Monday, August 15, 2011

Behind The Scenes

Ryan getting psyched for Tooth and Claw (III+ 5.12)

Reading blogs, watching climbing videos, and scanning climbing rags give the impression that everyday is a send fest for those pretty people in the pictures. The reality is that no one is above climbing's challenges. Some days you don't slip and some days you do. This is climbing. This is life.

Pitch one on Tooth and Claw (5.11a)

The last week saw me tromping through the cascades, bouncing from one "failure" to the next. First, Ryan Paulsness and I traveled to Washington Pass intent on making an onsight ascent of the 80's slab testpiece, Tooth and Claw. I slipped off this beautiful 6 pitch route and the "first try" ideal floated off into the summer sky. Still, Tooth and Claw is an amazing route and I plan to be back in a couple of weeks time. Let no business remain unfinished!

Finishing pitch 3 on Tooth and Claw (5.11c)

The immaculate pitch 4 (5.10) on Tooth and Claw

A few days later I was tromping towards Mt. Stuart with Sol Wertkin, intent on sending our latest proj. A late start, a new approach, and bullet proof snow ("we don't need crampons", I said...idiot!) delayed our start. By the time we had climbed to the base of our splitter, end of day colors filled the sky. Darkness was approching and we bailed back to Leavenworth instead of enjoying an open bivy with minimal gear. 16 miles of hiking and 6 pitches of climbing is a long way to go for a good view of your inspiration. Again, we'll be back soon.

Sol on "The Monkey Traverse" on GITM en route to our project

As always, it's important to relish each special day in the mountains regardless of goals reached. Just to have the health to be able to gain the high realm of the alpine is something to be thankful for. That said, each failure ratchets up passion for the next attempt. I'll be back to both routes soon enough. Dot your I's and cross your T's. Let no project go unfinished.

Sol on Stuart

No comments: