Simply Read, Rifle, CO
photo by Tobin Sanson

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Start of a New Year

Summer is officially over and the school year has begun. Monday started with a whirlwind of ordered chaos as 18 five year olds poured into my classroom. I don't know exactly how to describe the first 30 minutes of Kindergarten. Suffice to say that tears are shed by both children and parents, millions of questions are asked and answered, at least one child always tries to run for it as their parents leave the room, 18 names are instantly memorized and put with faces, and countless bags of supplies must be sorted and organized.

I have now survived three days of Kindergarten and feel confident that it is going to be another great year!

Summer ended with the biggest party of the year. . . the Rifle Clean-Up.  The Rifle climbing community came together to improve Rifle Mountain Park and enjoy good food and beer. Danny Robertson and I where in charge of the food. Feeding 100+ climbers is no small task but at Costco $470 goes a long way. We barely fit all the food into my car.

Adam Avery donated 3 kegs of beers and lots of climbing companies pitched in to make the raffle a success. Over $700 was raised to further improve the climbing experience in Rifle.

Big thanks to everyone who replaced unsafe bolts, put in perma-draws, and built bridges, trails, and benches (I especially like the benches with beer holders)!

While the men worked with their drills, saws, and other tools, the ladies greeted participants at the entrance to the park, handed out trash bags, and did some sending. Wendy Williams sent her first 5.13c, Bite the Bullet, and Emily Harrington nabbed the first female ascent of Roadside Prophet, 5.14a.

All around a truly motivational weekend and a great way to end the summer!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Simply Read

There are a few perks to being a Kindergarten teacher. We have some very funny stories, we are treated as near celebrities when spotted in public by a student, and we get SUMMER VACATION!

As the school year ramps back up I'm left reminiscing on this past summer vacation’s highlights.
1. I took my 9 year old niece rock climbing in the Red River Gorge, KY

2. I went on an 80+ hour road trip to the Midwest/Southeast to visit friends and family.

3. My beloved van was retired and I inherited my mother's Nissan Maxima.

Art Work by Meg Bisharat (the van in all her glory)

5. I took advantage of living in a beautiful valley filled with bike paths and alpine lakes.

6. And most importantly, I got to climb whenever I wanted!

This summer I managed to send a project that I'd been working on for longer than I care to admit. Simply Read is not exactly my style of a route.  It's a powerful route with one very big move that sent me flying into my belayer over and over and over again. I honestly lost count of the number of times I fell on that move. If it's below 15 I'd be shocked.

As with all projects, the fateful day finally came when I stuck that one move from the ground! The rest of the climb is no joke, but I managed to get myself to the top.  Luckily Joe Kinder was able to get a few shots of the send.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My First Blog Post

Here it is. . .. my first blog post.

I guess I should start with some basics. My name is Jen Vennon. I am a Kindergarten teacher and an avid rock climber. I currenlty reside in Carbondale, CO and climb in Rifle Mountain Park as much as my schedule will allow. I am 28 years old.

I am currently enjoying my last week of summer vacation. I am expected to return to work on Monday morning, the kids will come a week after that. The beginning of a new school year is always bittersweet. I love teaching Kindergarten and I'm excited to meet a new class of 5 year olds. But I'll be sad to give up lazy mornings, long climbing days, and endless stretches of time to use as I please.

On this blog I'll cronicle my adventures as I try to balance my professioanl life and my climbing life. I hope you enjoy.

Carbondale, CO
Photo by Andrew Bisharat