BIG dream pics!

I just thought I’d upload some images that my friend Ben Ditto took during my time on Ambrosia.  He’s a generous, not to mention amazing photographer.  I really like his unique perspective on life and in his images like the one below.  It’s not a typical hero shot you’d see in the mags, there’s something different about it,  it’s subtle, like, reading between the lines or something.   The crash-pad you see in the foreground is put up on a rock, about 6 feet higher than the ground.  It’s there in case you blow the final tech sequence to the summit.  There’s no spotting on this climb.  Andrew Burr is above, hanging out with me, encouraging me.   Which brings me to my next point….

Some people ask me if having a photographer up there is distracting.  The honest truth is that it’s not.  Not when they are a good friend like Andrew is.  In this case it was more motivating.  I feel like when the camera guy is up there, in position and they want me to send nearly as much as I DO.  Then it actually helps me focus.  I feel like it’s GAME TIME.  Because they give me energy, they don’t take it away.  Not because of the kodak courage syndrome, but because they are my friends, and it’s nice to have their truly positive energy beside me, perhaps I don’t feel so alone.  Maybe one could argue it’s a performance enhancer?  ha ha.  For me, I think it just might be.  Take Cobra Crack for example, I never wanted to be filmed on it.  Because I don’t like being filmed, ESPECIALLY on climbs I haven’t done yet.  But then Paul Bride (one of my best friends in the world) said, “Why don’t I just go up there and check out the angles, for an actual video shoot we’ll do later”, for both of us it was just a recon mission, but having him up there with me, cheering me on with his energy, was possibly just the kick I needed – I sent the route on my first try that day – the first time anyone pulled out a video camera.  It wasn’t the camera it was the positive energy.  Call me a cheater if you like, but I like hanging out with my friends in cool places, trying to climb cool faces, it’s as simple as that.  And it’s nice.  Another example (one of many) is the Prophet.  Ben Moon on a last minute mission, rappelled down the day of the hardest pitch, and he was all smiles and high fives, his energy lightened the mood and the pressure and allowed me to just smile and do what I love, which is climb up some rocks.  It was satisfying to send, and having him with us.

Without trying to sound too ‘cosmic’, as my friend Will Stanhope likes to say, I know you can’t always have a brother (or sister) around, dangling from a rope above, but sometimes when it’s on the line, it’s a nice way to distribute the vibe, and share the experience.

Okay, that’s my rant for the day, I have to go do yoga, apparently Ted Danson is in this class, it’s for stiff old guys like myself, Which is exactly what the class is called.  It’s on the brochure.

  • david pendon

    Great piece Sonnie, and proud send.

  • Lee

    There’s no doubt having someone on a rope (a trusted, encouraging ally) sending you positivity as you go through the crux is a performance enhancer. It just is! I can’t recall anyone flagging it as cheating, but I’m sure R&I will do an article on it now 🙂

  • Mmm, yes, yoga. I want to do that now too! Love the middle pic, good energy 🙂

  • Jerell Lee

    Great stuff. I am looking foward to seeing more of your work Sonnie!

  • Kevin

    The energy we get from others when climbing is really surprising sometimes.

    When we have ‘bouldering parties’ at my local gym I crush so hard with all the cheering and energy! I’ve onsighted or flashed problems that the next week can feel impossible.

    I think when other people believe you can do something and they are cheering you on you start to believe you can do it to…and voila… it is done.