Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rainbow Walla Walla

"update your grey matter cause one day it may matter"
Partner and breakfast

Somebody said that to me the other day.  I liked it.  There it is.

I have gathered a hint that writing about my personal growth and attempts at stirring conversation (other than climbing) via a blog are not fulfilling certain requirements.

To amend this audacity, here is some illusive move-by-move intensive spray, ensuring your slack-jawed attention....

Rainbow Wall.  The Original Route.  November 10, 2013.

Partner makes coffee while you just begin to notice a world outside your own eyelids.
Frantically search for the park pass (the same one you have used for weeks and just used yesterday) as the sun gradually mantels the horizon.
Warm up the truck, simul-searching for park pass and shoveling delicious eggs into mouth (also prepared by partner)
---Hey, hey, be nice! ... I cook the dinner and make the lunch, he cooks the breakfast.

Begin drive to Red Rocks, with a brief weight load check at port-o-john near entrance to campground.
Prepare and discuss fib for entrance gate worker--as park pass still hasn't shown itself
Get ushered into park with smiles and glitter---FREE PARK DAY! SIcKbirD
Drive entrance loop while rocking out to the LCD SoundSystem.
Park truck, finish packing bags (partner sneaks 2 large coils of cordelette into bag, it has become a personal joke to do this on most outings.
***don't make fun your partner for having so much extra shit on their harness)

Begin hike.
Nail the first part of the approach, but follow a trail up an extra steep slope prematurely (after passing under Cloud Tower) because you figure you need a little more leg work for an upcoming Patagonia trip.
Entering crux on second pitch
Hike down hill through a cat-trail before finally emerging beneath Red Rocks best version of the "death slabs"
Laugh and giggle
Sneak off for a pee (hydration is key)
Kick steps up the seemingly endless sandstone slabs, while ogling at the rad fold that splits Rainbow Mountains North Face right down the middle.
Rack-up, snack-up, bundle up.  (November on a north facing wall....I put on long underwear and still have no regrets about it.)
Partner heads up the first pitch 5.6
Partner slips off 6 feet up the first pitch, his catlike reflexes turn him around 180 degrees.  He lands with one foot on a 3L drom and the other foot on a boulder 1 foot off the ground.  Left hand gently bitch-slapping the wall during the pirouette.


Brief discussion of pain and options.
"You Okay?"
"Don't talk to me just yet."

Climbing crux of second pitch

"Can I see your wrist?"
"I am okay, gonna start again"

Mulligan commences
Sending commences.  Partner links first and second pitch 5.6 to 5.12.  (with a half-twisting-micro-dyno to crimps from an awkward stemming stance in a blank corner).
Wild!  Harder as a shorter person.
Sending continues.  Partner climbs next pitch 11d (wild barely dihedral seam with face holds.  Loud ape noises echoing about.  This pitch is a combo package of gear and bolts),
and next pitch 11b (more wild steep stemming, face climbing, and finger locks) and next pitch super fun 5.10 through a tree to a giant ledge.
Wait, wait, wait.  Don't be so judgemental just yet, we decided to climb this route in blocks.  He leads the first half, I lead the second

Arrive at PartnerSwapLeadTime (huge ledge 6 pitches up).

Simul-climb through blocky ledges with tremendous rope drag, while placing minimal protection.

Partner Headed up Pitch 3
Lead up nearly hold less stem box, excellent climbing 5.12
Grunt while debating on giving up because holds are just beyond reach and another dyno, really?
Grunt more.
Grunt and crimp tiny nothings.
Continue up strenuous lay back with perfect one foot long allotments for protection while partner adds to difficulty by "accidently" yanking on the tag line attached to your back-side 5.12
Grab onto personally placed protection because accidental yank freaks you out.

Gather thoughts, commence mulligan

Pitch finishes with wild face climbing left to anchor.  5.11
Ascend leftward then up *heel hook for bonus points somewhere along this pitch.
Lastly, clamber a 5.10 hand crack through roof, sandy slabby finish.

Top out an actual summit in Red Rocks!!!!!!
Take climbing shoes off, set up video camera for summit dance.
Stub toe
Eat peanut butter sandwich
Sign summit register
Pause for a moment of Gratitude!!!!! (Andrew Barnes)
Partner following upper crux pitch

Search for better rappel anchors
Use slings that are obvious, but aren't the cleanest line.
Commence rappel, moving knot so its easier to pull, repeat 7 more times or so.
Touch down to ground alongside both ropes and happy partner.

High Five!!!!

Hike out in daylight, nailing the de-proach with no extra training errors.
Sip Beer back at truck while chatting with an older gentleman who finds it appropriate to look me up and down while asking,

"Rainbow Wall?  What time did you start?  Today? "

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Caution: emotional share

The below, I wrote somewhere along the long journey home from Greenland this summer.  I have just discovered it, re-read it and decided, although emotional, it is something I desire to share.  To remind myself of love, loving, and that in the big picture some things just don't matter.  

Tell someone you love them everyday--love everyday!

"The futility and emptiness of my existence were symbolized by the simple act of jumping
up from the chair.  Nothing in the everyday habits of a man is ordinarily freighted with
more purposefulness than the business of quitting a chair.  The swift leverage may impel
him on any one of a thousand different errands and opportunities.  But with me it led only
to blank walls."  Alone p. 127

I feel as though I could write and write and words could not fill enough pages to express
to you my true thoughts and emotions.

I haven't slept…really since July 8th.  I didn't know then Andrew had passed or maybe he
was in transit…as I type I don't know time of death or details of the incident.  Some don't
believe in soul connections, to you I am sorry…I wish you would take the time to listen.

You might find in those quite and intuitive moments exist something greater, a breath, a voice, a dream, a heart leaping.

I know that on July 9th during the hours of 7pm and ­3am Greenland time that sleep was
absent and thoughts of Andrew flooded stronger than any day so far (I often waited for
sleep to come with thoughts of him, his last text..our last embrace…)  I also know that during
that day…as I weirdly wandered about the rainy day Fjord, that my thoughts of him were
odd….not solvent.

Andrew was a friend, a love, a soul connection, a climbing partner and an amazing example of a man. We have this wild connection that words can't touch.  We shared dreams of each other that were real events in our lives, even across the many miles that separated us.  We openly discussed our connection through letters, emails, morning tea and evening wine/art hangout times.  We both feared ruining the amazing friendship we had forged, but mutually yearned to explore one another in a different light.
It was decided that our friendship would never fall, regardless and so we danced a new dance. This dance ebbed and flowed through the years, even as Andrew traveled to Europe this April.  His heart was torn and he needed to do some sorting.

On this trip to Greenland, my thoughts and journal were already filled with my own sorting
about Andrew….my romantic fantasy of best friends turned life partners.
I analyzed our emotional dance… ha, he was a fabulous dance partner in every way!!  Now it continues in the most gut­wretching­body­quivering­heart­melting­
I­don't­know­what­to­do­with­myself­sort of way.

I regret that we didn't share enough time this spring, both distracted with various life events and a mutual uncertainty of how love- in the grand scheme- should abide.   I regret my decision not to drive over to met him in Grand Junction before I left for Greenland.  To gaze into those glorious blue eyes or feel the warmth of his larger than life embrace.
Instead our dance continued through letters, email poetry and art.   I became well acquainted with the affairs of the McDonald's neighboring Andrew's old condo…free Internet.  Tales of the odd folks
glutenous eating habits mingled with life details of selling his condo and the exciting move to Paradox Valley.

Digging his soul deeper into the earth.

Andrew has been the only person I can say that I gave my love to without need or expectation of reciprocation.  I have never felt so strongly for someone that I truly, honestly, openly gave my love to….because he deserved it.

So many loved him and he treated everyone with kindness, "My mom always told me, nobody is better than anybody else."   Andrew insisted on giving this love to everyone, "plenty for everyone"…strangers, animals, family, friends, and the earth.

So proud of him for making it happen.

My heart has grown with and for Andrew Barnes in the last 6 years.  Our adventures of
the heart, mind, and earth are the most fond memories and I can't stop replaying them in
my head.  We both disliked too much time between us.

It is overwhelming how time stands between us now.


Annie Rooney.

Good god what a laugh.  A soul connection immediately.  We snorted together, shared a gymnastics ­like passion for certain yoga poses, ran during the lunch hour.  ­
Sprinting and sweating.
We actually spent our :"solo" ­time together, running the 18k to the town of Todos Santos.

As I re-­emerge from the icy fjords of Greenland with an already broken heart, I find many emails pertaining to her death.  A drunken driver episode on the Fourth of July!!!
I stared at my computer screen in disbelief.  Lizzy and John sitting next to me thought perhaps I was joking.  I couldn't digest it, sometimes I still feel I haven't.
Annie and I shared every day of our Yoga training together from 6am to 9pm.  She jokingly called it
"yoga-camp," I think alluding to her parents misunderstanding of this 3 week choice of time spent.   Our friendship continued afterward.  Weekly phone calls, almost daily slack-jawed photo messages, talk of running an adventure race together--meeting in Vegas for a bike and a climb.

She is a beautiful woman that I missed almost immediately upon leaving her presence in February and will miss also in the days going forward.  My love her family and friends, I know I am a newer connection to Annie Rooney but it was a darn lovely one to have.  She is amazing!