Monday, December 26, 2011

The Measuring Tape

I am slowly emerging from the cookie coma that I've been in for the last four days. Slowly. Like a sloth. But there is daylight ahead and I'm psyched to get back out and start training again. 2012 is gonna be a big year and I want to be ready for it.

In the few days that I've been home I've put a lot of thought into my time on the road. What did I gain? What did I lose? What did I learn? What did I teach? Could I have done more? Should I have done less?

How do you measure four months of experience? Can you? I'm still not quite sure, but here are a few ways I might:

15,327 miles
119 days
2500 dollars spent
334 pitches of climbing
1 retreat
22 good friends made
8 COLD nights
6 states
1 flat tire
115 nights in my sleeping bag
18 postcards
1 crazy night in Vegas
2 dead rabbits
1 broken camera lens
2 awesome meals at the Lee Vining Mobil
3 Cormac McCarthy novels
1 run-in with Johnny Law
5 loads of laundry
3 cams, 4 stoppers, and 3 biners found in Yosemite
1 dropped ascender
5 consecutive weeks without a shower
3 weeks without changing any of my clothes
1 night on a wall
2 of the scariest moves I've ever had to make
17 summits (cumbre!!!)
1 desert tower
6 Its-Its
7 cans of Cobra
1 absolutely insane shooting star
97 degree high
4 degree low
2 Milt's milkshakes
2 ropes acquired
1 attempted car break-in (we were doing the attempting)
6 days in Smith Rock State Park
3 days in Pine Creek, CA
26 days in Tuolumne Meadows
27 days in Yosemite Valley
14 days in Moab, UT
32 days in Indian Creek
4 days in Canyonlands National Park
4 days in Joshua Tree National Park
Too many hours behind the wheel
2432 photos
137GB of video
2 European assholes
15+ awesome Euros to remind me to look past stereotypes
1 fantastic bunch of Kiwis
157 miles hiked
1 wild drunken midnight offwidth bouldering session
1 blood red lunar eclipse
3 sketchy Star Drives
5 rolls of tape
Thousands of hand jams
More amazing sunsets than I can remember
1 life affirming experience I'll never forget

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

West Coastin'

OK, a long time since I've posted, but I've been busy!

To wrap up the last month: the good weather in Indian Creek inexplicably continued well into December and I was climbing in a T-Shirt in the sun even on my last day there. I feel like I progressed a lot as a climber during my time in the desert and I remain convinced that Southern Utah is one of my favorite places on Earth.

That said, a cold front blew in for a few days while my brother was visiting me in the desert, and while everyone else in the Creek bailed for warmer climes we sacked up and went for a 4-day hike in Canyonlands. Despite the cold (it never got above 35) we had an amazing time exploring the twisting slot canyons of the Needles area. I'd be lying if I said that we were totally comfortable the whole time (the cold at night pretty much necessitated that we cuddle up against each other for warmth) but that was kind of the point - sometimes you need to seek out discomfort in order to better enjoy the privileges of your daily life. By the time we finished it was a true pleasure to simply stand indoors.

I spent a few more days in the Creek after my brother left, but my body kept telling me that it was time to leave. I couldn't seem to recover after climbing and my psyche was getting lower each day. So I packed up and made the long drive to join some friends in Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California.