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Rock Climbing Class

February 22, 2013

The rock climbing PE class headed to the Mojave (Who knew? It’s more than just sand…) this weekend for some valuable field experience. Students set up camp in the Granite Mountains, spending two days honing their climbing skills on routes ranging from introductory 5.6 to impressive 5.10+. Challenging stamina and testing nerves, the climbers took on an ambitious 100 ft. route and an overhanging rappel. This class was one of three courses offered for credit through Pomona Athletics and operated through the Outdoor Education Center. Students have the opportunity to gain valuable life skills as well as practical skills for later leading trips for on-campus outdoor clubs like POA at Pitzer and OWL at Scripps. After two strenuous days, the group managed to squeeze in an afternoon frolic in the sands of Kelso Dunes. Wildlife sightings included rare fringe-toed lizards (worth googling) and an inebriated fraternity from Cal Poly (not worth googling). Other highlights included TSL read-a-loud sessions and the nightly entree of left-over pasta.

Instructor Martin Crawford cites the significant wind chill as a major hurdle for the group, freezing climber’s hands and posing what sounds like a fire hazard as “it was hard to keep the campfire from blowing embers all over us at night!” He advises future climbers at this time of year to bring extra layers in case the wind picks up and to be prepared to construct a windbreak with tarps.

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