When your fingers are clenched into teeny little divets, your toes are ungraciously moulded into points and pressed mercilessly into a centimetre worth of ledge, you’re looking up at a 30 ft climb and you can’t for the life of you figure out where the hell you’re supposed to put your other foot, it’s easy to feel defeated. Then those sage words ring in your ears:
“See that rock? Climb it.”
It might not be the most technical advice, to be sure, but it gets the best gist pretty well and is the best climbing tip I’ve ever had. The point is made: just do it.
Something boils up inside you, right from your innards. Nausea? Possibly, if you’re afraid of heights. A primordial growl? Maybe. (Probably.) Or is it this grit, determined, animalistic hunger to overcome, to succeed, to climb!?
Some fiery ambition explodes and takes over. Your muscles burn, your throat gurgles, straining against the beast writhing within you and you climb.
And then you get to a comfy place and look down and realize that your buddies are still in spitting distance. For them.
For you, it’s just an unfair advantage.
But you keep going because – let’s be real for sec – this is what we came to do, and there are few things more thrilling than the rush of dangling at the top of the cliff face, fingers and arms burning, toes aching and squashed, legs twitching from the climb.
Chances are, you’ve belted a few battle cries amid the exertion, and it feels so good when you make it.
Granted, sometimes you slip, too. That’s what the harness is for. (“Trust in the harness, Luke.”) And it’s all just part of the experience.
Mind versus matter, besting yourself with each attempt, finding your limits and surpassing them.
Just you and the rock.
And your belayer since, well, it’s preferable to be lowered to the ground via your harness and the rope than via gravity alone…..
And like all good days spent climbing, there is even more time hanging out, relaxing, and enjoying the sunshine. But what comes in a very close second to climbing is the discovery of some really cool bugs.
Huge thanks to my buddies for taking the pictures during that especially fun day!