Rock Climb in Utah

Fisher Towers at sunset.JPG

Sandstone and limestone rock, native to much of Utah, is easily eroded away by water and wind leading to some miraculous scenery and rock climbing adventures.  The red hint to the rock with little vegetation around is something that we don’t see here in New Hampshire.  Steeply sloped, smooth mountains make it difficult to place hands and feet into nearly nonexistent crevices but all the more of a challenge it becomes.  While it may be a struggle on the way up due to the lack of clip in stations, the views look to be more than worth it.

There are adventures for all different experience levels, therefore I am certain I would be able to summit.  From canyons to deserts, Utah has something for everyone’s taste.  National parks are located all around the area making for easy access to an hour, day, or week long climbing adventure.  Between the backdrop of the blue sky against the reddish brown rocks and the amazing natural sculptures that have formed in and around them, I would love to go and try an easier climb (while bringing a camera of course).  It would also be fun to go and watch professional climbers as they meticulously perfect their every move.  Hopefully a visit to Utah is in my near future since I have friends who are moving out there next year!



Volcano Surf

Volcano Boarding: Extreme and Dusty

        As a volcano erupts, spills over, and cools, some people are trying to avoid the natural disaster while others are planning their surfing adventure.  Surfing doesn’t only happen on water, but on the leftover coals that have eroded into a sand-like texture.  Surf down the slopping volcano walls as you meander around each bump and groove.  This activity is for the adventurous who aren’t afraid to do a little traveling to find a volcano or who want to try something completely new. Test your balance and coordination as you try to keep your feet underneath you and on the surf board.  For those who want to try it, protective gear includes pads for elbows and knees, a helmet, goggles, and jumpsuit as the bare minimum.

With concerns aside, many places located around Latin America such as Nicaragua and Guatemala have sign ups available.  Riders hike up the volcano before proceeding down on a thin plywood or metal board.  Hot ash, coals, and poisonous gases make this an extreme sport to say the least.  While it looks like sand dunes at first, the closer you get, you’ll see the hard rock like features that make it anything but a soft landing (or so I’m told).

Some of the volcanoes are active every day while others haven’t erupted since the late 90’s.  Either way, there is great risk associated with the extreme sport where on the hike up the only thought going through your mind is “I hope I will only be boarding on ash today and not lava!”  But with the stunning views from the summit, these thoughts don’t seem to keep the adventurists from going 50 mph down a volcano on a wood board!  Now, if only I had the courage…

Dive with the Big Boys

Deep below the ocean’s surface, with nothing but an oxygen tank, a wetsuit, and some bait, avid divers strap themselves into a cage and tantalize sharks to eat out of their hand.  Quite literally and figuratively, that would “rattle my cage” but despite wide eyes and a rushed heartrate, I think I would give it a shot.  Special gloves and protective gear to avoid bites or other injuries would be a necessity as I am sure my hands would be shaking the minute a shark got close enough to me.  But how many people can say they have ever done it?  Perhaps the only lure to the adventure is the sense of excitement, thrill, and good stories, but reason enough for me to try it, especially if protected by the metal cage.

Shark Diving Image

Imagine swimming among animals three, four, ten times your size in their own natural habitat.  Dark..eerie..unnatural..yes, but all the better to be pushed out of your comfort zone.  A go-pro camera would be amazing to watch back footage of sharks feeding out of your hand, assuming there would be enough light to capture a good video.  There are places all around the world that do this and group sizes vary from 3 or 4 people all the way up to 10+.  If I ever get the opportunity with friends who are adventurous enough I think it would be a great way to explore new heights..or depths.  Perhaps this is one of those “don’t tell mom” things though!

Kayak down the Rapids

Another adventure on my bucket list is to go white water kayaking.  After renting or purchasing a boat, paddle, and helmet, all that’s left is to find a river suitable to how adventurous you are and how high the rapids get.  It would be smart to start on smaller rapids to “get my feet wet” so to speak and slowly work my way up.  It looks like a rush of adrenaline as you strategically plan your moves to maneuver around rocks, sticks and other objects.  With spring on its way, this is prime time for higher rapids due to snow runoff making it all that more fun and safe.  Spring time paddling would be cold though, so I would definitely look into renting or buying a wet suit/dry suit.

There are different types of boats with different lengths and weight ratios for stabilization and technical purposes.  The shortest of all of them is called a rodeo boat, shortened to slice through the water and maneuver around any obstacles and narrower streams.  To me, this boat seems to be a good style for a novice like me however, I read that the shorter the boat, the harder it is to work on technique because of less boat beneath you.

With this activity, it seems beneficial to take a tour or go with a guide to ensure safety and perfect technique before just jumping in and going.  I would like to go on some river that I have never seen before, perhaps with a place to stop and eat lunch or watch a waterfall etc.

In North Creek, NY , near where I live, there is a white water derby in May for 2.5 miles down the Hudson River.  This is always a blast to watch hundreds of kayakers race down the river, almost as  if they were bumper cars the whole way down.  They have no mercy on each other, making this sport not for the light-hearted.  I missed it last year but will try to make it a point to go and watch this May if it is after school gets out.