Rock Shop with Black Diamond

For the second year, we were honored to collaborate with Black Diamond on Rock Shop, an event Jon Jugenheimer has put together the last couple Aprils. It works like this:

  • Jon invites every Black Diamond retailer in his territory (Great Lakes) to send one staff member who is relatively new to rock climbing or would like to learn more.

  • Jon reserves a group campsite, packs up his big camp kitchen, and buys a ton of food.

  • We all rendezvous on Friday night for burgers and campfire shananigans.

  • After egg burritos Saturday morning, we head to the crag for climbing, tech skills clinics and general climbing talk and camaraderie.

  • After a good day out, we head to The Barn.

Can you imagine a better training day for store staff? The energy is all good, all the time on this event and we were psyched to be out.

 6:30 AM hike in to the crag. It’s difficult not to be in a good mood with a team like this. Especially when Bridger volunteers to carry the portaledge.

6:30 AM hike in to the crag. It’s difficult not to be in a good mood with a team like this. Especially when Bridger volunteers to carry the portaledge.

 James Loveridge and the gang heading up the CCC Trail to the East Rampart. Photo: Sharon Vanorny

James Loveridge and the gang heading up the CCC Trail to the East Rampart. Photo: Sharon Vanorny

 Hiking below Pedestal and D’Arcy’s Buttresses on the CCC Trail. Photo: Sharon Vanorny

Hiking below Pedestal and D’Arcy’s Buttresses on the CCC Trail. Photo: Sharon Vanorny

 Abby from  Active Endeavors  in Iowa. Photo: Sharon Vanorny

Abby from Active Endeavors in Iowa. Photo: Sharon Vanorny

 Following the East Bluff trail along the edge of the East Rampart. Photo: Sharon Vanorny

Following the East Bluff trail along the edge of the East Rampart. Photo: Sharon Vanorny

We set up a legion of TRs at Hawk’s Nest and Psuedo Hawk’s Nest to accommodate the crew. Beautiful weather at this great south-facing crag made for wonderful climbing comfort. Jon schedules this event pretty early in the season, so climbing activity is pretty thin and we largely have the place to ourselves.

 A couple crag dogs made the trip in with us. This Australian Shepard is just a little hesitant making its way down Leaning Tower Gully. Photo: Sharon Vanorny

A couple crag dogs made the trip in with us. This Australian Shepard is just a little hesitant making its way down Leaning Tower Gully. Photo: Sharon Vanorny

 Jon Jugenheimer, our local Black Diamond rep, warms up on Prime Rib (5.9+). Photo: Sharon Vanorny

Jon Jugenheimer, our local Black Diamond rep, warms up on Prime Rib (5.9+). Photo: Sharon Vanorny

 Gretchen from  Rock Mill  in Akron, OH climbing Alpha Centauri (5.10d) at Hawk’s Nest. Photo: Sharon Vanorny

Gretchen from Rock Mill in Akron, OH climbing Alpha Centauri (5.10d) at Hawk’s Nest. Photo: Sharon Vanorny

 Unknown climber heading up the first easy ledges on Death and Transfiguration (5.4). Photo: Sharon Vanorny

Unknown climber heading up the first easy ledges on Death and Transfiguration (5.4). Photo: Sharon Vanorny

 Photo: Sharon Vanorny

Photo: Sharon Vanorny

It’s pretty incredible to hang out with 25 outdoor retail professionals from all over the Midwest. While not all the folks were experienced climbers, they were all super enthusiastic and really happy to be learning and climbing with us. And since many folks DID have some experience, there was a really great momentum created from having 8 staff combine with many backgrounds and to produce all sorts of stories, opinions and questions about climbing and technical work.

 Instructor  Kat Floyd  tests two students’ anchor equalization.

Instructor Kat Floyd tests two students’ anchor equalization.

 Gordon from  North Wall Climbing Gym  in Crystal Lake, IL considering his #1 Camalot.

Gordon from North Wall Climbing Gym in Crystal Lake, IL considering his #1 Camalot.

 Instructor  Sarah Geers  looks for a pocket to demonstrate how to make that cam placement  just  right.

Instructor Sarah Geers looks for a pocket to demonstrate how to make that cam placement just right.

 Students evaluating horizontal crack placements.

Students evaluating horizontal crack placements.

 BD rep James Loveridge holds forth on C4 tech specs.

BD rep James Loveridge holds forth on C4 tech specs.

 Can you feel the love? Photo: Sharon Vanorny

Can you feel the love? Photo: Sharon Vanorny

Huge thanks to Jon Jugenheimer for organizing this cool day of learning and fun. And another big thank you to Madison photographer Sharon Vanorny, who joined us for the morning to capture the climbing action. I am already looking forward to next year.