A Vice is a habit that is considered immoral.  But who decides?   Immoral means: “Not in conformity with accepted principles of right and wrong behavior”.  Bullocks.  I know we ALL have a vice, (yes even you oh virtuous one)  I have about three dozen myself and just to name two off the top of my head, climbing rocks and drinking coffee.  When I side stepped College and “the golden brick road” to wear thriftstore clothing and drive my truck around California my peers thought I was insane, a drifter, a loser maybe, mentally ill certainly, a vagabond and surely it would lead to murky waters and transgressional behavior.  But I had direction, I knew what I wanted and that is more than I can say for most of them.  So who decides?

In the morning, I smell the roasting aroma of the coffee bean long before my feet ever hit the floor.  I don’t need it, I want it, or is it the other way around?  ha ha ha.  But I don’t have to drink it, I don’t get headaches, I don’t get panic attacks and I don’t start shaking like a meth head.  The reason I drink coffee today is because of absurdly irritating allergies.  I don’t know why they are so bad this year, but I wake up feeling as though I’m under water, can’t breathe, can’t speak, can’t think.  It often takes a couple of hours of moving around with conscious inhaling and exhaling to release the pressure in my sinuses.  But there’s light on the horizon.

Would you believe that coffee is a natural Antihistamine?

Coffee can seriously help relieve allergies!  When you have an allergic reaction, you take an antihistamine. Antihistamines stop your body from falsely reacting to whatever is causing the reaction.  Coffee is a natural antihistamine that can bring relief to itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and other reactions. The coffee doesn’t even have to be caffeinated–it can be decaf and still have the same effect.  But just be careful of drinking too much, as coffee has been known to lead to some mild health issues if taken in access, like high cholesterol.  So the question remains, what is or isn’t immoral?  I have mine and you have yours I guess, climbing rocks, skipping school and drinking coffee make me feel good, happy, healthy, alive, friendly, creative, motivated, productive and wholesome.  So is ones man’s vice is another mans virtue?  I dunno, it’s different for everyone I guess.

SQUAMISH  –   Okay so my latest scouting missions have proven to be quite an eye opener.  Some hikes take hours and I find absolutely nothing but scratches bruises and old dirty tuna cans and plastic bottles (left behind by completely inconsiderate climbers – SICK).  Other hikes take 5 min and I find diamonds in the rough.  I remember one time a friend asking me that if I climbed Cobra Crack if I would be bored with Squamish?  It was an honest question, and I didn’t have an answer, I wasn’t able to see that far ahead at the time.  But now, after getting more and more familiar with the different crags, both the popular and obscure I realize that with a bit of drive and imagination, there is more rock here than I or anyone can climb in two lifetimes.  There is always something higher, harder and more beautiful just around the corner.

I found another possible 5.13d/14- R route just the other day.  I was able to do all the moves but one, but I was very close.  The line is a steep overhanging arete and holds 14 hard moves to an easier 5.12 crack.  I need to pull out in my Five Ten Anasazi Lace ups, and not my mocs for this one.  It’s steep, bouldery and very serious and I need all the precision I can get my fingers on.  We might go back today, I need to get very aggressive for this route, hard granite usually means thuggish and bouldery, and I need to be more like Sharma today and less like Sonnie.  Wish me luck, I’ll try and bring back a picture of what it looks like, and you’ll see too that it’s a gem, waiting to be polished.  I gotta go, happy antihistamines everyone.


  • intrinzic

    “I drink coffee to relieve my allergies” sounds so less fiendish than “I drink coffee because it’s a cheap & legal stimulant.”

    Another delicious strategy for dealing with allergies is HONEY! Local honey of course – as close to home as you can find it. Bees collect pollen from local sources – the same ones that cause your suffering – and this pollen is present in the honey. Eating a teaspoon a few times a day (maybe in your coffee?) will expose you to the allergens in small, manageable doses – and you’ll build a tolerance to them!!
    And since it’s slightly acidic, it’ll keep for years without spoiling. But it’s delicious so it probably won’t last that long!

  • patti

    hi Sonnie
    been trying to connect with you re: aug25 at the museum, but my email isn’t working. If you could email a confirmation back for Aug 25 that would be wonderful!
    thanks patti

  • Sam


    I love to read all your stuff. Your writing is always fresh and interesting, and lots of cool climbing stories.
    Keep it up.