Okay, Okay, I may have been mistaken during an earlier post. Last week, I declared that there was no such thing as the worlds best climber. I went on to say that all climbers are elevated by the generation before them and with all the different styles of climbing that exhist, it's impossible to give the title to anybody. Well, that all changed this week. I was wrong and for that I am sorry, now I'll go an sit in the corner for five minutes. Patxi Usobiaga is the worlds best. For now. For today. Actually, I have a new rule, there is a worlds best climber but only for one day, after that the belt is taken away and each new morning it's on again.
For those of you that don't read the hot flashes crap, Paxti just onsighted a climb rated 5.14c. When I first started climbing, 5.14a sounded like another planet, a planet that would take years of preperation, an endless supply of imagination and more optimism than a Tony Robbins seminar. When I finally did climb 5.14, 5.14+ seemed like another milestone, a planet so much further than the one I was currently standing on and exponentionally further than the distance I had already travelled just to get to this one. A strict diet of carrots and apple suace ensued, and only after liposuction and lengthy Warrior meditation seminars I realized the realm of 5.14c and then upped the ante again with a 5.14d. Which by the way, feels a lot like 5.10d but with smaller holds, less rests and worse feet to stand on. It was blood, sweat and tears. Impressive, yes I know, but so is the fact that Britney Spears hasn't been to jail in over five months. Anyway, I had to sacrifice a goat on the summit of the Monkey Face in Smith Rock to climb just do it, then I took another step and sold my soul as well as the soul of my significant other to climb harder than that. I am now without soul, but I do have a 9a on my resume, it was almost worth it.
SO, for some Spaniard to come along and stroll to the top of a 5.14c (previously open project) without ever attempting the climb before is just pure insanity, and absolutely humbling. For anyone who thinks we've reached a peak in climbing standards, think again. 5.15 will be onsighted, 5.16 will be realized, 5.14 trad will be onsighted placing gear on lead and 5.15 trad will be piss easy. Just wait until "real athletes" discover our activity. LeBron James and Micheal Jordan can run faster, jump higher, train longer and most likely crimp harder than you or I ever could, they can also score more often, both on and off the courts (which may or may not lead to a law suit). But, no matter how strong a climber gets, no matter how seriously they train, or no matter how many sponsors they may aquire, there is no substitute for adventure. That's why I am giving the "worlds best climber" title to Paxti Usobaiga, but just for today, I think he earned it, but tomorrow it's up for grabs again. The words we all know and love, as though carved into stone or penned onto the 'Declaration of Independence' spewed from this generations most inspiring climber Alex Lowe states that "the best climber in the world is the one who's having the most fun" is alive and well, and tomorrow who ever that person is, wherever they are, they get that title, it may be you, but not very likely.
Congrats to Mr.Usobiaga. And just for laughs, if you think you earned that title sometime this week, send me your picture and your comments and I will post them here on my site, which gets more traffic and hits per day than the Tori Allen web site, ooops, sorry…er….typo, I meant to say Tori Spelling. Either way, I'm joking, but seriously if you have the stomach send it in and if I can get enough posts, I will start a section on this website, dedicated to the climbers having the most fun. All in the name of the late, the great, Alex lowe.
Best wishes to y'all.