Green grass, blue skies, 60°F on the rock, tank tops, camping, climbing and focus.
The nearest springtime rock-climbing destination for me is Lander, Wyoming.
Pale-orange walls, greasy and reachy warm-ups, sharp pockets, throes of weekend warriors sending their projects, families with dogs and babies, “crushers” climbing the big routes around the corner, waking yellow-jackets, and tiny yellow bitterbrush flowers.
The crag is alive with people and their plans below the steep walls and amongst the blooms.
And, I exist in the middle of all the colorful noisiness. I’m tuned into all the going-ons, the chaos, the distractions.
I’m a mountain guide so my situational awareness knob is turned up to ten. I forecast events and outcomes as I absorb the variable inputs and outputs of the system around me.
It’s a key skill to fit all the pieces together to make a big climb or long ski-tour work: How are we doing on time? Is the weather holding? Who’s getting tired? Are we on the right route? Is that the right ridge?
But when I’m sport climbing, I have to remind myself to dial the knob back.
“It makes more sense to live in the present tense” is a quote from the band Pearl Jam.
When I’m sport climbing only the rock right in front of me matters. Not Time. Not impending rain.
I need to block out the chatter, let go of thoughts and focus on my next move.
Because, if I am right here, right now, in the present tense, then I can make that next pocket!
Happy Climbing everyone!