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Showing posts from 2020

Climbing in 2019: A (late) Personal Review

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Warning: Lots of self indulgent, climbing specific, spray ahead. But it's (still) mid Covid, so being stoked about anything is a good thing, right? Bueller?I won't judge you for skipping this one; I'm just basking in my own greatness for 2000 words. With a little bit of self reflection mixed in. But just a little.Don't say you weren't warned.

218 Sport climbing pitches total (including onsights, flashes, redpoints)14 Boulder problems1 Mixed line98 days outside (including short, hour long sessions)First...5.12c* (Mighty Dog, April 14)5.12d (Branching Out, July 28)5.13a (Happy Endings, September 29)58 Climbs 5.12a and harder2019 was a good year. I climbed a lot, and I like climbing. Most importantly, at the beginning of 2020, I still liked climbing.
98 days of outdoor climbing feels like an insane amount. This number includes just an hour of traversing at Morrison, getting benighted because a rattlesnake blocked the quick way back to the car after a post-work climbing …

A Tale of Four Climbers

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the time for strength, it was the time for weakness, it was the weekend of healing, it was the weekend of degenerating, it was a reflection of times to come, it was a reflection of times past, it was the season of sending, it was the season of failing, it was the perfect temperature, it was raining--in short, this trip was so far like most trips, that some of its most boisterous spray lords insisted on it being received, for good or bad, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Chris texted me five hours before we were going to drive down to the Red River Gorge together: he was sick and strongly considering staying in DC.

It's September, 2018. My 2000 Saturn with over 225,000 miles on it isn't the vehicle of choice for an eight drive from DC through the middle of nowhere to the middle of nowhere Slade, Kentucky. I hesitate: I don't want to drive 8 hour…

A Red River Halloween Day 8: A Quick Ride at Velo Crag

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Climbs:
Lightning Rod Arete (5.10c): ★★★ (Although it may deserve a second chance)
(Climbs others hopped on):
Laterne Rouge (5.9+)
Dura-Ace (5.8+)
Ultegra (5.10a)

Today, we were leaving, even though we didn't want to. We were heading outside, even though we didn't want to. And we were climbing... even though we didn't want to?

Let me rewind.

Waking up this morning was difficult. Maybe we had a little bit too much whiskey, maybe we played a little too much Bang!, maybe we were a little spent from the night before. At 6:30 AM, the weather was definitely garbage: a thick blanket of fog enveloped our cabin. I always have a hard time getting up on these gray days; my body takes its cues from bright morning blue skies. No sun?

No getting out of bed.


Our requirements for the day were a short approach (we wanted to end up back in DC at a reasonable hour), dry conditions (fog was not good), and quality climbs (always!). I hate to admit it, but this was the first time I realized that I…