And then there were two!

HOLY CRAP! Somehow my friend Will Gadd single handedly managed to convince dozens of people to throw down cold hard cash to extend our visit here in Scotland (see comments below). I knew Will was a leader of men, but hot damn, hard earned dollars into the pockets of fellow climbers? Now THAT is pushing the limits. Everyone knows that climbers (in general) are a bunch of cheap skinny bastards who would rather live in a single wall tent pitched behind their parents house, than pay RENT – So where is all this romantic warm hearted charity coming from?

One climber in particular, (not going to mention his name) actually took it one step further, without hesitation sent us each 50 Canadian dollars via an email money transfer. He didn’t even bother with a little heads up, just went ahead and did it. All action, no talk. It’s the same way he skis and climbs and lives, the geeza gets amongst it like most of us wish we could.

I don’t know how to thank everyone for all your love and support. The small but vibrant climbing community of the world will never cease to amaze me. I’m amazed. But unfortunately, we can’t accept a single dime, I hope you can understand. It just wouldn’t feel right and besides we are professionals after all, we’re supposed to spend our rest days writing and sending proposals to potential sponsors begging for bones to fulfill our selfish needs, not the general public. But I will have you know that we will never-ever forget this moment of unrivaled generosity. Ever. Thank you all, for your comments, your support and your open wallets. Thanks, but no thanks. But don’t be fooled however, I don’t plan to be dirt poor forever and I will ask for your money one day, ha- oh yes I will, but I’ll be offering something in return, like a hallmark card, a DVD, a t-shirt, a revolutionary tension relieving rubber dohnut device or a guided tour up laughing crack. Ya’know, some sort of product or service or another. But until then, it’s just Cory and I, our limited sponsorship dollars and our credit cards.

If you have not figured it out yet, we are still here. I can’t believe it. In fact we bought a place, we are moving here. Forever. The other night was heavy and the next morning, even heavier. Bags packed, three hours of sleep, passports in hand, but then one email after another kept coming in and it got all confusing. My girlfriend Lydia even lied to me and told me she wanted me to stay, straight faced, I’ll never forgive her, she is the brightest light in my life and so we took her to the airport. It was emotional, I wanted to be on that plane with her, in Boulder with her, she’s taking a yoga workshop with legendary practioner Richard Freeman. The woman won a scholarship for a month long teacher training clinic and when she’s finished she’s going to be the next best thing since Pattabhi Jois. She’ll be talking about her experience on her own blog, which I check every 15 minutes.

This is her in the middle of our street here in Edinburgh (pronounced Edin-bruh), warming up before going climbing. Apparantly standing on your head is good, because on her third try she climbed the 5.12b approach pitch to Requiem and she never climbs. Well almost never. I think she inspired both of us, because that same day, Cory and I got a new highpoint. Like I said before, she is the light.

Here is a picture of Lydia after a relaxing breakfast at Leith Shore and a picture of Paul Diffley doing what he loves, filmaking.

A picture of Cory and I riding the top floor and front seat of a Double Decker bus, the guy who took this picture thought we were a pair of North American Wanking tourists, which we are of course. Except tourists spend real money, we just walk around and ride the bus, people watching is my favorite passtime. For 3 bucks, you can see the city from north to south, east to west, AND if you wear a big oversized down patagonia jacket, then you can stuff three or four cold beers in your pockets and knowbody is the wiser. So here is my question now…How do you like them apples?

This is a picture Cory took of our last night in Dumby. Chaos decided to bless us with a delightful evening, who said Dumbarton isn’t beautiful? It’s as beautiful as anywhere I’ve ever seen, it’s different, but it’s beautiful. I fell off the crux in the sun on my last attempt and I wanted to punch the wall as hard as I could. I bit my lip and took it on the inside. I wanted to climb this route (so much) with Lydia as my witness and then get on that freaking plane for Colorado. But it just didn’t happen, and it won’t until it does. I know that sounds gay, but it’s true, for me to climb this, I’ll need everything to align, mental focus, physically strength, ideal weather and above all -a pinch of LUCK.

But if I was Steve McClure, I would require nothing more than an extra day. That reminds me, if any of you are still feeling generous about giving money, try contacting Steve, he’s about as nice a guy as the world provides and he’s in the best shape of any climber doing anything. He is my inspiration, him and Ben Moon.

Ben because of his style, he moves with confidence and power but he never flails, if there were points for style, he gets my vote, as for Steve, he’s in his mid thirties and he keeps getting better, he is a climbers climber. This year he is unstoppable, besides bagging two 9a’s or 9a+’s this spring, last week he flashed the second ascent of a 5.14a. I really think his talent needs to be unleashed, get out more and spread the joy of climbing to all corners. Has 5.14d been flashed yet?

Starting tomorrow we have five days, that means four climbing days at the most, but realistically three. The weather is looking spotty, but sometimes bad conditions can be quite good. So let’s pray for bad weather, good conditions and greater vibrations. Fingers Crossed.

  • Suzanne

    I laughed while reading of Lydia, she seems fun and funny, and it’s good she’s got you re-inspired. So then;

    “Do it this time!” 🙂

  • Seriously, Sonnie and I are kind of sitting here not really sure which way is up. When you’re part of a community that is hailed as being selfish, it’s nothing short of enlightening to be surprised by the generosity of ‘selfish’ strangers the world over. Thanks.

    This trip started as a simple return to an unfinished project…kinda like work…but different (Okay, not different, it is work. ..but damn is that weird to say…still) I returned as a photographer, Sonnie as a climber. But, because of the rad support we’ve received from sponsors (nice plug), but more importantly, from all of you, we are still here. Sonnie is closer than ever…and super stoked. Furthermore, I’m super stoked cuz we are not only killing it with the images, but it has become the most amazing climbing trip I’ve ever been on. Not so much in terms of the climbing, although that is a very cool and vital piece of the energy, but more so because it has reminded me of this amazing crew of people that we’re privileged to be a part of.

    Fluffy and kinda sappy, I know. But seriously, thanks for it all. Its been amazing. Three or four more days to climb…wish us luck.

    Peace out YO!


    A special thanks to the geezas in C-more who lit a fire up under this rig. B & W, you boys are out of this world.

  • Mats B

    Sweet ! So freaking cool you guys stay a bit longer..

    Good Luck ! Now send that route!


  • Kipper

    Thanks for the best climbing Blog on the Web.

    Good luck on Rhapsody would love you to get it ticked

  • mr_powly

    Agree with kipper, awesome reading and very good at keeping me distracted from revision.
    Good Luck!