A lot has happened since my last blog update--a lot of which has been the less "obvious" sort of fun and I am glad to be in a position to once again share a bit of my life as I attempt to climb for 365 consecutive days!
Growing Pains - Steve Richert
My time in Yosemite was a great learning experience. I learned that the bears in the park are out of control and that there is a lot more to climb there than El Cap. It was my first several weeks climbing without my usual partner (my wife) so that exponentially increased the difficulty of the time I spent there and a lot of time was wasted between dealing with a bear break in and not knowing the secret handshakes necessary for navigating the valley.
Nevertheless, I managed, with my partner (also named Steve) to mount a spirited attempt on Lurking Fear despite a lot of psychological and logistical setbacks. I learned that light is right unless you are 100% certain you need extra gear and that is what ultimately compromised our attempt on the captain. I have taken the lessons learned in the valley in June and am hoping that by the fall (October?) I will be able and ready to go back and go the distance.
Being cut off from communication with my wife was unquestionably the hardest part of the time in the Valley as I was just adjusting to being alone in the first place and she was 3000 miles away, training for a new and hectic job!
From Yosemite I moved up into Idaho, and spent several weeks at the City of Rocks which was as fun and simple and refreshing as anything could be. I didnt have a partner for much of that time so I rope soloed, using a micro traxion device! During the early part of July, some business developments that will soon be announced on our homepage, www.livingvertical.org came up and I had to find a way to drive back east to NYC while still doing some climbing every day. Creativity (read: buildering) made that happen and aside from my vehicles catastrophic failure in South Dakota and a 23 hour rental car blitz to the east coast, it was all very nonchalant.
I arrived back in NY at my dads and it was good to be back but stressful since the climbing in this area is a lot more limited and I now had to share a car with my dad until I could get one of my own! While this dynamic was in play, I had to make a trip down to Manhattan on the aforementioned business--and talk about legitimate buildering! Wow! If I wasnt concerned with being incarcerated or labeled a felon, I would have loved to try multi-pitch buildering. I am still trying to think of a way to make that happen as some sort of "artistic expression". If they can put tissue paper on the trees in Central Park why can't I hang some ropes and a belay or three up on a skyscraper?
Today I just closed on a "new" 2002 Honda CRV and I am excited that the project will be able to continue unfettered. It has been tough connecting the dots and finding ways to climb every day but I am still doing it and I am just past the halfway mark and looking to push myself harder for the last 180-something days!