Going home

I am now at McCarran airport waiting to get the red eye flight home.

We climbed a couple of days in Red Rocks before rain forced us down to Jtree. In Jtree we met some of the climbers that Ian had been hanging out with, and we ended up hanging out with quite a group of dirt bag climbers.

The weather was cold and windy most of the time, however we did get one nice sunny day. We climbed everyday, and drank a lot of beer. We went through the Chasm of Doom a couple of times; this year is an adventure through boulders and chimneys that is done at night in complete darkness.

The day we returned to Vegas the weather was cold with a threat of rain. Ian dropped me at the airport, and plans on driving home in about 1 week.

Selfie at Outer Mongolia

Ian rocking his new T-shirt

Ringtail cat

Dinosaur on top of the blob

Ian soloing right ski track in a dinosaur onesie.

Rainy day

Sitting in Dunkin Doughnuts while it rains outside. I arrived at noon on Monday and we went out and climbed Birdland.

We had a good day climbing a long route then watching a helicopter drop of some search and rescue guys for training.

We met up with some climbers that allowed us to share their campsite.

Yesterday we climbed Cat in the Hat and then some 300′ sport climbs.

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Sitting in Montreal airport

I got the 5am flight out of Saint John. We were delayed 40 minutes due to de-icing, but arrived without incident in Montreal.

Then there is the long walk to the connection area, followed by the inevitable wait through customs. Everything went smoothly however it still takes time.

I picked up a bottle of rum at duty free, and had a great bagel at a kiosk. I am now having my Starbucks coffee waiting to board the next flight.

Joshua Tree

It is March Break and I am off to Las Vegas. Ian is picking me up at the airport, and we will be climbing in Red Rocks and JTree.

I am off to an interesting start. There is a storm coming in so my flight out of Saint John has been cancelled, however, I have been rescheduled and now arrive at 11:38am in Vegas, 12 hours earlier than planned.

Final notes on India

This was my first real trip to India,  and I certainly learnt a few things;

1. India is nothing like Nepal.  I had expected there would be a lot in common, but there is basically nothing in common.  The Indians do not understand Nepalese,  so all the words learnt on my trips to Nepal where of no use in India. 

The Nepalese are always smiling and friendly. The Indians are busy and do not smile and say hi. We met a lot of great people, but the overall atmosphere is very different.

2. It is very hard to get around india without a local guide. It might be fun if you are young and only have a backpack to carry around, but otherwise pay the money for a local guide, whether it is a guide for a trek, a taxi driver around tour, a tour guide for an attraction, or simply a rickshaw driver. It is well worth the money.

3. Every town, street and city is busy. There are cars, trucks, bikes, cows, dogs, and people everywhere. There is garbage everywhere. It is dusty and dirty everywhere, and there is an overall pervasive smell of urine everywhere. India is amazing, and it has a great history and culture, but there are a lot of people, and you need to be ready for the mass of humanity.

4. The overnight busses are painful.

5. The train is good, but getting a ticket can be interesting.

6. Book your hotels ahead of time, and research online carefully.

7. If you are going to climb there be aware that peaks over 5600m are full blown expedition peaks requiring a permit, liaison officer, guide, cook, etc. Below that you don’t need anything, although I would hire a guide and a few horses.

8. The trekking in northern india is beautiful. There are large forests and Meadows to camp in. You can trek over passes for weeks. Take a guide.

9. The beer in India tends to be weak, and most of it is not good.

10. The Cappacino is good. The coffee is instant Netcafe and it is bad. The tea tends to be good, but is often sweetened.

11. The food is good. Lots of flavors, and not too hot (spicy), but they do give you spices on the side if you want more heat.

12. The only way to get a quiet nights sleep is to hike well up into the hills away from any towns.

13. Unless you are in the hills, you will not see the sky through the pollution. 

14. We felt safe everywhere we went. People often approached us offering directions and advice when they thought we were lost. There were happy to talk to us and we’re interested in Canada, although most of them were familiar with Vancouver and Calgary. 

15. Driving is a nightmare. Just hang on for the ride, or close your eyes (unless you are doing the driving).