Saturday, October 18, 2008

Red Feather Aesthetics

After not getting out last weekend due to cold rain, It was great to get out again in perfect weather. Appreciating the beauty of the sun, trees, boulders, and meadows.

We got some great bouldering in, but we also enjoyed just hanging out, telling jokes, and stories.
Jacob and Amanda between attempts.

We started the day at Desperado, and then walked further up the gully. Jacob did the probable first ascent of a slab on the back of the boulder shown below. It involves a fun running start to reach a sloping edge about nine feet up. I managed to latch it right after Jacob, and then we moved on to the dyno problem pictured below.
Jacob on the problem.

Jacob, Ricky and I made countless attempts on this line. Jacob caught the top once, but didn't figure out the mantle fast enough. Heartbreaking. Ricky figured out some static beta, and came incredibly close to latching the top, but we'll all need another day on this problem.
Ricky's method.

Just across a small meadow in a thick aspen forest is a nice line that Jacob found and cleaned on rappel during previous sessions. He had worked out the crux already, but hadn't topped it out yet. It's a little high, and the end involves standing up on good smears without any good hand holds. After we each had a couple goes, I topped it out. Jacob and Ashley got to the top out, but were too worn out to commit to it. I had the advantage of not having worked on "Desperado" earlier in the session. I've decided to name the problem "Aesthetics." It feels V4, and is very fun. Thanks Jacob.
Ashley on "Aesthetics"

The top out.

Lately, I've been contemplating the experience of beauty. I don't remember being taught that boulders, meadows, and cliffs are beautiful. Or that solutions to boulder problems have a beauty to them, but I experience it. The only downside is that, for me, the pursuit of beautiful experiences through bouldering often feels selfish. Somewhere in my midwestern upbringing, I picked up a certain sense of guilt whenever things seem too good. So I write my experiences down in this blog, and take a lot of pictures. By sharing, I feel a little better about how much fun I have bouldering. While many people seem unable to see or feel the appeal of rock climbing. To me it is obvious and undeniable, and I feel an instant connection to all the other people that enjoy this sport. I'm not sure what makes people so different in their interests, but I know that reality can be beautiful, and it feels important to devote time to experiencing it.


chuffer said...

Great attempt at explaining why we climb.

Life is to be experienced. Our time in cubicles, answering to the man on the jobsite, following orders, all the stupid time we spend in classrooms, meetings, not to mention the incredible percentage of our lives we waste sleeping ... these are not the reasons we were brought into this world. Our time is fleeting, enjoy it as much as the path you choose in life allows you.

Squeeze that lemon for every drop!

David said...

Well said Chuffer.

sock hands said...

keep the good posts coming, fool!

Peter Beal said...

Nice family photo, great writing. P.S. I emailed about suggestion for Fort Collins projects and would love to hear suggestions.

PPS Chuffer, sleeping is not a waste of time, especially not with children in the house!