If you're looking for a day of true mountainside adventure, there's nothing like challenging yourself with a day of climbing a mountainside, or at least a really big rock slab on a mountainside if you're a beginner like me.
Our climbing adventure was guided, which is a good idea unless you're an expert with your own, high quality, well-maintained equipment.
We went as a family, so had climbers in our group who ranged in age from 10-50. We were all beginners, though we've played around on rock walls and climbing gyms before.
For our trip, we used Ground Up Climbing Guides, and founder/lead guide Clay Tyson.
From our initial contact, communication with Clay was easy and thorough. We used text, FB Messenger, and email to coordinate dates, preparations, and paperwork. We planned a Sunday afternoon group lesson at Horseshoe slabs. Clay asked for shoe sizes in advance so that he could be prepared with the equipment we would need for our session.
We met up with Clay and another guide, Colin, in the Horseshoe Lake Parking lot just before 2pm with our paperwork in hand. Within a few minutes we had fit our gear (harness, helmet and shoes) and were on our way our the Horseshoe Lake loop to the Slabs.
Clay and Colin set the belay lines while we put on our equipment. Within a few minutes we were trying out some easy runs with the reassuring support of Clay and Colin's sturdy grip on the belay lines that supported us.
For the next few hours, we climbed 6 increasingly difficult lines along Horseshoe slabs, ending with more vertical climbs that challenged us as beginners. By the end, the boys were challenging each other to races (ok, my husband and I raced once, too), timing themselves on the climbs. Since we were enjoying a birthday that day, Clay planned a special rappelling activity for the birthday boy, which was our last activity of the day.
What to bring:
closed toed shoes for walking to climbing site
lots of drinking water
snack like granola bars, oranges, etc
daypack for carrying supplies
Who to contact:
Ground Up Climbing Guides, LLC
Mary Beth is the owner of Adventure Refined, where she offers true luxury Mammoth Lakes homes to guests. In her spare time she runs a ranch, loves a test pilot, and raises 4 boys & a Rhodie rescue.