Sunday, March 30, 2008

14b at 46--Tribout shows the way

Lots of snow and cold today so indoor climbing again.

With his ascent of the aptly named Guere d'Usure at Claret in France JB Tribout reminds us again that it isn't impossible to climb at a very high standard well into middle age. Read his account at for more.

In an interview for escalademag, I noted his comments about how many old-school French routes lack many repeats or quick ones. Is there need to revisit the grades here? Probably so.

By the way thanks to Brian at for tracking down the Dave Graham video. I spent a fair amount of time there doing the Present, a wee bouldery 14a. I am amazed that Psychedelic has not been repeated yet. Paul Robinson, stop wasting your time at Bishop!

I am developing a story for on the real issues that hinder climbing hard as you age. I am more and more convinced that the main problems are psychological and social in nature, especially in a contemporary culture that pressures its older members into a sedentary existence. Physical challenges are significant but nowhere near as much as the mental ones.

Ed Webster is coming to Neptune Mountaineering this week and I am thinking of going. When I started climbing back east, Ed was responsible for a number of very significant climbs in New Hampshire. He never really seemed to be part of the scene there but was amazingly prolific, often to the chagrin of lazy local climbers who bickered about bolts and so on. I found him much less macho and ego-driven than the likes of Henry Barber and overall, I consider his legacy a more important one, given his lengthy list of new routes and ascents around the world. So check it out if you can.

Lastly, Jamie update your blog! We need more pictures of amazing Swiss boulders!


sock hands said...

i'm very excited to read this article when you finish it. grappling with the constant pressures, both internal and external, to prosper in my profession and then to focus free time on the family has made every moment of my pseudo-training and outdoor climbing a struggle. the concept of being 'psyched' on climbing has definitely made my professional life and family life more difficult than is healthy since my mind is always ready and willing to shift into climbing mode and more reluctant to get back to work for creativity and precision, thus forcing me to spend longer on a given project and write off the additional time.

climbing is a love, but it is also a curse for me and i am really interested in hearing how these different forces in life will play out after analysis, etc.

Peter Beal said...

Thanks SH, the struggle you describe is definitely my experience as well.