One of the many posts I received for my last birthday still stands out to me- “Drive this year like you stole it, ’cause you did.” Even as life settles back into a more familiar rhythm, this idea sticks with me. Today felt a little like we stole it– or perhaps, like we got far more than we expected to get.
So I live in Montana and it’s January. Ice climbing, powder skiing, and winter camping debauchery are the expected activities, but when you have the right partner and a little bit of beta, sometimes you can get far, far more.
Welcome to clipping bolts while basking in the sun and playing with dogs:
Steve and I had joked about climbing outside sometime this week while pulling plastic at the local sweatshop last weekend. I was doubtful, but when my work schedule cleared off, and the forecast seemed to cooperate, Steve knew it was time for another visit to Mill Creek. Unlike last time, the sun was bright, the wind was absent, and the stoke was high. On the walk in, we joked that we might only get a few pitches, but once back in the canyon, Steve said “you wanna hit that four pitch thing I was talking about?”
So that’s what we did. Off the couch, onsite (for me), Steve and I enjoyed four glorious, warm, sunny pitches of bolt clipping and having fun (5.10b, 5.10d, 5.11a, 5.9). We rapped back down about 20 minutes before the sun dropped behind the ridge.
I got out of work, the weather was good, had a solid partner and beautiful terrain just an hour from my door? Feels kinda like we stole it…. or got far more than we deserved. I feel especially fortunate to have met Steve, who seems to be my favorite type of climber- smart, strong, and motivated, but who still puts having a good time at the top of the priorities list. Thanks dude.