Deep Thoughts

To start with, thanks for everyone who is supporting our visit, and to all the climbers here and far with great beta, feedback, advice and offerings. Cheers. Secondly, my finger is not injured after all, it seemed to be fine yesterday, so it was a needless scare, but reminded me to be gentle. Many climbers think because I have climbed 9a in the past, that I should walk up Rhapsody. I’m not here for a “performance” I am here for an “experience”. Until mid April I have not climbed on a rope in over 6 months. I climbed in India in hot sweaty conditions for maybe three and half weeks during a three month trip and of those weeks maybe 4 days a week. I also got quite sick, so I’m not in top form and I am enjoying my road to recovery.

Yesterday was without a doubt the best conditions we had for climbing since our arrival and perhaps even better than any day we had last year. Unfortunately it didn’t get sticky until very late in the day, we should have waited and climbed in the evening. My fist attempt on Rhapsody was fairly early, I felt pressure from the hot sun so I gave it a ‘once over’. Warming up on the crack approach is no longer an issue, I hardly get pumped anymore. I took a stab on the headwall and managed a clean go to the top crux, where I fell, as you do.

I then managed to climb from the last rest (a precarious chalking up stance) to the top of the wall twice. But still have not linked it straight from the top of the crack to the top of the wall. I don’t feel there is much need to link it on top rope fully, I feel no pressure to do that. My fitness feels reasonable and I have faith in the gear, so the only thing I am concerned about is memorizing each little footplacement and getting more and more familiar with the moves. Although this is not much fun to watch, or film of course, that’s of no problem of mine. Smirk. With all the tiny holds and micro foot smears, it’s a gallery of chalked dots and boot rubber, it’s hard not to get confused. I also lost a lot of skin yesterday, although to a non climber my skin only looks pink, like the inside of a rarely cooked steak, to an experienced climber however it looks about two layers away from being a deep laceration from which there is no escape. Bleeding tips = end of trip. It was my own stupid fault for climbing on it in the direct sun so early in the day. I should have had more patience and waited until late evening, when things cooled off considerably, it even clouded up a bit and the wind curled around providing good contact. Although I did tool around the boulders a bit at sunset and I even got in a few nice moves with friendly folks. It was a late drive back home.

A view from the shore while the tide was out, waaay out. Check out the tips of castle peeking over on the edges of the frame, cool shit, and also be sure to notice the grocery cart laying in the mud in the foreground, this is vital. It wouldn’t be dumby without it.

A group of motivated, friendly and encouraging locals enjoying ever increasingly better temperatures and conditions. The flowers are fake, Dumby only offers broken glass and fire pits, this photo was enhanced using PS-CS3. Okay, here is the deal, straight up yo… People think it’s a little odd when I say that Dumby is world class and then they usually follow this up by pointing and laughing at me, but it is, clearly not in the same way that Ceuse is world class, or Font, or Yosemite. There just is not that much rock here, but the rock that is provides astounding quality. Each climb, each boulder, each hold is fun, proud and unique, that includes the two moves on slap happy and the 75 moves on Requiem. So that’s it – that’s my take. Agree to disagree.

What would a climbing trip be without buildering or scuffing up the face of an overdesigned and overpriced building of Parliment? Not much of one I recon. Here, we walk the mile and get a refreshing pint in the downtown disctrict of Edinburgh.

This is a snap of the cool engravings they have along the street. I particularly enjoyed this one, I talk too much, but don’t we all.

Obviously someone very important was coming along, well dressed men and women in black cars being escorted down the Royal Mile. We are also walking above the very streets which witnessed one of the dealiest pandemics in human history. The Plague which most likely began in Central Asia and spread to Europe during the mid 1300’s is also known to many as the Black Death. The total number of deaths worldwide is estimated to be around 75 million people. Approx 25-50 million occurred in Europe alone, kiling roughly 50 percent of it’s population.

Bubonic plague had a drastic effect on Europe’s population in the 14th century, irrevocably changing Europe’s social structure. It was a serious blow to the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in widespread persecution of minorities such as Jews, foreigners, beggars, and Lepers. The uncertainty of daily survival created a general mood of morbidity, influencing people to “live for the moment”, as illustrated by Giovanny Boccaccio in the Decameron (1353). below.

I know everyone believes in something different. But me, I believe – actually wait – allow me to rephrase that because I don’t believe, I think, I guess. The only things I truly believe in are the things I am sure of. I believe in Lydia, I believe in my family and my friends and I believe in myself, but when it comes to life after death I have no beliefs, I have only assumptions and so I assume when death comes knocking, there is no ceremony, there is no heavenly gates, the lights go out, that’s it – like a deep sleep and there is no waking up again, ever. We are simple organic matter, imperfect in every way and we live and we die and we smile and we suffer and we will decay. Our decomposing bodies will eventually make rich soil and from dirt grows the flowers, that is the circle of life to me. I don’t consider our existence as humans to be special, we are not special, I am certainly not special and my death will not be a great deal, the world will turn, mother nature will take care of the rest and I will slip away into darkness the way billions and billions of people have been doing for ten’s of thousands of years. Is there a soul? Maybe, but I don’t need to find it here and now, I’m having too much fun being a human, I’m not ready to see my spiritual face just yet and if there is an after life, then it will reveal itself all in good time, I don’t need to rush the process or hurt my brain by thinking about it. Some think my perspective is morbid, but the way I see, it sets me free. But what the bleep do I know, I’m just some kid who changes his opinions regularly and may one day be saying the complete opposite of all of this, all I know is that living life for the moment and doing what I love never feels wrong – and on and on and on we go… at this time – I’d like to thank my sponsors. (joke). Gotta go, the day is a wasting.

  • pete

    sonnie, we beleive in you… r hair. 🙂

    nice work on Requiem, and i’m sure that one of these next posts will be detailing your success on Rhapsody.


  • Its very strange to have someone put my present frame of mind in words as well as you have here. Nice to know I’m not the only person who thinks this way though! 🙂

    I wish you all the best on Rhapsody. Look after the tips, keep your head in gear ands its yours! Thanks for posting this.



  • Sonnie


    Glad you enjoy the rants.


    Always a treat.

    Stay tuned!

  • Bill Davidson

    You’ve just put my thoughts into words. I’m fine with this but my lovely wife thinks its sooooooooo sad.