“In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm”. – Miyamoto Musashi
Climbing is an expression of art, beauty, determination, and pure action. You can’t fake it. When on the “sharp end”, you either do it or don’t. The simplicity is brilliant. Failure is a positive experience as lessons are earned. Climbing allows us to be able to self explore, defining and redefining our capabilities while surrounded by unparalleled beauty. Like Joseph Campbel’s “A Hero’s Journey”, climbing in the mountains can be a vision quest where one never knows what lays around the next corner, but might just find that he/she is indeed ready for it. The fun is in the discovery and the exploration of our fear, doubt and definition of what’s possible made even sweeter by the fact that we share these life and attitude changing moments with like-minded partners.
When high above a raw and jagged range in my hang glider, I feel freedom but there is a distinctly different and very personal intimacy that I achieve when I actually touch the rock and ice that comprises the mountain. The quiet and immense terrain that sometimes can explode into chaos reminds me how small I am and yet, how I still fit in the scheme. Climbing is humbling, making me feel tiny and huge all in the same day. Like in life, there are easy stretches, and stretches of difficulty. Being a player in the drama of climbing walls and mountains makes large steps in personal growth and understanding with regards to what’s important and what’s trivial tangible. After all, with all of the “known’s” and guarantees in life today, adventure of true uncertainty is very special.
Short list of memorable highlights-
Black Wolves and Blue Poppies M5+ WI4+ AI6 ca 1300m (First ascent- 3rd ascent of peak), Mt Grosvenor, China
Thunder Ridge Direct 5.8 AI4 1200m- Denali, AK
Chaos Theory IV M5+WI5+400m (First Ascent), North Face Mt. Edwards – Glacier Park, MT
Shades of Gray IV 5.7AI4+1160m (First ascent), North Face Mt Jackson- Glacier Park, MT
Iron Son VI 5.9 A4+, El Capitan, Yosemite
Trowel Head V 5.9 A3+nw (First Ascent, winter), Drip Buttress- Bloget Canyon, MT
Nemesis WI6 140m, Stanley Headwall- Canadian Rockies
Airborne Ranger WI6+, Hyalite Canyon – MT
46&2 M7+ WI6 (First Ascent), South Face Mt. Brown- Glacier Park, MT
Arborist 5.13c (First Ascent), Kootenai Canyon, MT