Friday, December 18, 2009

Goodbye, Las Vegas...

Our pre-Christmas week in Las Vegas has come to an end. We enjoyed beautiful sunny weather (apart from the first day) and had a great time climbing in Red Rocks. Grandma Bourdon and her sister Anne visited for three days and we enjoyed having the company. Since they spent the day doing activities with Elise, we revelled in being "child free" and were able to go climbing with much lighter backpacks! Since our friend Jeff was visiting as well, we climbed as a threesome and had a few glorious days out. We all did some good climbs and Jeff and I climbed a 1500 foot route on Rainbow Mountain, Solar Slab, on our final day. I couldn't believe we were multipitch rock climbing in light pants and a T-shirt on December 17th! It was a pleasant way to finish a nice week.

Jeff at the Panty wall.

Pam on a 5.10c in the Black Corridor.

Climber in the Black Corridor.

On the huge terrace halfway up Solar Slab on Rainbow Mountain.

Jeff climbing the first pitch off the terrace on Solar Slab.

Elise didn't get to climb in Red Rocks, but she did enjoy the desert environment - we went on a cactus adventure to see how many we could find and identify. She touched some new growth at the base of a prickly pear and got many thread-like spines in her fingers. It was nothing serious - but the spines were a little painful and tedious to remove. She also enjoyed swinging on the rope and "fishing" in the puddles leftover from the rain. With Grandma B and Anne, she visited the MGM Grand and saw the lions! She also enjoyed eating at the funky Rainforest Grill, visiting the Las Vegas Childrens Museum and checking out Circus Circus where she won a stuffed green starfish and a Nemo!

Rock formations above the Sandstone Quarry parking lot. If you look very closely, you can see Jeff in the Red Rock near the peak.

Elise beside a great Prickly Pear cactus.

Beside a Barrel cactus.

Fishing by the Stratocaster wall.

Other than the climbing, we just enjoyed relaxing in our apartment and visiting with friends and family. There was a small pool and hot tub on the roof of the tower, so Elise and I spent cold evenings soaking and "swimming" in the hot tub. Grandma B joined us a couple of times and Elise really enjoyed showing off her "swimming" skills. In fact, she introduced herself to strangers in the hot tub one evening with, "Hi, my name is Elise, and I'm a really good swimmer". It was fun being up there, especially since we could see the lights of Vegas and watch helicopters circling overhead.

We spent the last night visiting with our friends Rich and Senja from Vancouver who were on an extended winter climbing trip down south. We socialized in the apartment, drank wine and ate lots of cake well into the eveing. It was a nice way to finish a nice week.

On to Los Angeles!

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