July 31, 2010

from a friend

I got a great email from a good friend today. Attached was a short story he wrote for a college English class about a climbing trip to Riggins, Idaho. I thought it would be fun to post on here!

Thanks Jr.! It's a great story!!
This is my favorite photo of Chad "Jr" at the Riggins City Park during the trip he wrote about. We happened to be at the park during some little kids birthday party. The kids were convinced we were practicing for the Circus and wanted to try it too!

Climbing for me has evolved into much more than a preferred pass time. It has become a lifestyle, a source of memorable times, and great friends. I have a very close friend who is a professional climber. This relationship has changed my life in many ways. A few years ago I was blessed to be invited to go on a trip with him and his wife to the small town of Riggins Idaho. Riggins is located in central Idaho about 4 hours from Boise on highway 95. It is a tiny rafting town with a population of about 500 people. The town has a grocery store, a gas station, a library, and a cafĂ©. Riggins is roughly 8 hours away from Rexburg and I had just week off work. I drove straight there after a rafting trip in Wyoming with my cousin. I left late and needed to stop in Idaho Falls to pick up groceries. I was tired and began to drift. Finally when I realized I was falling asleep with my eyes open, I decided it was about time to find a place to pull off the road. I stopped in at a hotel in Mountain Home and slept in late. With roughly 6 hours left to drive I set out on my way. The long lonely drive provided a lot of time for reflection. At this time in my life I had flunked out of college and was working at a tire store. I realized that I had been studying a subject that led to a career I wasn’t interested in. I began to think about what I value in life. On that trip I realized that a life chained to a desk year round would drive me insane. I began to ask myself what kind of careers I could pursue that would allow me a lot of free time. I remembering asking myself questions about what I wanted in a job and what careers matched those wants. My friends I was going to climbing with came to mind. ”Heather get’s to climb a lot in the summer,” I thought to myself. Heather is a 4th grade teacher. This was the first time I had thought of teaching as a career for myself. At the time I was physics major. I realized that the only reason physics was my major was because I loved math but didn’t think there were careers in it. I can’t believe how wrong I was. I arrived in Riggins around 4 and set up camp next to my friends on a sandbar. The beautiful thing about Riggins is that the climbing is high in the mountains where it cools down in the morning and provides perfect temperatures for climbing, but as the day progresses, it heats up. It’s a great mix between climbing all morning and relaxing in the river low in the canyon in the day. It was unfortunate that I could only stay and climb for three days. The climbing in Riggins is a giant amphitheater. The routes are all extremely steep and come pre equipped with chains and carabiners to hold the rope, the ultimate in no commitment climbing. These gargantuan hundred foot cave routes are in your face right off the ground and don’t let up… ever. Being the routes are from the early nineties, the routes aren’t completely “natural” and many of the holds are drilled holes in the stone. Though manufactured routes have become kind of taboo in mainstream climbing, I am no purest and enjoy climbing in the massive limestone cave. Because the angle is so steep the routes make for safe, fun routes with big air. The nature of pre-equipped routes erases a lot of fears. Climbing there is care free. I never had to worry if the falls were safe or if I was going to lose equipment if I decided to bail. In three days I only completed one route. The easiest one there, but the whole experience gave me an appreciation and new knowledge of the sport of climbing much of this provided through Dean’s guidance. Climbing in Riggins helped shape my future in many ways, a pivotal time in my history, helping me decide my major and career path and giving me more experience and confidence in my climbing. Dean’s friendship and encouragement has become very important to me for this reason. In Riggins and ever since I have known him I have been impressed with how sharing he is with his knowledge and how friendly he is. South Eastern Idaho climbing would not be the same without Dean. His desire to give back to the climbing community in the surrounding area has led to the development of many of my favorite areas to climb.