The Mountain Gear Red Rock Rendezvous is upon us once again. Climbers from across the country have flocked to Vegas to pulldown on patina chickenheads and slap up silky smooth sandstone arétes in the Mojave Desert. As we all know the desert can be hot – really hot. Today the temperature could get as high as 92 degrees. If you’re in the sun it’s just about unbearable.
I wanted a little advice on how to beat the heat, so I stopped in at Desert Rock Sports in Las Vegas and spoke with Matt Kuehl, gear store employee and Vegas off-width aficionado.
- Stay in the shade – avoid south facing cliffs, crags, and boulders that receive a lot of sun throughout the day. Sure, you might not get the bronze tan you were hoping for, but at least you won’t have to lather up in sunscreen every 30 minutes and the climbing will be much more enjoyable.
- Clothing beats sunscreen – you’re in a clinic and you’re stuck in the sun. It’s going to be OK. Wear lightweight clothing to shield your body from the sun. It’s counter intuitive, but clothing provides excellent UV protection and cools down the body. Hawaiian shirts make a great option because the collar can be used to protect the neck and you’ll be the most festive climber on the wall.
- Bring extra water – this should be obvious to just about everyone. Yet, it’s so important it’s worth mentioning again and again. During 90+ degree days Kuehl triples the amount of water he brings to the crag. You might not need all of it. But, you don’t want to be baking in the sun high on a wall, desperate for H2O.
- Cooler with cold beer – there’s nothing better than being back at the trailhead, swapping the days stories with friends, while sipping back a cold beer. Not a drinker? That’s OK. Lemonade or iced tea are just as delicious at the end of the day. Looking for a little extra relief? Take some ice from the cooler and hold it against the back of your neck. Ahhhh. Sweet relief!!!
There you go. Now that you have the tools to stay cool get out there and enjoy yourself.