Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pit Your Own Destiny

Sometimes it is all about the present moment, even when you are dying to relive the past or lose yourself in dreams of the future. Sometimes it is the here and now. These instances are what make contentment or give you the desire to move towards such a state.

Today I...
picked and pitted cherries for 4 hours; never again.
practiced baseball for an hour, which was about 2 hours too little.
slept until 10.
swallowed complaints and instead tried to make others happy.
heard two cyclists talking about their new careers.
played barefooted on a slip-n'-slide in the backyard.
spent several hours reliving the past and dreaming of the future.
gave love to a child.

This reads like a jack of all trades, parent, or someone who experiences variety on a daily basis. However, these are not my desires; they are my choices. Tomorrow will be another day in the Park. Another day of climbing, hiking, and driving. Another day to escape, to explore, and to investigate. I wish I were going to Utah for the next 4 days to relive the past and establish a future, but my current choices do not allow for such a trip. Someday the eight things that happened today will manifest themselves into something completely wonderful. Until then, it's cherries for me.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Kicking and Screaming

Another big day happened at the Park yesterday, and was only shortened due to swarming mosquitos. Dan Michels, Anne, and I went to lower Chaos. We arrived in the parking lot around 10 only to find three others with a similar mindset. So three became six and we headed up the canyon. Anne warmed up with a send of Autobot, and I followed suit with the low start to it. Both great climbs. Unfortunately Dan was off to a bit of a slow start, having forgotten his shoes and chalk. No worries. Our new friends gladly contributed in the needed departments and Dan warmed up with a quick send of the Fat Lady Stand. Now technically this really isn't a problem, but so many people are doing it, that it's becomming something of a must do in the area.

So six split back into three as the other half went further up the trail. Meanwhile, Dan proceeded over to flash Taurus or do it on his second try. Amazingly fast considering he was using shoes that didn't fit. Then it was over to Tommy's Arete. Now I had sworn it off for two years. Supposedly saving it for only one try. Mostly, it was a moderate climb in difficulty and a satchel full of moves. So by then we had run into friends Carry And Kell from Boulder and the forces were strong once more. I managed to have a foot slip off and take two tries with Dan being shortly behind on the send train. Carry had a repeat for a warmup and Anne posed for pictures. Gracias.
Lastly, it was back to Autobot. I am intrigued by problems with less moves than can be counted on one hand with loads of power and nuances to each move and hold. That said, I has always enjoyed the short roof behind Mikala. I sent, saw that it was grade 7B+, and decided to give it a name; as all climbs should have names. Carry was heartbreakingly close on more than one try. Afterwards I had convinced Anne to try Wyoming Chinese, an arete on the far right of the same face as Mikala. It is a standing start, four move problem with an intense terraced landing, thin holds and committing moves. We both complete the problem in less than ten attempts between us. I screamed on three of the moves and started celebrating before I had even done all the moves. People claimed to have heard me several miles up the canyon. Even Chris Sharma and Michael Jackson would be proud of a scream of that magnitude.

Anne working on the Marble

Tommy's Arete in lower Choas. A must-do if you can climb the grade.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Justin Vernon and a Guy Named Tommy

Saturday turned out to be one of the most enjoyable days I've had in a long time. On most off days from work I climb from 10 to 10. That's about as fun as it gets to me. However, a concert was squeezed in on Saturday and memories were made. Around 9am Lauren Vogl and I left for RMNP. We met some friends at Emerald Lake and climbed there for a while before a quick trip up to Lower Chaos. Even though we had to leave at 5pm for the show and not the most climbing got done, it was another wonderful day in the Park. We managed to drive out just as it was beginning to rain. There was a quick rush to clean up, get a drink, and head to the show. Several weeks ago Lauren bought me a an early birthday present. Turns out it was a ticket to Bon Iver at the Ogden. What, an amazing show. Almost every night I would sit in my car after sundown on Buttermilk Rd. in Bishop and listen to his 14 recorded songs. Listening to his music alone in the desert at the base of Mt. Tom was so many meaningful things. The melodies and words became the soundtrack to my life for that month and will always have a special place with me. Check him out at After the show the night was not over. We had dinner at Pete's Diner, which can be described with words like hearty, hoppin', and cosy. We called it quits with two episodes from Felicity season 2 ( Brilliant. A show that was wholesome part of middle school for me.

Photos of Tommy's Other Arete courtesy of Said Parirokh. A masterpiece of a line from Tommy Caldwell, whose father suggested that the would be bouldering in the park over a decade ago.

Well, it's is Monday and I'm off. Instead of going to the Park again today, since rainw as forecast, I'm working on a set of architectural drawings for a friend's parent's new home. It's been a while since I've drawn on the computer, but it's relaxing in a strange way. Like putting on an old pair of jeans for an early fall football game. Good stuff.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

RMNP is My Favorite P

Park season has officially started. With almost every problem acessible and the snow melting at mach speed, RMNP will be the place to climb over the next 3 months. Park season is a wonderful time. A time to meet up with people, make new friends, discover remote areas with old ones, work on your tan, and get stronger. I cannot begin to explain my excitement, but rather I will tell you that I am making the drive and hike every other day for the next week, and I would go more if I thought I could handle it. I have dreamed of these three months in the Park since the beginning of the year, and I am hoping to make many fond memories. So, while the time is right and the next 3 months are still the future, visit Rocky Mountain National Park.