Monday, June 17, 2013

This is not my beautiful life...or is it!!!

My good friend Dustin!!
In-between the untimely departure from Yosemite and the ridiculous journey we just embarked on
 --- Greenland --- time made itself available at home here in Colorado.

Recently completed rock climbs.

Psychatomic, Monastery, Estes Park.  5.12d -- 5th try on lead

Undertow, The Slab, Boulder. 5.12b -- 2nd try ever (1st try was the warm-up climb of the day  ---ops, effed on-sighting!)

New Music, Lumpy Ridge. 5.11dR-- Top roped 8 years an Alzheimer's on-sight?  Funky pro, but super good!

I also had a good run at the First Flatiron last week also.

A busy errand day in Boulder-town had me itching for a run up the First Flatiron.  Driving to Chautauqua Park, I was easily side-tracked by my good friend Kelly Cramer.  She just moved into a new place and I hadn't seen it or her in months.  Upon arriving, she offered me a PBR.

I didn't decline.

After a wee bit of chatting, the suns' twinkle off the First Flatiron became too pervasive.  I fled, slightly buzzed.

The run, led by Dustin, began a little more quickly than preferred (but looking back, it set the tone nicely).
I kept up, then moved ahead.  Having only been back to Colorado for 10 days, it was with great surprise I arrived to the base just under 13 minutes.
Still breathing heavily, I strapped on my shoes and let the paddling begin.  Was it the PBR or a month in the Valley?  For some reason the sandstone, this day, felt like the grip tape on my much friction!!!!

A smidgen over 11 minutes later I stood on the top!! Stoked, best rip yet!


I had a few great solo adventures on Lumpy ridge.  One day in particular included; Magical Chrome Plated Semi-Automatic Enema Syringe, Tennis Shoe Tango, The Great Dihedral, The Dog, White Whale, Osiris, and Pear Buttress.  While wandering back to the base of The Book, a walking error caused a wicked ankle sprain.  Adrenaline was still pumping, so I started up Pear Buttress.  Pain washed over me near the top.  I paused to enjoy the summit and hobbled back to the base, yet again.  My day wasn't over.  Bronson was coming to belay me for a lead go on El Camino,  5.12c.
It went with a few hangs.  The ankle hurt but not enough to use it as a non-send excuse.

I hoped to return before Greenland madness but he walk out from Lumpy was difficult, therefore making another pilgrimage back to the cliff undesirable.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

On Equilibrium!

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)