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Back To My Roots - Olivia Brumwell

Back To My Roots - Olivia Brumwell
December 21, 2012 -  Olivia Brumwell    

I was the little baby with the tie-dye beanie sitting in the sand at the base of The Galley, popping little red stones into my mouth 3 at a time. I loved the way the tasted. They way the rubbed against my gums. My parents never intervened when i was "tasting" nature. They always told me it would "strengthen" my immune system. Like most 1 year olds I didn't know what an Immune System was, I just liked the rocks.


In November I took my first trip back to Red Rocks in almost 14 years. I wasn't sure if it looked any different since my last visit. Everything was still red and rocky! But you could tell something was a little off. It was not really a climbers place anymore. It was kind of a culture shock to see all the tourists. It was hard to stand by and watch them, in a way deface this beautiful place. Throwing rocks down into deep crevices. I never understand why people come to these places to take pictures. The place in the background means almost nothing. Maybe its because I know that if you hike in further, there is so much more than a background in a photograph.

It was quite the adventure trying to find the walls. It really tested out "i spy" skills. Looking back and forth between the dirty guidebook and the rock. Everything lookd almost the same. Its like an optical illusion up there, only certain walls are visible from certain places and the concept of depth is completely lost.   

While I was there I only bouldered. Of course when I got back I got my expected reaction from all my climbing friends "Aw man! What? No rope climbing? How do you not go rope climbing!? I mean come on this is Red Rocks" Yeah. I know. Believe me this was not my last time there. I mostly boulder at Kraft boulders. I usually climb in a gym. I don't do much outdoor climbing in the winter but in Nevada winter somehow does not really exist, so I felt I owed it to myself to climb outdoors everyday before I had to return to my snowy cold mountainy home. 

The rock felt so good. It was good in the worst way though. I was constantly caught between letting go because I felt that my finger tips were ripping in half on staying on because the routes were some of the best I have ever climbed. This was good practice for me. I am learing how to be more self motivated. Outside there is no coach or team pushing you and motivating you. You have to be there to motivate yourself! And sometimes thats hard. Its easier to quite when its only your descision. This was "mind training" for me. "Come on don't let go, just keep climbing. If your fingers bleed thats okay! Just think the holds back in the gym are going to feel so easy. Just climb."   


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