April 18, 2008

Smith

I've been at Smith Rocks for a few days now. The weather has been beautiful with perfect climbing temps both in the sun and shade. My first trip to Smith happened this exact week in 1992. It's fun to recall that first trip here. My parents asked me to run the supermarket and pick up milk and a few other groceries. This was about 7pm. So i got in the car, stopped at the supermarket, picked up a few things, wrote the check for $50 over the total and drove all night to Smith Rocks! I called my mom early in the morning from the payphone just outside of the Park. Needless to say she was more worried than upset, but i still got grounded for a very long time when i got home.

I hiked down to the Dihedrals and stood below To Bolt or Not to Be. I touched the start holds and imaged the first moves in my mind and imagined climbing upward. It was a surreal experience to stand below the first 5.14 in America, feel the crisp edges under my finger tips and dream of what i might be capable of. In the early 90's Smith Rocks was at the height of sport climbing's golden age and To Bolt or Not to Be was the icon of hard climbing in North America. It would be a year before i actually roped up and explored the possibilities of climbing this route, but my first trip to Smith Rocks left a lasting impression in my youthful wanderings. I am grateful to my parents for the understanding and support they've given me over the years in my soul searching and wandering.


This trip to Smith has been just as meaningful with the ability to share with others the joy and soul of climbing. It adds depth and meaning to what i do when i see others catch the vision for the first time as they experience climbing. It's a passion of mine to share with others the reality that climbing is deeper in meaning than just pulling hard and that there is soul in climbing not related to ethics, ratings, or style. It's about what climbing gives to you and how you can give that to others.
Climbing is great. Life is beautiful...