|Base Camp. Barnes wall right of sunlight.|
Nestled in our craggy fjord, a Satellite message brought Colorado reality rushing in. My favorite person-a man I loved dearly-- perished in the Black Canyon.
The mood abroad altered immediately.
My heart moaned, the echo lapped far across the shores in the deep blue water abyss. The granite walls quivered, as did my soul.
In this piddle of a blog, I find it difficult to give an accurate and passionate detail to our climbing adventure.
My mind drifts off, contemplating the loss and my love for the outstanding Andrew Barnes.
When rock climbing, whether it be soloing or establishing new routes on unfamiliar terrain, I feel enlightened with a certain ethereal clarity. This feeling fulfills my being, is addictive, and gets me through another day, another week, another year.
|On Morning Luxury...looking south|
The handful of long traditional routes we established in the Torsukatak Fjord may or may not be climbed again.
Man, I sure hope they are!!!
"Morning Luxury"--our second big ascent-- is a glorious rock climb and an equally amazing summit!! It flirts a south facing ridge for 8-200 foot pitches. Stacked with dreamy finger stem-box corners, jaw dropping views, and an adventurous summit block wrestle. All on high quality granite with a dash of burnt potato chip-like lichen.
Over time, perhaps, the rock will recover from the minor abrasions of our traffic and it may appear we were never there at all.
The rock, lichen, and vegetation is resilient.
: the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change
|AB and the Grand Canyon.|
The death and hard lessons in this year, draw my gaze downward. I need to remember there is also so much beauty.
With Andrew, though, I don't want the memories to fade... the vegetative re-growth in the fissures to mask his presence.
I certainly do not want the world to appear that he was never here at all. I fear with time these events playing out in all of us.
These routes we established. The roots we established.
They are life altering.
Built from the ground up, first try without hesitation. Without artificial means of support....intuitively. With love, with passion and a little try hard.
We were lucky to have found such compelling and natural lines. To climb an 1800 foot granite wall first go is surreal. Yet, we did it and three days later we ascended another in similar fashion. My two lady friends and I...giggling the entire way--oh yeah and the token male, John Dickey. (He joined us for all but the first one).
|Morning Luxury ascends the left ridge to summit.|
"Plenty for Everyone" that was our first climb in the Fjord, on an unclimbed wall we named Barnes Wall. 10 rope stretching pitches with a mixed bag of face wandering, waterfalls, loose rock, a #5 off-width dihedral, a finger crack over a roof, splitter hands, and finishing on ridge with a tiny box summit.
I am lucky to have had such a natural and compelling man in my life as my best friend and love. Someone who taught me how to compassionately love with no expectations. To remind me that "nobody is better than anyone else."
A man who believed genuinely that there was always plenty for everyone!
Live like Barnes!!!
Thank you for reading.