Climbing hero Will Stanhope told me today that one of the best quotes he’s ever heard came from a Bob Dylan Documentary. As one of the GREATEST singer/song writers to walk the planet, the narrator describes Bob as someone who is constantly creating, and always becoming.
The Trade Show in Salt Lake City was nice. I ended up renting a hybrid Toyota to get there, got over 50 mpg from SAC. Sick. Seeing my friends again was the highlight for me of course, but the downside, was witnessing the dreadful waste we created.
I had lunch in the convention center, pressed for time, a bad move on my part, and the food came in a thin, cheap, plastic container. I used it for about 4 minutes, then needed to dispose of it, arghhh! There were thousands of other attendees at the show, and they too needed to eat. I asked around where the recycling was, nobody had a clue. Not even the organizers. One chubby lady with a clipboard said to me, “there’s a trash can behind you”. I looked at it, overflowing with 4 minute plastic. In the end, I walked 5 minutes across the building to find a recycling bin, while passing about 10 trash cans along the way.
I should not be surprised, but I am, this is “THE” Outdoor Retailers Show, and these people should care about the planet, shouldn’t they? After all, it’s our playground. OR people are selling the latest adventure, the newest gadget, the greenest ideals, and yet nearly everybody still chooses convenience. I wish we didn’t have to choose, I wish, what was right was always right before us. We should be demanding recycling bins, at least. We’d all like to do good things, but there’s a limit to how far we’ll go. Apparently it’s 5 minutes. What I learned (again) is that if you want to help people do good things, one must make doing good things easy. We humans are far too lazy, too selfish and too shortsighted to do otherwise and that’s why our children will probably choke on our own plastic waste one day and die miserably. Sorry about the rant, I’m just frustrated.
Back to Bob Dylan. I decided not to buy myself a new van right away. I held off my impulses to let my thoughts sink in, and I’ll hopefully make a wise decision later with less pressure. How mature of me, ha ha ha. Douche. In the meantime, I jumped in the Big Willy Wagon with a six pack of Sierra Nevada’s and we’re now in sunny Moab, Utah. The idea of “becoming” came up during the drive down to the Creek this morning. I lured Will into a trip here because of some projects I had seen years ago. I convinced Lydia to check them out with me this fall, but it was too cold to climb on them. So I took some snaps to remember them by and we went home. Below, are the pictures I took that convinced Will to tag along on the First Ascent Mission Expedition, Indian Creek. January, 2011.
I fuggin LOVE new routes, I’m not always looking for the hardest ones, although I probably should be if I want to continue being a sponsored climber. But shit, what’s wrong with just climbing something beautiful, if it’s hard, it’s a bonus? Every new line we climb as a collective is a rare gift, no matter the number attached to it, and that’s what being here now is all about.
I didn’t have to drag Will to the wall today, which took over an hour to hike to, he practically skipped. With nothing to warm up on, I aid climbed the first of two cracks I found and set up a TR. After one inspection each, we pulled the rope and grunted through thuggy ringlocks on our way to the top, both on our first redpoint attempts. Stoked. For me, it’s about the excitement that comes from the unknown of a virgin wall and sharing that experience with a good friend. It’s about imagination and becoming.
The big star is out this week, the atmosphere is favorably blue, and there’s another FA we’d like to try tomorrow and perhaps another after that. Someone once told me that creating a new route is like bringing it to life – I thought about that for a while and decided it was the opposite for me – it is the routes themselves, which bring US to life.
L’il Lydia bundling up after a second squall swept in and chased us away back in November.
The wall from the steep hillside, a very foreshortened view, but you get the idea.
Splitter choss. That finger seam on the upper half is about 50 feet at least.
This was the climb we did yesterday. It don’t get much better than this. Rattly fingers, ring locks and a footless bulge to overcome on bullet windgate.