when my friend Alex and I took a few members of the Mountain Club (check out our Facebook page) for a day of rock climbing at a nearby canyon called The Promised Land. The Mountain Club is one of the many student organizations on campus. We are a community of rock climbers and mountain bikers that enjoy one or both of these sports and like connecting with like minded people. As an officer of the club, I love bringing people out on trips and introducing them to the sport of rock climbing. Anyone is welcome regardless of experience or gear ownership. We have taken many beginners and we have plenty of gear that we can loan out to members for use. The only requirement is a sense of adventure!
The canyon is located about 10 miles northeast of Prescott, or directly east of our neighboring town to the north, Chino Valley. There was seven of us going that day. Six students from different majors and even one staff member! Even though the canyon is close in distance, we have to go through some rough dirt roads, so it took us about an hour to get to the climbing area.
We hiked in and started setting up. In rock climbing, each specific path, or line up the rock is called a route, and they vary in difficulty. So we started off by setting up some easy routes up the wall to warm up. Everyone did great and was able to finish them no problem.
We moved on to other routes as everyone was done with the first two. We tried one much harder route that only two of us were able to complete, but the challenge was a lot of fun! We continued on to two others that climbed on some jagged rock leading to a flatter face. Very fun but challenging too! This one seemed particularly enjoyable for most of us, although we were getting a little tired at this point. At this spot I took a picture of one of our members going up the route
After this we moved further down the canyon to do two more routes. One of these routes involved going around a cactus growing out of the wall, and it proved to be quite entertaining to see each other trying to climb up while avoiding it.
At the end, we all had fun throughout the day and everyone enjoyed spending a day outside with beautiful weather in an awesome place with good people. We talked about climbing equipment and gear, about school and classes, joked around with each other, and made plans for future outings. It was a good day and a good weekend for us. And we look forward to more days like these!