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Every February, athletes from around the region converge on Texas Tech’s climbing wall for a competition like no other. Vertical Plains sits in the heart of one of the flattest places in North America but that won’t stop the competitors from having a great time. The competition is judged based off of a winner take all point system. The top five routes are taken into consideration for each climber and have to include no less than three roped routes. There are also boulder problems for each climber to solve while waiting for a roped route to open up. Each climbable route has an assigned amount of points to it with the easier routes having around half or less points than the harder routes. Points, however, are only awarded after a climber completely finishes a route so you have to plan your attack for the competition very carefully. If you manage five easier climbs you may come out with less points than someone who completed three harder climbs. At the same time, if you spend all your time on the hardest route but only complete it once then you end up with less points than someone doing easy routes the entire day. It really comes out to be a gamble of which of the hardest climbs you can complete successfully to gain you the most points without losing precious time.


Over the years Vertical Plains has gathered more and more of a following to make it the great competition that it is now. Numerous schools attend for the Collegiate Climbing Series side of the competition including U.T., Texas A&M, U.T.S.A., and Texas Tech. Other climbers showed up for the competition from the Midland Odessa area as well as Amarillo’s A.R.C.H. Local sponsors also attend the event to support the local climbing scene. Mountain Hideaway has had a raffle for some neat prizes the past few years with this year being a $50.00 gift card as well as some chalk bags and journals from Prana. The Access Fund also has a membership drive as well as a raffle to raise money for a great cause. The Access Fund works to protect America’s climbing and makes sure that the legal side is in working order for climbers across the country. To learn more about it, check out the link here. Vertical Plains is a great competition with a fun atmosphere. If you’re into climbing at all, or just going to the Rec to work out, be sure to drop by next year to check it out.

IMG_0765Also, the routes for the competition are still up so if you have a T.T.U. membership and want to give it a shot you still can.

Thanks Dad

Thanks Dad

One of my most vivid memories as a child is my first fishing experience. My Dad, an avid fisherman, had been patiently waiting until I was big enough to use my own Mickey Mouse fishing pole so that he could take me with him.

I remember being absolutely fascinated when my dad pulled a yellow bucket out of the water that was filled with tiny fish, that fascination was quickly followed by terror and intrigue as my dad grabbed one of the minnows and forced a hook though it. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A short while later a 16 inch striped bass took my bait, but it was I who was hooked from that moment on.

I have taken up numerous outdoor hobbies since that pivotal moment, and it’s no coincidence the ones I am most passionate about are the ones my dad has done with me.

It was he who took me camping first, it was he who spent countless hours wandering around with me, it was he who drove me to Boy Scouts in a town 30 miles away every week, it has been him that has encouraged me to go on most of the crazy adventures I have cooked up throughout the years, and it is he who I call every time I get off the lake, trail, mountain, or whatever else I have decided to take on.

The time I spent with my dad outdoors was not wasted. It provided me with critical learning experiences as my father modeled to me what it looked like to be a man. My dad not only instilled a love for the outdoors and adventure in me; he helped mold and shape me through these things. I credit a lot of who I am today to the time I have spent with him and am thankful to still have with him.

I hope that you have had the opportunity to spend time with your father outdoors, because I am convinced there are few things better in life. Unfortunately, I know this isn’t the truth for many. But know, that you have the power to change that for others. Whether it be for you own kids, present or future, the neighbor child who is missing a father figure in their life, or anyone else that may cross your path. You can help instill a love for the outdoors while being a role model for someone, by taking time to be outside with them.

This Father’s day I hope you take some time to thank the fathers in your life for everything they have done. And while you are at it get outside and enjoy the great outdoors with them!

We at The Mountain Hideaway want to wish a happy Father’s Day to all the great Dad’s out there!

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All Water Guides – Austin, Texas

All Water Guides – Austin, Texas

If you’re looking to add to your Fly Fishing portfolio and mix it up from the usual Colorado, Montana or Alaskan trip, then we have the place for you. Call our friends at All Water Guides down in Austin and get a premiere guided trip for all and any Hill Country fish. Their specialty, Guadalupe Bass. This diamond-patterned green beauty is as much of a fighter as any Rainbow or Smallmouth which is why this “Texas Trout” should be on your list.

Check out their Best of 2012 Video and a recent blog post they put up regarding the Guadalupe Bass and a possible new world record with your name on it.

Tight Lines, MH Team