|DNB. Sun is in your eyes as per guidebook warning|
(one among many warnings)
|Chris B. and I making light of the lack of light!|
While I didn't achieve all my climbing goals on this two month endeavor over western lands, I did have a ridiculously good time. The valley still stands!
I attempted and successfully climbed many big walls, some even a few times over. In a two week span I climbed Half Dome, Middle Cathedral, El Capitan, Spaceshot, Touchstone Wall, Moonlight Buttress, Shunes Buttress, and a few other pitches at smaller crags. I am uncertain if another female has done a link-up of 3 big walls in Zion?
|Pondering the certainty of uncertainty after an unplanned bivy.|
Overall, my time was filled with amazing people from all walks of life. I learned how to juggle (well at least the motions of juggling), I exponentially increased my slack-lining skills, I taught a few yoga sessions, and I got my ass handed to me in cribbage--kind of a bid deal--skunked two times in a row!!
People and travel are a continuous reminder of how simple life can be (yet how unnecessarily complex we sometimes make it).
The smiles and memories in the mere simplicity of a kind gesture, a smile shared between one another--even, say, an unplanned shiver bivy on the Direct North Buttress of Middle Cathedral.Simplicity really counts in those moments! What more do you need when you have a climbing rope as your mattress, climbing shoes and harnesses for a pillow, and a bullet pack for a blanket? Oh, lets not forget a climbing partner who entertains with ridiculous stories to distract you from the full body quiver compounded by inadequate clothing and a persistent wind.
Pondering the certainty of uncertainty after an unplanned bivy.
Yes, we were finally "those" headlamps atop Middle Cathedral wandering around looking for the Kat Walk in our narrow beam of light. We crawled through fire ant infested trees and stomped over the largest black millipedes you have ever seen!! An awesome time, I would certainly climb the route again!
On the mornings before climbing these big walls or the unplanned bivies, I found myself elbow deep in few good books.
As you can imagine, my attention span for books is like my attention span for other things in my life....generally not a laser beam of focus.
One of the notable reads I was passed was On Equilibrium. "It is an intelligent, persuasive and controversial exploration of the essential qualities of humanity and how they can be used to achieve equilibrium for the self and to foster an ethical society."
A morning ritual of bits and pieces read aloud over breakfast tea made this book more accessible. The morning excerpts mingled into my daily Yosemite Valley adventures. Trying to find something certain in my endeavors as an athlete, a woman, a romantic, a fear-filled lost soul.
Imagining the ultimate sweet spot----feeding my passion for rock climbing while successfully striving for a more benevolent lifestyle.
“Imagination isn’t really a means of distraction. Nor is it an unquantifiable wild card which needs to be saved from itself by responsible organizers. This is the quality which most naturally draws all of our other qualities together. But it does so in a...prolonged swirling uncertainty. It is that uncertainty which makes progress possible. Imagination protects us from the temptation of premature conclusions.... What’s more, it seems to draw us forward by using this prolonged uncertainty to alternately leap ahead and then enfold our other qualities - our other means of perception - into a new, inclusive vision of the whole. Then, just as we think we understand, it leaps ahead again into more uncertainty." (Saul, pp.115-29)