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Pfc. Kristen Jenkins, student, Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School, ascends a rock face during a rock-climbing event for members of the Single Marine Program at Joshua Tree National Park, Calif., Nov. 9, 2014. Marines of the SMP were able to participate in this event due to the efforts of Joshua Tree Uprising and Mil-Tree, a non-profit organization. (Official Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Medina Ayala-Lo/Released)

Photo by Pfc. Medina Ayala-Lo

The Climb: Marines scale rocks at Joshua Tree National Park

9 Nov 2014 | Pfc. Medina Ayala-Lo Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

“The rock climbing can sometimes be scary but it’s the safest form of climbing,” said Sue Cram, owner and lead guide for Joshua Tree Uprising. “We are all ‘25-plus’ year climbing veterans and we do this full time. So when people want to come out here, it’s as safe as it can possibly be.”

Joshua Tree National Park is home to a vast amount of desert wildlife. It is open year-round and hosts a variety of activities for any participants; hiking, rock climbing and nature walks to name a few.

“It helps people that come from a lot of different places who don’t really know [many people] on base and gives them an opportunity to meet new people and have a good time,” said Pfc. Michael Trout, student, Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School.

Joshua Tree Uprising was founded in 1999 and their reach spans to military organizations all over the country. Cram founded the organization in hopes of giving people an opportunity to explore their surroundings and experience Joshua Tree National Park. This is the second event they’ve hosted with the Single Marine Program.

“We were fortunate enough to be able to work with the military,” Cram said. “We got in touch with Penny Moore and offered this opportunity for people to come out to Joshua Tree National Park and do something that can be very [fun]. Our support group is so strong, even if you’re frightened of heights, it is just amazing to be able to come out.”

The SMP hosts events like this to allow Marines access to the surrounding areas of Twentynine Palms.

“I think it’s important for them to have access,” said Lance Cpl. Niccolo Bonomo, recreation attendant, SMP. “They don’t have to be so grounded, and these events give them a chance to go out and mingle, or meet some of the folks out in town.”
For information on any future events contact the SMP at 830-8454.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms