Rockin' Red Rocks With Kid Comfort III And Aircontact Pro
We just got back from a great Thanksgiving Trip to Red Rocks with a crew from Bishop and the Tahoe area. Kind of an annual tradition, with good friends, good food and good fun. This year, unlike the past two, the weather was gorgeous—warm, no wind.
Red Rocks is about 4.5 hour drive from Bishop and offers a nice contrast to the Sierra. We love the color and swirls of the formations (reminds us of southwest Colorado and Utah), the washes with the wild burros and mountain goats, the J trees and the mix of all styles of rock climbing in one place. Baby likes Red Rocks due to its excellent sand, big flat ledges, light-weight rocks, and shady boulders.
We hit several different crags- from sport areas like the Gallery, Sunny and Steep, and the Panty Wall to trad climbs up in Pine Creek Canyon and in the Calico Hills, and even did a little bouldering at the Kraft boulders at the end of the day. For Turkey Day, a Dutch-oven cooked bird by our friend Greg was the highlight, but everyone brought their own dish and we ended up literally rolling into our sleeping bags stuffed! Ali was a little small (she’s 11 months) for her Little Star, so we draped it over her feet and she slept nice and cozy.
It was fun toting the baby around, and Julie and I were psyched that we could get to our favorite crags with Ali on board. We we’re also psyched on the new Kid Comfort III pack and it’s extra storage. One day, we packed in a couple ropes and a triple set of cams to do a mega classic crack called Out of Control back by Dark Shadows in Pine Creek. The KCIII helped me pack in a full set of cams up to a 4.5î cam for the dreaded slot section. Out of Control is like having 150 feet of Indian Creek hidden in Red Rocks. Sustained thin hand jams set you up for a tricky little slot and then the pitch ends with a bomb-bay roof move right onto the belay ledge- very cool. The great thing is that Ali really loves the ride. She’s comfortable, loves looking around, can fall right to sleep when she gets tired and can go with us to all these great places. We hiked an average of 1.5 hours a day, and she never is unhappy to get in the pack.
We also broke in Julie’s new climbing pack- the Aircontact Pro 65. We’d been using my Grade IV haulbag for the past 10 years to tote our loads. The AC Pro is great because you can actually organize your stuff in the sections of the pack, have easy access to it and, therefore, keep it organized during the day. Shoes, harnesses, gear, and quickdraws go in the bottom compartment, warm clothing and extra water bottles in the middle, food on the outer pocket to keep it from getting squashed, and the rope either under the lid or on the butt like a sleeping pad. Julie, new to carrying the gear in the Ali era, likes how you can get most of the weight low in pack (stable) and onto your hips (comfy). I like being able to find what I want quickly, instead of digging to the bottom of the pack every time and rooting around. I also like the pack’s gender neutral blue color (I may have borrowed it a couple of times).
Back in Bishop it’s bouldering season until the snow finally decides to fall in earnest. We also like to get down into the Owens River Gorge on calm, sunny weekends in the winter.
–Julie and Keith Rainville (Family Ambassadors)