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Rusty Wackerman Climbs With A Legend!

Posted on: December 14th, 2011 by Abbey Smith

This spring and summer, the Club entered all new Members (and any current Members that renewed) into our Climb With a Legend Sweepstakes. We drew a winner and Utah’s Rusty Wackerman won $1,000 in cash for travel & lodging, a $500 Black Diamond Gift Card, and his choice of four trips:

• Sport Climbing in Utah’s Maple Canyon with Brittany Griffith

• An attempt on the iconic Castleton Tower with Jack Tackle

• Alpine Bouldering with the King of Highballs, Jason Kehl

• Ice Instruction at the Ouray Ice Park with Chicks With Picks Founder Kim Reynolds

Rusty felt like climbing in Utah, and while he picked sport climbing, he ended up climbing a desert tower anyway! Our Friend, Abbey Smith, got in touch with Randy and interviewed him about his experience.

Check out the photos that Rusty sent in the Inclined Galleries.

—Rusty Wackerman Climbs With Legend Brittany Griffith—

Name:  Rusty Wackermann
Age: 56
Hometown:  San Jose
Years climbing: 15 

What is your favorite style of climbing (bouldering, sport, trad, alpine)?
Bouldering, followed by Sport climbing. My true love is Mountaineering.
Why did you choose Brittany Griffith? 
I have read bios on Brittany. I wanted to meet her and climb in Utah. Truthfully, all of my climbing centered around one pitch routes. I wanted to experience multi-pitch climbs with a true legend.
Can you please tell me about your day climbing with Brittany Griffith?
The first day was a long one. I landed in Salt Lake City at midnight. After getting some sleep I met her in Arches National Park after 4 hours of driving. The weather at Maple Canyon made it less than desirable to climb there. She suggested we climb climb Owl rock. This was one pitch at 5.8. This was great introduction to Utah climbing. The Arches National Park was awesome. After the rappel down, we decided to go on a hike to Delicate Arch. This arch is spectacular. After we watched the sunset from the Delicate arches we went to Moab to have dinner before set up camp for the night. The next morning we headed to Ancient Art. We climbed the Stolen Chimney 5.8 AO. The classic free climb in the Fisher Towers. Now featured in a Citibank Commercial.
What were the highlights? Favorite moment of the day? 
Meeting Brittany was  the true highlight of the trip. Once you meet Brittany you feel like you have known her forever. On both the summit of Owl rock and Ancient Art Brittany was very supportive of each accomplishment. The hike to Delicate Arch was worth the couple of miles we had to hike to see this magnificent wonder of nature.  As we approached the arch Brittany noticed a bottle of red wine and two glasses half full on a rock. She said “Now that is prepared”. While she was taking pictures of my wife and I at Delicate arches, a couple asked her if she would do the same for them. After she took numerous pictures of the couple, Pete and Ellen, they told us it was his 51st birthday and they had some wine if we cared to have a toast with them. It made the day! Glass of Cabernet at Delicate Arches, sunset celebrating a birthday.  
What did you learn from climbing and spending time with Brittany? 
Brittany is a true inspiration ink the climbing world. Her help and guidance made the trip very enjoyable.  I learned than anything is possible with the right person helping you along.
Why did you become a member of the American Alpine Club? 
I believe in their position statements: helping and preserving the wilderness for a place to climb. I believe fixed anchors are vital to safe climbing and they use should be protected. I was at a point in my life to help support this cause. I would like to thank The American Alpine Club for the experience of a lifetime with Brittany.

Want some new gear this season? Through December 31, 2011, the Club is giving away a $500 Black Diamond Gift Card and $500 worth of sweet AAC-Logoed gear to one lucky climber. All you have to do is Join or Renew your Membership before December 31—and be sure to use the GEARUP promo code at checkout. Full details on the Gear Up Giveaway page.

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