Thursday, July 7, 2011

Practicing For Big Walls

His big wall skills are rusty. To practice for a solo attempt in Yosemite, he tests his gear and procedures at a local climbing gym. I like this photo of him in his hammock on a gym wall. Full story here.

image“As I lay back on my ledge and looked up at El Cap I thought of my journey. In 1974, only a hundred feet away from where I now laid, I fell off the 5.9 climbing of the Salathe Wall’s slab pitch and wondered if I could climb it. I was 18 and hadn’t yet climbed El Cap. That was a long time ago, and I wondered why I still do it. My main reason is of course that I love it. I love all of it – the smell, the sounds, the feel of the rock, the vastness of it, the uncertainty, the fricken wildness of simply doing it, the absurdity of it – these are the things that are is important to me. Physically, I’ve not suffered ‘the thickening’ that some of my friends have. I’m in decent shape but I also know that I’m running down the clock. I’m 54 and I probably won’t last another 54. When you’re 21, you’re sure you will live forever and that you have all the time in the world to live your dreams. But when you’re 54, you realize that the end – although hopefully not yet in sight – is out there like a destination you’ve been approaching for hours, but have not yet reached.

In one of his several videos, he talks about the cuts on his hands and how hard it is to open the beers.

No comments: