Barreling down the 29 Palms Highway, keep a sharp eye out for the tiny sign reading “Indian Cove.” It’s easy to miss the turnoff to one of the best places in Southern California to go rock climbing.
That’s where nearly all of Monrovia’s Troop No. 147 headed this past weekend, for camping, campfires, and of course, climbing.
The winds whipped up something fierce overnight, gusting to 38 mph. Scouts and scouters alike should all have taken a bit more care in tent site selection, and the staking of flies. This scouter took a tent poll to the face in the middle of the night, and one of the scout’s tents snapped a poll roundabout the same time. Lessons learned.
What there were absolutely no complaints about was our day spent rock climbing, and our fantastic guides, BSAonBelay. One guide camped with us on Friday night, and the rest of the five-man team rolled in before dawn to secure a great climbing spot for us.
Around the Indian Cove amphitheatre, they set up six ascents varying in difficulty broad enough to encourage the newbies and challenge the experienced scouts. And then there were the rappels. One tenderfoot got so excited by them that he climbed and rappelled 10 times—more than any other scout.
We can’t say enough good things about Paul, George, and the rest of the BSAonBelay instructors. They were patient, cheerful, and precise. Their gear was in great shape, and they demonstrated its correct usage to climbers and belayers. We were impressed by their online resources, and felt prepared going into the outing.
Over the course of the day, “On belay!” became code for “Andale!” Let’s go. And we just can’t wait to go climbing again.
If you’re interested in climbing with BSAonBelay, make your reservations ASAP. They’re currently accepting them for 2009-2010. If you or a scouter in your troop is interested in becoming qualified to lead a BSA climbing outing, BSAonBelay offers training courses and is looking for new guides.