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It was time to escape the desert…

July 31st, 2009

The Osprey Brand Team, a group of 10 ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, checks in with Philip Swiny from Las Vegas. As you can imagine LV has been HOT and Philip had to flee to cooler climes in the northwest…

Las Vegas is a great winter climbing venue but as the summer rolls around, the temperatures rise and it is time to escape to cooler locals. This year my summer exploration is going to take me to a new part of the country, some where I have never explored before, and I have heard has only a short window of dry weather… the pacific northwest.

The trek from Vegas to Seattle is not an overly long one, but it is easy to take it nice and slow because there is so much to see and do along the way. I planned on taking about a week to make the drive. Bob a fellow guide in Vegas was also heading up to the Northwest for a while so we figured why not convoy. This would enable us to climb and explore on the way north. At the last minute, he had to stay in town a couple extra days so I started off alone.

My first stop was the East side of the Sierras. Just a beautiful 5 hour drive northwest of Vegas one arrives at the outdoor play ground of Bishop, CA. Bishop has is all, world class bouldering, overlooked sport climbing, and numerous life times of alpine granite all within minutes of town.

I met up with my friends Dave, Trish and discussed our options for the next day. It was decided that the priorities were a leisurely breakfast, home in time for a dinner, a short approach, a beautiful setting and a classic climb.  The choice was easy, the West Face of Cardinal Pinnacle. Only 20 miles out of town, but numerous degrees cooler due to elevation gain, it is one of the area classics. This 4 pitch crack climb ranges from fingers to off width, with a few exposed face moves thrown in for good measure.

We could not have asked for a more perfect day. Clear skies, good eats, and the only other party on the route were friends of ours from Vegas. We all swapped leads, took our time and just enjoying the day. In no time at all we were sitting at the last belay, enjoying the view of the endless sea of granite spires and towers stretching off to the north.

After what was truly a dinner feast Dave and Trish had to head back to the upcoming work week, I instead set up for a day of bouldering, with plans to meet Bob in new terrain for us both… Donner Summit, CA.

Philip is currently testing the Osprey “Mutant 38″ – read more about the pack here.

For more information check out Philip’s bio page here.

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