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The International Climber’s Festival

This week’s article introduces a new author to our team; Mike’s wife, Janelle Anderson. Janelle has been climbing alongside Mike for 15 years now. She consistently climbs in the 5.12+ range, and occasionally 5.13-, despite often generously sacrificing her goals to give Mike the best chances on his projects. Janelle will be a regular contributor,…
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Flashback Series Ep. 2: The Totem Pole

125 miles off the southern coast of Australia, pummeled on all flanks by the Tasman Sea, lies an otherworldly landscape of temperate rain forest perched upon a mountain of granite and dolerite.  This untamed and rarely visited corner of the world is known as Tasmania, and Tasmania is known to climbers for its fantastic sea…
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Sunny St. George Part I: Breakin’ The Law

On rare occasions I take a short hiatus from thinking about training, writing about training, and training, to actually go rock climbing.  Over the New Year’s Holiday the family and I headed west to the warm climes of St. George, Utah for a week of climbing.  St George is home to a vast array of…
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Woes of Failure.

Levitating up Levitation and Eagle Dance

Failure.  

ARG!

I suck with failure!!!


I find sometimes I am avoiding moments where failure is the most likely outcome.  


Following the crux on Cloud Tower
I don’t project rock climbs.  I on-sight.  If I don’t think I can on-sight it I shy the lead away.  
Its not even that I fear falling.  I don’t fully commit to friends, relationships, plans....because what if it doesn’t work out.  It is better to be illusive.  


HA!  I fear failure.  It isn’t really working out any more, this fear of failure thing.  

I turned to Justin Dubois this spring when I was having a little head epic in the Valley.  In one week last April I climbed three big walls in a day in Zion, climbed to Dolt Tower and had my first run up the Regular Route on Half Dome.  All-in-all, 10,000 feet of climbing in 6 days.  Yet, I was frustrated with my progress in mid- May.  My intended objective was pushed out of sight by partner miscommunication and sickness. 
I emailed Justin, “am I a sissy if I bail?”

He sent back something short...probably not knowing that I really needed advice, an outside voice.  

“No, crazy...settle down!”  

This fall again Justin’s words ring around the vast space between my ears.  

Settle down. 
Baxter and Andrew on top of Mt. Wilson--Red Rocks

Ironic as Justin drops me a note today, 
“I think I have your disease...I can’t seem to take a rest day!”

Yup.  It is a disease and it is catching up with me hardcore.  
I feel that I have been battling it, so quickly moving on to the next project...the next adventure that I might not be enjoying the present moment.  





Cory Jammin up the last pitch of Cloud Tower
The pain of my stubby right toe jammed into the one inch crack 600 feet off the deck.  

The grunting exhale that escapes my lips as I shove my left index finger in the space between the parallel sandstone.

The tingling sensation as my hand cranks, forearm burning, pulsing.  Breath labored.
Mind twirling, eyes darting.  '

Finding comfort in the uncomfortable.
Taking control or just taking.

Maybe falling.  
Hopefully sending.  
Whatever it may be, pushing because that is what we do it for. 

I backed off a lead today, because my shoulders hurt.  Because my right elbow aches.  Because my shoes are all blown out.  Because I was afraid of not sending.  

Afraid of Failing.
  
My ego hurts as does my body.  I had a great time in Vegas last week.  Trying hard, succeeding.  Clay suggests that I may be too hard on myself.  
It allows me success, but it hinders the smile.  
It fogs the sunset, slogs the movement, mutters the conversations between friends. 


.........and this is how it is now.  
Clinging to a pin scar on the first crux of Rainbow Wall.  

Red Rock Routes

Resolution Arete 5.10--11 hours C-T-C
Cloud Tower 5.12a
Rainbow Wall 5.12 
Levitation 29 and Eagle Dance Link-up 7 hours C-T-C
Rock Warrior, Dream of Wild Turkeys and Prince of Darkness link-up
Some cragging at Brass Wall, Gallery, and others

Zion Routes

Moonlight Free Attempt 5.12d (did not complete)
Sheer Lunacy 3 1/2 hours on route
Force Boyle 5.11
Bits and Pieces 5.11
Monkey Finger 5.12
some cragging at Touchstone Base and Kung Fu Theater, and others



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Roped Bouldering in Cowboy Country

We recently spent a few days in Wyoming to take advantage of the last week of Kate’s maternity leave. Sinks and Wild Iris are among our favorite crags.  I can’t ever recall having a bad day at Wild Iris.  Even … Continue reading
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Canadian Tour

Pitch 1 on East Colombian Indirect 5.12+, Tom Egan Wall-- Snowpatch Spire Q.B leading up the Endless Struggle Pitch, Snowpatch SpireWhen you type in your Google search bar "genuine, good-spirited, ego-less hard mutherF#^&ing crankers," I am po...
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Tuolumne

A couple weeks ago I spent the weekend in California visiting one of my good friends and original climbing partners Chris Graham.  Chris recently moved to Sonora, which is ideally situated at the base of the Sierra range.  There’s an … Continue reading
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Iceland Part II

If you haven’t read “Iceland Part I” (or you thought it was so awesome you want to read it again) check it out here. Day two started out slowly with us sleeping in till 9am. We slept 12 straight hours, … Continue reading
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Iceland (Part 1)

Ya, that’s right, Iceland.  Why wouldn’t I go to Iceland?  In the winter.  Alas, this was not a climbing trip per se, but I did manage to climb three out of the four days we were there.  Ya, that’s right, … Continue reading
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Integration

I love climbing. Central Park this fallI enjoy moving in the mountains for hours at a time.  I love a good glass of wine and laughter filling the room.  I love falling in love, playing the piano, learning, teaching, and a full breathe filling...