‘It Is Solved By Walking’

My good friend David sent me this quote from his computer in Guatemala last week.  You can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solvitur_ambulando

“It seems like your climbing is pissing you off, Skander”
“You know, I think you’re right.  I can count on two hands the number of days I’ve been leading trad on Granite, I’m not sure why I’m stuck on this idea I can lead 5.10 here.”  If “the best climber in the world is the one having the most fun” (Alex Lowe), I haven’t been doing so well the past few days.

I had been complaining to Aaron about yesterday’s spectacle of me hanging on my gear, then slip-sliding off a variety of 5.10 routes I had sent on top rope last week.  As is often the case of climbers well versed in face climbing, my days here in Yosemite have been humbling.  The more I climb here, the more I realize how unprepared I was to climb the Salathe with my buddy Steve-O.  Having a bum foot doesn’t help, and somewhere towards the end of my fight yesterday with “Lunatic Fringe” (5.10c), I tweaked a tendon in my shoulder quite badly.  The pain still present this morning, and anytime I raise my arm above my shoulder socket, is a strong reminder that my roadtrip thus far has probably inflated my ego more than my muscles.  Stewing in camp Monday night watching my friends pack some of my gear for a climb I wasn’t able to go on left me feeling punchy and I took it out on my kettlebell.  I haven’t been keeping up on my gym training, and I was sore before I even started climbing on Tuesday morning.  Dumb.  Really dumb, because right when I needed it most (150′ off the deck), I was gassed in all the same muscle groups I had wrecked the night before.  Backing off the Salathe was a good choice, and also made me face some questions about what I can do to properly ensure I don’t have to bail off my patrol on Denali next month.

At least its the most beautiful schoolhouse I've ever been to... (photo: Barry Smith)

Getting a full value education. (photo: Barry Smith)

I’m in Yosemite, possibly one of the most beautiful places in the world and I’ve been feeling pissy all morning because I know I shouldn’t be climbing.  I need to take care of my feet rather than wedge them into rock shoes, and stop torquing a shoulder into cracks that have already torqued it enough (possibly because I’m over-compensating for my foot?).  More importantly, as my brother asked me last week before I bailed on the Salathe- it again raises the question of what am I here to do?

I suspect, it may be solved by walking.  I took this time off to do things that I won’t be able to do while holding a steady job.  I’ll come back to Yosemite to climb routes, but when can I see the Yosemite high country in spring snow?  When can I decide to change my Alaska plans and stay in the range for another 3 weeks (more on this later)?  I’ve let my ego back me into a corner, and I’ve got to step back and simplify.  I’m headed into the high country to slow down for a few days and consider my options- and prevent myself from climbing on a shoulder than needs to heal.  It should also be a great time to check in on my skiing stamina and overall preparations for Alaska.  I’m leaving from the Snow Creek Trailhead and plan to travel to Tuolomne Meadows, then back down to the valley via Yosemite Falls.  I should be back Saturday afternoon.  My plans are on file with the Yosemite Valley wilderness office under permit # 05713.  I look forward to sharing some great photos when I get back!

Big gear for a big route.

Good luck boys! Wish I could join you.

Welcome home.

Just wanted to include this last shot of a coyote we met on the road as we returned from climbing on Tuesday night.  So cool.

Also, in memory of one of the finest female alpine climbers out there, I needed to post this awesome tribute: http://www.thecleanestline.com/2011/04/desert-rembrance.html#more   Rest in Peace Ms. Nott.

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