Even though the climbing community can widely be referred to as a dirty group of mostly white people who seem to have more time than they know what to do with, we seem to have one thing down - passion. Climbers: Where passion crawls along the fine line of obsession and we find ourselves jobless, eating honey packets outside of our car-hotel.
Are we driven by progression, passion, or perpetual self-deprecation? Wait…Let’s back pedal here. Something I see far too little of in this world is passion, which to me is one of the true keys to happiness. A recent observation in a COCC class showed that over half of the students seemed offended by the simple question of “do you have a passion”. What is a seemingly preposterous assumption to my fellow classmates is the lifeblood that I thrive off of to remain happy. This alone suggesting there will only ever be a fair few that I can really understand. These are the people I can build off of and how with simple relationship building we become better people from simply being a part of each others' lives.
One person who always seems to be at Smith Rock with a glass 3/4 full of his passion is Alex Baker. Always a welcome addition to my crag experience, he's consistently shown himself to not only be an extremely strong climber mentally and physically but also a refreshment to be around. I can't quite get enough of people who radiate their positivity and love for the sport we're there to do. Alex has been working on sending Vicious Fish, a notoriously hard 5.13+ on Smith’s front side since last season. Coming back from an injury last year and the motivation of a moving to start a new job for Black Diamond in a few short weeks, Alex had the extra push he needed. Shortly after these photos were taken, he finally sent on a cold November day. I’m sure this will just spark the inspiration to continue to push Alex to his limits and then some in Utah. I look forward to hearing about his and his girlfriend Rachael’s climbing and professional successes as they move forward.
Lately I’ve been getting so excited that I lay in bed awake setting daily goals for my climbing. Inspired by unwavering optimism despite gruel forecasts, anything is possible. I've now taken 6 attempts on the latest route of interest- Kings of Rap. This is likely one of the most beautiful routes ever and will be my first 5.12d (a grade I seem to have skipped somehow). By day two, I was delighted to see beta come together. One minor set back after a fall into the 90° roof on Kings resulted in small battle wound. Likely just a reminder to either not fall there, or perhaps wear shin guards.
Luckily the following weekend was confidence inspiring as another whip in the same spot was less like a short stab to the shin, and more like a side-hug or really good high-five. With optimism on my side and blood-induced fear behind me, the future is bright with sending! I hope :)
It's cold. Thank god for VG Leg warmers....YEAH JANE FONDA