Sunday, October 23, 2016

Climbing in Lower Devil's Canyon, Glitterbox Area, Superior, AZ

This past weekend, I found myself back in Superior, AZ for some climbing.

On Friday, I arrived at Oak Flats Campground around 8-9pm after rushing to finish as much as I could for school. The drive from Tempe, AZ to the campsite was surprisingly fast. The last time I drove to Superior, I had the impression that the drive took 2 hours. Knowing now that it only takes an hour or less, it definitely changes how I feel about climbing in Surprise.

The campsite was standard and developed fire pits were available. Ample space to set up tents. Beautiful view of the stars. For more information about the campgrounds, consult the following:

In the morning, we cleaned up what we could at our site and then began preparing for the day ahead of us.

To get to the approach, you need a vehicle capable of 4-wheel drive because of all the loose rocks on the road and how steep some of the roads get. If necessary, people can drive from the campsite closer to the crag and then leave their cars at the turnout if they plan to leave earlier. But from the turnout to the parking lot for Lower Devil's Canyon, it's still a bit of a drive, making it inconvenient for the person who will have to shuttle people back to their cars. However, the turnout is indeed a closer alternative than driving all the way back to the campsite if necessary.

On the way there, one of the trucks unfortunately suffered a blow out during an attempt up a steep hill. The tire was replaces, the truck was parked, and we all packed into the other vehicle. Given the space constraint, we got real creative with how to fit 9 people into one car.

The trail to Lower Devil's Canyon, specifically the Glitterbox Area, is straightforward. Simply follow the path leading up and towards the canyon. A sign that you're going the right way is when you pass through the barb wire fence.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Revisiting Mormon Trail to Hidden Valley Loop in South Mountain, Arizona

Saturday night I felt compelled to go hiking. Partly because I have a big hike in two weeks and I haven't broken in my new hiking shoes yet, and partly because I was feeling restless. So Sunday morning, I drove out to South Mountain and hiked the Mormon Trail to Hidden Valley Loop in South Mountain.

To get to the hike trailhead, get on the 10E and get off at Baseline Rd. Driving south from the north, you make a right off the Baseline exit and continue down the road until you see 24th street. Drive all the way to the end until you are forced left where you'll see the parking lot on your right. If the lot is full, look for legal street parking.


A rather easy hike, I started on the Mormon trail until I hit the Hidden Valley Loop. Since its a loop, you can go either clockwise or counterclockwise. There really isn't much of a difference but I prefer counterclockwise. It just seems more interesting to me.

In total I suspect the trail is about 2-3 miles, somewhere near the lower end of that range. The beginning will be tough for some people as it is all incline, but the trail quickly tops out and the remainder of the hike is a nice, casual, meander through the valley.

The Mormon trail to Hidden Valley is a great beginner hike because it is slightly challenging in the beginning, easy near the middle and especially near the end, and offers a unique hiking experience.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

2016 38th Annual NBMBAA Conference in New Orleans, LA

This past week, I went to the 38th annual NBMBAA Conference in New Orleans, LA. More information here:

It was my first time at a conference and the experience was pretty cool. Just the sheer size and number of companies present at the NBMBAA conference alone left a very positive impression on me. Some of the things that I enjoyed about the event were walking through all the different booths and mustering the courage to talk company representatives.

Overall, I feel as though the event is probably best for people with a lot of experience or relevant experience. In comparison to on-campus recruiting, the convention seemed like a less effective source of internship opportunities for career-changers. There are just too many people at the event with great personalities, creative backgrounds, and relevant experience vying for those 1-2 positions.

But although I wasn't able to convert most of my booth visits into an interview, I personally still felt as though the experience was worth the price I paid to fly to Louisiana. And this is where future first-year MBA students who are also career changers will have to make their choice. If money is an issue, then going to this conference may be a 50/50 decision. I didn't see a lot of career changers (like art to finance type career changes, not engineering to supply chain type career changes) get interview opportunities. If money isn't an issue, then definitely go. There are other things you can get out of the event in addition to interviews. At the end of the day, for me, at the very least, I was able to practice and refine my 30-second pitch, I was able to work on my ability to adapt to different booth dynamics (some booths wanted you to get to the point, some booths wanted to talk), and I was able to walk away from the event more knowledgeable on what to expect and what to bring next year.

Looking back at how I prepared for the conference, I definitely over-prepared and focused my time on the wrong things. I spent the days leading up to the conference studying leadership questions and making detailed company profile word documents when I should have been working harder on my 30-second pitch and how to market myself within a short time frame. On the convention floor, I quickly discovered first-hand that there wasn't going to be enough time for each applicant to gush over how much they knew about the company.

So, a lot of discoveries and developments over the past week.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Climbing at The Pond, Queen Creek Canyon, Arizona

After weeks, if not an entire month, of climbing neglect, I finally found myself outside climbing again. Unsure of what laid in store for me, I took the opportunity that presented itself to me and jumped in with my gear. The plan was to do some sport routes which to be honest, made me a bit nervous. I was nervous because at heart I'm mainly a boulder guy. Only on occasion do I rope climb, and even then, mostly on top-rope. I can lead and do some amount of trad climbing, but I don't do it often.

Originally, the plan was to climb at Atlantis which was located in Queen Creek Canyon. But upon arrival, we found the lot packed with cars and people already on the walls. So we drove further down the road and settled on The Pond instead.

For information on The Pond, check Mountain Project (

The approach is a fun shimmy up rocks and an artificial ladder of sorts which you get to after pulling yourself up using a sling. After that, about 10 minutes of additional hiking to the crag.

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