Monday, September 15, 2008

changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes

down south, bouldering is king. at least among my friends. sure, there's shiny bolts to clip and i've heard of splitters to plug gear in, but the number of boulderers i know far outnumber the ropers. practically no one climbs top rope outside, aside from sussing out moves on a tough sport route before attempting the redpoint.

the people are different too. yesterday, i was privy to the climber genre war that only presents itself in online forums. i went toproping. met up with some folks from a local climbers' listserv. missy was curious why i had to get up so early, and consequently go to bed somewhat early on saturday night. i surmised that it was because of the difference in age and life station between myself and my expected climbing partners. my guess, 5-10 years older, married, families, perhaps kids, unlikely to boulder much.

survey says...87 responses, our number one answer!

not only was i the youngest in our crew, i'd also been climbing for the longest. it still strikes me as odd that i'm a good climber among certain groups. i've been humbled by the rock around here a time or two since moving, only to be confused by how easy the routes were yesterday. granted, none of them were sustained throughout, but i put most of them down in short order. one of the routes was a 5.8 called butterfingers. maybe 20 feet off the deck was the crux move, a mantle to a sloping ledge. from the ground, i knew exactly how to negotiate it. i cruised the route, and had to show those on the ground (including my belayer) several times how to make the move before i hit terra firma again. any boulderer friend of mine would do that move in flip flops without a problem. the biggest problem yesterday was the seeping rock; otherwise, i might've tried more than just the one 5.10 that was dry and full of sustained, crimpy, footwork-intensive, slabolicious climbing. perhaps when it cools off and the rain rain goes away for another day or week i'll head back to sugarloaf and be a climbing phenom again.

then again, maybe not. it sure is hard to crank when there's no one to chase...

No comments: