Fall Climbing

Posted by on October 18th, 2019  •  0 Comments

I’ve been to smith and vantage with Chad and James over the last two weekends. I wasn’t climbing especially hard on either trip. I did sail up Air Guitar and Whip Saw quite cleanly. I felt a little bit of the elusive ‘zone’ come over me on both climbs.

Air Guitar is always scary at the start. It’s tiny finger jams and crimps on the first move, but it quickly turns into friendly stems and huge jugs. There are just a few true crack climbing moves in the bottom 30 feet. After that it turns into one red hand jam which is easily moderated with good face foot holds. Then it’s all yellow hand jams to the top…with a few fists at the end. I felt entirely in control and very well protected as I climbed higher and higher toward to anchor.

Also got into the zone on Tammy Bakker. Getting there seems harder than it used to be. It might just be that weekending is much less focused than my longer summer trips.

I’m teaching WordPress this quarter for a few days. It makes me miss the years past when we could dive deep into the application over 11 weeks. It’s such a huge application and I know so much about it. For example building this custom theme was a lot of fun, and I’ve never taught it.

I’ve been looking into van life. It’s an interesting idea in that it would allow us to take painting-climbing trips more easily as we get older. But sleeping in my little Tacoma pickup these last two weekends reminded me that the vehicle I drive does not make me a better  climber…or painter. Getting more luxurious wheels might just make me soft.

This is a progression I’ve watched as  climbers get older and softer:

  1. instead of sitting on a rock or a log, they bring a lawn chair for the campfire
  2. they upgrade to a stand up tent
  3. They upgrade to a camper on a pickup
  4. They buy a camping trailer
  5. They buy a Winnebago
  6. They stop climbing altogether

It’s a slippery slope that all starts with a lawn chair. If roughing it in my little Bibler tent and or pickup canopy bed keeps me from getting soft, I need to forget about van life.


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