… am I all alone out here in these "roiling seas of life?!"
Lisa Hathaway - Ya gotta have friends …
Sometimes, a girl's gotta wonder ... am I all alone out here in these "roiling seas of life?!"
Fortunately, in the world of climbing, the answer to that is, pleasantly, no...Sure, there are times when the crags can be so crowded one feels like deploying a firehouse at the zoo scene in an attempt to clear out the queue, but more often than not, the peer group that is climbers functions more like an extended family.
PHOTO 1: Lara Sends...The Moab Family hits the Big Bend boulders en masse during a balmy winter day
Climbing is often touted as a true solo sport, but I would beg to differ. Perhaps it is your and only your finger tips that grasp the crux hold en route to the chains on a send, but I say it takes a village to get you there...the partners who have held the rope, the random dude who gave you a piece of key beta, the boss who gave you the weekend off to send the gnar...would there be a Kor without Ingalls? An "Evilution" without pads and spotters? A free ascent of the Nose without belayers?
PHOTO 2: Stefka Dynos - I've got your back...
Beyond the simple logistics of just getting the job done, lay the intangible parts of a critical sequence. The moral support and general camaraderie of your best mates. Sometimes merely the positive energy of a friend and an enthusiastic "you've got it" is all it takes to push it to the next level. Other times, and personally I can say many times, these partners form a scaffolding without which one could crumble. I know that many times in my life it has been my climbing partners (not coincidentally also my best friends) that have stood as pillars when I could no longer support myself.
PHOTO 3: Monkey Women - Me and My Pillars: small in stature, but big in heart! (photo courtesy of Chris Goplerud)
Then of course, there is nothing wrong with having a general good time or lively discussion with this group. Rarely in life, particularly in adult-hood, do you find a peer group that can span decades in age, full spectrum in socio-political beliefs and incredibly diverse up-bringings. Climbing permits us to constantly be exposed to such diversity— allowing us to avoid wallowing in the mire of our own safe mindsets. We may not always see eye to eye and that is the point. Be it as mundane as "to tape or not to tape" or the health care debate, lively dialogue is rarely far if one seeks it.
PHOTO 4: BB Boyz - Noah holds court in a meeting of the minds...
Recently I joined a new community. That of the "blogosphere." I am grateful for my Five Ten family in providing me this opportunity as well as for all the support I receive from them at the crag. This likely is not the last I'll speak of my climbing family or the team sport nature I find in climbing as well as all things climbing in MoabLandia. I look forward to "meeting" you...here or at the crag...as part of the team that is climbing!
PHOTO 5: Les Chicas Bonitas - Five Ten chicas at the O.R.