Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quick session at Flag: How did Winter Get Here?

I dropped Sophia off at day care yesterday afternoon to put in a quick session at Flag. A bit optimistically I suppose as you can see the snow from downtown. Down at Nook's Rock, the climate was cold and damp, like New England really which was a rapid change from the usual warmth I have been trying to deal with until last week. The responsible thing would have been to turn around and go to the Spot, except I only had an hour and a half to get back. So I had to climb. It's good training for winter conditions anyway and I am resolved to stay out of the gym as much as possible.

Ran into Steve Damboise and Moe Herschoff, whom I haven't seen in a while, and bouldered with a couple of younger climbers transplanted from Arkansas. I tried Window Shopper a bit but it was a wee bit slippery and cold. I think it will happen very soon though. First V11 in ages if it goes. Not wanting to leave empty-handed, I tried to flash Don't Touch the Glass, a V8 just right. I didn't check the holds carefully enough and blew the first try on a hand-scraping throw to the lip. A few minutes later after finding a useful intermediate, I hiked it, happy with that at least and reminded how even with a 3-move problem, the obvious solution is not always the right one.

Any big news in the climbing world? None that I am aware of really. Ethan Pringle has been cleaning up trad testpieces around here very quickly. Visit his blog for the skinny. I have added Deadpoint Mag to the Site of the Week, especially for this story. Read it and ponder what it means to give everything to a sport that considers you old at 24. Now at 44 I don't worry much either way other than to consider the illusions that are fostered by both participants and commercial interests. Climbing is difficult enough to do with your eyes wide open to anything but the moves and the holds and there is little doubt that the circus has its allure as it always will, especially to the young. But are there transcendent values, even in the ephemeral experiences of a 3-move problem? If there weren't I suppose I would have chosen another path.


Peter N. Jones said...

Hey, nice on doing Don't Touch the Glass. Who named it? And the intermediate? I finally nailed it yesterday after having cleaned it (or recleaned) it several years ago.

I agree, there are transcendent values in all aspects of climbing, from sending that scary B1 slab problem to a V12 highball to a simple yet eloquent 3 move problem. For me, the hardest part is not getting depressed by the overall scene. If I can just remember the beauty of moving over stone, hanging in the woods, and perhaps meeting a fellow stone mover I'll keep at it.

Peter Beal said...

Will Lemaire named it a while back. Regarding the scene, I keep reminding myself that this too shall pass. The rocks remain the same, well mostly, for a lot longer.