Alli Rainey spent the fall participating in and representing SCARPA at climbing events such as Rocktoberfest and the Team Clif Bar athlete summit where she got to know athletes in other sports, such as Chris Davenport. She also honed her sport-climbing skills in the Red River Gorge and played a supporting role for her climbing partner as he set up new sport routes.
It’s been a busy fall season filled with events for me, as well as my annual pilgrimage to the Red River Gorge to work on honing my still-developing steep sport-climbing skills. Autumn kicked off with participation in the local Bureau of Land Management’s National Public Lands Day trail maintenance event near our home in Wyoming. After that, along with my husband, Kevin Wilkinson, and my dog, Jedi, I embarked on the 24-hour drive to Kentucky, stopping for the night in the middle of Iowa before continuing on to arrive just in time to be a part of Rocktoberfest 2012. We taught an intermediate sport-climbing clinic, spending the day sharing our knowledge before I handed out SCARPA goodies to all the participants.
I spent the actual climbing season here playing a supporting role while Kevin equipped new sport routes. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of that process while also building on my technical knowledge base for steep sport climbing – as well as beefing up my endurance and power endurance, of course. The Red is so demanding and unique in all of these areas; I find it still takes my body (and my mind, too) more time than I want it to every season to get fit and adjusted to the area. Nonetheless, it’s always an enjoyable process, and I couldn’t ask for a better climbing area in which to do it, that’s for sure. I figure that it doesn’t really matter which routes I get on here – whether I try established classics or brand-new climbs – to work those skills and try to transform what I still think is my biggest weakness (anything having to do with steep rock) into a greater area of strength.
Last week saw us both traveling again to climbing events, but this time, we went on separate adventures – I headed out to San Francisco to spend a few days at a Team Clif Bar athlete summit and to attend the grand opening of prAna’s gorgeous new San Francisco store. Meanwhile, Kevin attended an event I wish I could have simul-attended as well – the Access Fund’s Future of Fixed Anchors event in Las Vegas. At the Clif Bar event, I was delighted to meet and chat with another SCARPA/Clif Bar athlete, Chris Davenport. That’s actually one of the key aspects that made that event so worthwhile and awesome; meeting and getting to spend time with athletes from other sports provided a refreshing change of perspective, giving me a quick and intriguing glimpse into other worlds of sports outside my normal realm.
Our season is winding down here now; it’s time to head home and get some R&R in before we journey to spend holidays with family and move into 2013 refreshed and ready to travel to more climbing events and areas throughout next year.