Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's kind of funny

Sometimes, climbing trips and plans fall perfectly into place. Everything in perfect order, nothing to ever stress about.

I'm just going to rattle off most of the things that have slowed us down so far:
My mom had to drive me to boulder because I didn't have my car.. I woke up late for that (add 1 hour)
I put some bananas on the roof of our car for my breakfast and drove away (ok not that big of a deal..)
We forgot a bag of aid climbing gear that was in colorado springs (add 2 hours)
Took a 'detour' to get to i-70 from the springs (add 3 hours)
Colin got a speeding ticket (add 5 minutes and $169, the cop was unreasonably quick)
Ran out of gas in Nevada 1 mile from a gas station
Colin ran the mile to the gas station, the gas station was out of gas. Ok... what is going on here (add 1 hour)
Colin and I synchronized our sleeping schedules. We had to stop twice to pass out (add 3 hours)
     Normally we can make it the entire way without stopping
I realized I packed absolutely everything except climbing pants... we had to stop at an REI that didn't carry a SINGLE pair of pants suitable for climbing.
We finally got here, and it's snowing, hard. Have to set up a tent at 1am with 8 inches of snow on the ground.

Ok now it eases up now.
I slept great, only waking up once to put socks on and to go into mummy mode in my sleeping bag.
Colin woke me up with a nalgene full of hot chocolate, and gave me a ride to eat at the buffet in curry village with his parents.

After breakfast I dug Colin's car out of the snow with a mountaineering axe, and put his chains on. While Colin and his family went skiing for the day, I checked out the reason we came to this place, El Capitan.
I put my mountaineering boots and gaiters on. My rain jacket immediately got soaked from the wet, heavy snow, my glasses kept fogging up, and the fresh bear tracks made me turn off my ipod.
I hate being wet. I kept on hiking up the talus starting at the nose, all the way to zodiac.
I realized that being on the ground (even though I was nearly soaking), is going to be the most comfortable I am going to be for a while... assuming that everything goes accordingly and we can actually climb el cap.

Fresh tracks at the base of the captain. They're lurking. 

Dry and beautiful

I seem a little more negative than I mean to be in the video. I'm just really exhausted. I am very happy to be here.

It's funny... feeling miserable makes me feel better. To be honest, I didn't come on this trip to climb el cap. I didn't come on this trip to get better at rock climbing. I came because I'm able to catch a break from of all of my mental garbage.

zenyatta mondatta: Grade VI A4
This is one of two possible routes on el cap right now with the weather. We are planning to fix our ropes as high as we can and then blast off.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

This is the way of the future

Kurt (aka 'Bubbles') leading Rigid Designator (WI 5) in Vail

My first lead on some WI3. Psyched! 
I later led the first pitch of skylight. I placed two screws in bad ice, and slung two ice features.. none of which would have held a fall. Still psyched though! 

Making my way up pic o the vic 

One evidence of one of the many curtains of ice that fell. 

Kurt in action. Falling. 

Our little cabin that we stayed in for $38 a night. For a few nights we had seven people crammed in here.  This obviously is good because we all have to pay less money. 

Me on Troglodyte at the posers lounge off of camp bird road. This trip was my first time ever mixed climbing or dry tooling. Mixed climbing is where you are using your tools on both rock and ice. In the video, it is considered dry tooling, only rock.
It feels like climbing again for the first time.. weird!

Just getting home from a week long ice climbing trip in Ouray, CO, I know am about to leave again.
I'm leaving my house; safe place, comfort. Finely polished wood floors. Perfectly furnished and heated. Fridge and pantry full of food. Family of love and care.

I don't know if what I need right now is to stay home, rest, and recover. Rejuvenating my mind. 
What I feel like I need is to go and live as simple as possible, push my body to its limit, and strengthen my everything. 

Plans are slowly solidifying for yosemite. It looks like we are going to be climbing a steep route on el cap as a team of three with this cool guy Asa (spelling?). Pretty psyched.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tomorrow Will Be A Brighter Day

My mind orbits around relentless obsession. The never ending beating, pounding, excruciating firing of wrong chemicals and neurons. Again, and again, and again it races. It's as if I have am being crushed under the world; the world and life in which I am being dragged through.
I contain the tarnished beauty that cannot be seen no matter how loud I scream.
I'm right here, crying.
I count on tomorrow happening, the day after that happening, the day after that happening.

As I turn the page into a new chapter of my life, good times are going to come. I'm a hidden wreck on the inside. I've cried every single day this past week.
As unbelievably embarrassing it is, my blog is a documentation of my journey.

School is over.
     I can't celebrate because nothing matters.

          Hope is transparent.
               I've lost myself to this sickness. This heart break. This pain.

                    My bags are packed.
                         Tomorrow will be a brighter day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Want to laugh?

5:00 AM, I woke up with an extremely swollen lip, and hives covering my entire body. Perfect, it's not like I don't have an insane amount of school work to do for the entire day..
A quick call to my Mom (who is a nurse), and I'm off to the ER, just to be safe. I switched to a different anxiety medication and it caused an allergic reaction. I guess it's extremely rare to have an allergy to valium, so I guess I'm special.

I looked in the mirror and laughed how ridiculous I looked. I had to get a few pics.

I know this really has nothing do with climbing, but it was definitely an experience.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Psyched.. what?!

Anyone that is a serious climber has had to deal with the problematic obsession with family and friends that don't really 'get it'. The reality is that climbing is more of lifestyle instead of just a sport... Personally it has aggravated the ending of two serious relationships, dropped my grades, and caused me to 'miss out' on various social gatherings.
Once in a while someone will ask me why I climb.... I pause, and can't give a legitimate answer. The only thing that runs through my head is... why would I do anything besides climb?
I don't fully understand how or why climbing inspires me.

My christmas break is coming up, which means a 3-4 week opportunity to do what I love most.
Loose plans with Colin quickly solidified. My relentless searching for used and 'cheap' gear has left me with everything necessary to climb ice. It has also left me with a large dent in my bank account.

First stop: Ouray, CO 17th-24th
Unlimited manufactured ice flows to get my feet wet with the upcoming ice/alpine climbing season.
That leaves about 3 days around christmas to be home with my family and wonderful girlfriend.

Second stop: Yosemite, CA 27th-whenever
From here.. it depends on the conditions. If they're good we'll be climbing, probably something very large. If the weather is not so good, we'll still probably be climbing.
 If the weather is shit, we'll climb somewhere else, wherever the hell we want, maybe joshua tree. Then we might drive back, and climb ice up in Cody, WY.

Before yesterday, there were only two people that weren't informed of my plans. My Mom had driven down to boulder to take me out to dinner. Nervous about telling her, I flinched, and did it.
"So... I'm going to be climbing most of christmas break, and will only be home the 24th and 25th..."
"Well, this is your life, and it's what you want to do, and I'm not going to stop you."
Wait... I thought.. so she's not mad? My parents are awesome. I'm lucky, their past of being surf-bums and traveling all over definitely helps them understand my ambition with climbing.

The second person I had to tell was my girlfriend, Jill. Again, I flinched, and told her.
"So.. I think I'm going to be gone most of break... are you mad?"
"Why would I be mad at you for doing something you love?"  
So... not only are my parents ok with it, but I have a supportive girlfriend. I love my life.
I am PSYCHED! If you have been following my blog you obviously know that being not being psyched has been a pretty big issue lately.
I just have to make it through one more week of school. I'm hopeful, I'm excited, I'm finally feeling some sort of relief.