The marketing manager Nathan Smith over at Liberty Mountain gave me an invitation to the Outdoor Retailer Show. I guess if you have been in the 'biz', you know what O.R. is, so I have been told. Because I have been working with Edelweiss Ropes, it seemed like a good chance to network with some people.
Official badge, making a dirtbag climber an 'official' dirtbag climber
"Oh shit," I thought.. "I thought this was just going to be about 10 different climbing brands.." I road a meticulously cleaned elevator down to the main floor of the show, and was overwhelmed by the thousands of people buzzing around hundreds of booths.
I walked through 'the ghetto', the climbing side of the auditorium, and saw the faces of rockstars that I have only seen in magazines.
"How the hell am I supposed to get sponsored when I'm standing right next to Lyn Hill at the 5.10 booth?!" I thought to myself.. "I'm not a rockstar, and I'll probably never be. I write a silly blog, and attempt to make a few videos about climbing.."
Gwen and Keese at Alpinist Magazine met me at the show and gave me the confidence I needed to speak up. I took a deep breath and exhaled nervousness as Nancy Prichard (The 5.10 athlete coordinator) and later Samantha Killgore (The RAB Marketing Manager) were both introduced to me. I can't honestly say that I deserve their support, but maybe they liked my smile and goofy glasses..
I am hard on myself, but I can't help it. I'm standing in she shadows of giants, only trying to recreate their love and passion for climbing. I can hardly afford to pay for my own climbing gear, and now feel incredibly lucky that I have the support I need to keep climbing.
I needed to get back to where things feel normal. I needed everything to be quiet. A 10 hour drive back to Yosemite provided me with solace.
Sunset in the parking lot, prior to leaving the city.
Knobby sport climbing in Tuolumne with Jess.
"Luck" ran out. My car profusely sprayed radiator fluid and caused my car to overheat.
**Note: the mechanic in the valley is a heinous place to try to get some help..