HMI Gap: Goodbye Utah

Rock Climbing Group (F-Rock)

Written by Olivia Hunt

Coming to you from Big Bend Utah, F-Rock has had an amazing last few weeks. We have focused on more advanced rock climbing skills, such as multi-pitching, and we have really bonded as a group. Many people have had firsts in the last two weeks such as first multi pitch, first time voting, first time sleeping in a hammock, and first time riding on a five-foot tall bicycle.

One group bonding day was when we decided to multi pitch as an entire group. The entire group set off together to hike to the base of a cliff in the canyons near our campsite. On the way to the cliff we were asked to grab a rock that would symbolize something that was holding us back, and that we wanted to leave behind. One by one, we all climbed up this cliff to reach the rim of the canyon.  About half way up the wall, a small group of us were waiting on a small ledge, stuck way too close together, where we laughed and told stories. At the top of the climb we all sat and shared what we thought was holding us back on the trip. We built our rocks that we collected into a cairn and left them there. After this, as we were preparing to descend, the group all got together and played the best game of “Big Booty” ever to be played. We formed a circle and sang the “Big Booty” song while some of us danced in the middle. We all died of laughter, and it was a perfect way to end this amazing group adventure.    

Another part of this trip has been learning about the history of the places we are in. During this section we traveled to Bears Ears National Monument and hiked around, exploring where the ancient Puebloans lived and learned some about their ways of life. We even got to see ancestral hand prints!

The last night of Big Bend we all decided to have a group sleepover under the stars. We all lined up our sleeping bags and sleeping pads (In Aaron’s case, his sleeping crash pad) and fell asleep while looking at the stars. It’s a good thing we wore so many layers because when we woke up the tops of our sleeping bags and our water bottles were frozen.

Utah has been great and we will miss it, but we are all ready to get to take our skills to a new and remote location down in Patagonia. So it’s time for a van ride, 3 plane rides, another bus ride, and a boat ride; in other words 36 hours of travel to get to Chile!