Tuesday, April 12, 2011


In some ways, there’s the risk of this turning into a climbing blog. I guess that’s not truly a risk, though, since all of us would dig it. So in furthering that possibility, consider this: a) my ode to climbing in all its forms, b) a to do list, and c) something to maybe to get the psyche up.

First things first. If you read Karthik’s post below, you’ll know we found some cool boulders this weekend. The ones at Castle Rock were especially stunning, and I can’t wait until the mother lode of Lynn Woods reveals itself. Now, this weekend, this winter, I’ve been feeling pretty weak. If you’re Karthik or Aaron or Daustin, you can attest to that. Sure I can probably haul my fat ass up some slabby 5.9, but forget about anything overhung or pinchy. I left Lynn Woods and Castle Rock having climbed absolutely nothing, which is obviously a corollary to my weakness. This is my own fault in innumerable ways (namely baking cookies once a week and never going to the gym). I came to terms with my hate of training a long time ago, especially in a solo setting. In high school I got decently strong just because I was on lots of teams and did a lot of push-ups and ab workouts. Now that I’m years out of my former prime, it’s time to either let myself go and become a couch potato that reads Narc and Deadpoint all day, or try and become a real, functioning member of the climbing community (which is a pretty weird community at times, but overall I enjoy it immensely). I’m not saying I’m going to start hangboard workouts every day, but I’m definitely becoming more conscious of how weak I can get, and how I don’t like being that weak. How is this an ode to climbing you may be asking at this point. Well, for all my weakness (yes, feel sorry for me (or tell me shut up)), I still had an amazing time this weekend. I barely did 3 legit moves, but just seeing those lines, watching Karth and Aaron climb a few, and scrambling along the coast and thru the woods was simply awesome. Same in Mallorca; we may have spent more time drinking beer than climbing, and I’m not sure I ever got up a 6c let alone a 7a, but it was a fucking blast (and maybe Dan and I can write more about it in another post). What I’m trying to get at is this: climbing is fucking awesome in so many ways, and no matter how weak or strong you are, it’s still fun to the utmost.
Here begins part b). This is going to be a tiny bit contradictory. As I said, climbing is the best. We all know this. But I think it’s important that as we further our climbing careers, we note the many differences in styles and disciplines. Personally, don’t hate me for this, my biggest dreams involve multi-pitch. Don’t get me wrong, bouldering is hugely fun, especially since it’s so easy to do as a big group, the psyche is almost always high, and we almost always get high. Sport climbing is in the same boat for me. It’s incredible, but I notice myself getting way more excited (and scared…) about longer climbs (generally). I have to admit it, my best climbing day in Mallorca was the 5 pitch route that ended at a sick ridge scramble and an hour hike back to the car. It was one of the best climbing days in my life (even though it was this weird British dude that was almost certainly way too into pizza and constantly craved beer (but never drank any), and Dan was shitting his pants in the woods below). And when Karthik is doing pullups on his hangboard, I’m playing with my belay device and reading articles on how make transitions easier at belays. So here’s my to do list: I want to get stronger, but I also want to learn how to place gear. Then I want to lead some trad climbs. Then I want to climb in Yosemite. I want to crack climb, and sling knobs, and learn how to jug and haul. I want to finish a route dehydrated and in the dark and then have to hike 4 miles to my car and eat a granola bar for dinner and do it again the next day. I want to CLIMB. And I really don’t mean this to take away from bouldering and whatnot, but I feel that my heart is more set on this stuff right now, and I’m really hoping I can get you guys on board. Deep down everyone wants to climb the Nose. Let’s start moving towards that goal.

And finally, part c). Psyche is hard to define. For me, it can be fleeting, but in the moment, in can be like a drug. A lot of the time, I look toward the future too much and think, “well, summer is coming, I’m going to be too busy/drunk to climb much anyway, so whatever.” And that is still the case at the moment. When more snow melts, I’ll be foaming at the mouth to get to Rumney. Then summer will arrive, and I will be too busy. Shit, there’s goes the psyche. But now I’m thinking long term. Here’s my plea (Brot you are exempt since you’ve already done it): Move west with me. Even if it’s for a month, or 5 or a year. The weather here is not conducive to climbing, and I need to be outside if I want to get truly strong (and learn to place gear). My current goal is to be living in Bishop by late October, just as it starts to cool. We all have commitments of some sort, but it’s not impossible to change your situations. The West is calling. Listen. We’re all still so young, this is the time. Let’s go. 

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