Saturday, March 17, 2012


The Crew, Saint Patty's - Aiden, Lewis, Haggle, Jaime, Mark
Months ago, Haggle & I were in AF, on our way out after a long day of climbing when we decided to stop & check out The Hell Area. Arriving, the wall coming rudely into view, I remember being astonished. Out of breath, really (I am sure that sometime in my life I had seen this area before, but years of inebriation turns realities into fantasies & fantasies into realities, you get into a place where you are never sure of what is real, mixed up on the happenings of each given day – they become head scratchers & brow furrowers, leaving one guessing & picking what has actually happened). It was the first time I had seen this clearly & wonderfully, for me, the me of now at least. I don’t know if it was because of the concentration of hard climbs, the beauty of this particular area, or if I was simply moved by the want of being able to climb in such areas & feel comfortable as a climber, but regardless, I loved it instantly….

As we meandered back & forth, spying each line, barely able to contain our excitement, I withdrew from my normal self, my MO, as it were, & walked up to a group of climbers working a line located on what I was about to find out to be El Diablo wall. W/ that information now stored, we were free to gather our bearings more accurately. God, it’s just damn amazing, I love it, I spewed to the climber who straightened our bearings for us. ‘Yeah, pretty cool, eh?’ he said. ‘Something to aspire to, for sure!’ Yeah, man, no kidding, I lamented, maybe next season, I laughed…maybe, & chuckled once more…I thanked him & we were on our way. I talked about the area & climbing there the entire way home. Haggle listened politely, adding every now & again a ‘yeah’ & ‘that’d be sweet’ & something I remember w/ a crystal tink, ‘we’ll get there. We could climb there now, you just have to realize it. But…’ she added, ‘WE’LL get there. We’ll get there.’…

It wasn’t lost on me that she had emphasized WE so blaringly. It had made me smile (& smiling I am, right now as I write this early in the mourning, realizing that what she actually meant was not that we would get to any particular place, but would continue to search the path, struggle & relax, fight against the concrete of the self, PUSH against the HARD we encounter everyday, w/in all the different realities folded around us, and that WE would do it together…)…

Call me a bleeding heart…it’s ok, because it’s true. It’s one of the few things I’m not ashamed of, one of the few things I believe is not fully under my control, & I’ve learned to embrace that which you can’t control. To accept those things that swirl about in an existential arc, using it to the advantage of yourself & those around you, for the greater good. & thus is how I came to the decision of my next line. The next climb, mounting for me right at this moment, as a very important one, if not solely for it’s idealistic tone & measure, but also to lend weight to the memory I have of the place. Haggle & mine’s ‘exploration’ of the area, & the blissful energy that snaked thru our veins as we quite literally viewed & knew the future.

Half Acre, 5.12a, a Boone Speed route, reads from out the guide: “there are many acres of slopers on this bulging plot.”

The decision made, laid down before me as a solid one, gives me wriggle room to enjoy the rest of the weekend waiting out the bad weather to relax & focus on more important things, for the moment (enticing also is the promise to have multiple burns on something other then crimps…my fingers will be please).

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