Monday, August 22, 2011

The Gambler's Tale

Two climbers descending off Bugaboo Spire.

Ok, fine I admit it
I pushed a little to hard
I upped the ante
Increased the wager
And when I tried a little harder;
I lost
I failed
I folded my hand and walked away

What can I say,
The Mountains win again.

Yesterday was day 3 of my three day challenge this week.  Each day of the challenge I was to hike all the way in from the bottom of the valley and climb a route that I have not climbed yet this year, and then hike all the way back down to the bottom of the valley.  As you can see in my cute little poem, I did not complete this weeks three day challenge.
How do I feel about that?  I feel great, and a little tired today.  Winning wasn't actually part of the equation.  That's never how I've viewed climbing in the mountains.  To me it's not about winning, losing, conquering, or being conquered.  To me climbing mountains is a live on stage drama.  There are characters and a plot and when played just right, there is a lot of passion and a true sense of understanding between the actors by the end.  This is what I call mountain communion.  It's also about trying, and if it was going to be easy, it would not have been a challenge.  Last week on my three day challenge I climbed 2 moderate routes first and one long moderate route at the end on day 3.  Completing the challenge as I hoped I would, but not knowing at the start of the challenge how I would do.  So this week I wanted to make things a little harder for myself, if not a lot harder.  The first two routes I did this week were definitely a lot harder than anything I climbed last week.  Ears Between on Crescent Towers and the Northeast Ridge of Bugaboo Spire together had 18 pitches of technical climbing a scary and exposed summit traverse on both peaks, and lots of down climbing and scrambling through long and loose talus fields filled with giant boulders.  While I woke up yesterday feeling good and ready to go on day 3 of the challenge, when I got to the base of the route I was bushed.  My plan was to climb the Southeast Spur of Brenta Spire.  An easier route than the two that I had done previously this week, but it is still a long approach just to get to the base of the route, especially from the bottom of the valley.  As I sat there in the talus field at the start of the climb, I just wasn't feeling good about it.  My feet hurt, the sky was grey with clouds, and the idea of the long descent that would follow this climb added up to me just sitting there for a while.  Long enough for me eat all the food that I had with me that day and say to myself, "at least I've tried".
I had tried, and there I sat.  Tired and a bit sore.  And still a long ways from camp.

Sunset on day 2 of the challenge

Hiking around in the forest in the dark is a lot more glamorous than it sounds, and it is also romantic, even when your by yourself.  Ooo, I hope that was me that just pinched me!

My rack for the last couple weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment