Monday, January 19, 2009

Welcome Black Carter Pt. Deuce

A Classic Kahuna Sunset

What an amazing day. What started as the usual, chaotic, planned trip to climb ended in pure euphoria after experiencing an amazing experience. While it is no mystery that the activity in which I, and many of you who are/should be reading this participate in, is not one of glamor, glitz, or fame, but rather an activity of self-indulgent progression, it was a refreshing reminder to be reminded of that fact today.
Mark, inspecting a next-generation climb.

As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted the Front Range Classic, Kahuna Roof . . . bad. Very bad. I hadn't put a full effort into the problem until my last session, with David Lloyd, but after that day I had been dying to get back to Carter . . . dying. I had attempted to make several plans to get down to Carter since my last visit, all to no avail. Planning on meeting up with my buddy Jordan after several failed attempts, I managed to get a hold of a few friends on the way out of town and the carpool was underway . . . until Mark got a hold of me.
Mark, post proud send.

Dropped off at my car, I quickly described the sketchy directions to Carter for a first-timer (Matt made it!) and went to pick up Mark. Running late, as usual, the journey was finally underway. Not able to get Kahuna out of my head, my quick conversation with Jordan left little hope for a consistent spot on his project as my aspirations for a send were high.
Matt, Tim, and Oscar finishing the day.

Hiking in from the South lot, I was surprised (and winded) when, upon reaching the Kahuna Boulder, I came across around ten climbers. Moments (literally seconds) later, several more people showed up. The debauchery that followed is best described in the photo below. With Ken Gibson, Jamie Emmerson, Andre Di Felice, Sean Drolet, Brian Capps, and several other strong climbers showing up, the action was on!Kahuna Chaos

Back to progression. Perspective is all about relative conceptions. From my own perspective, I worked my ass off to do a problem I saw several people send without hesitation, reluctance, or any percievable effort. Litterally (I'm talking about the ass part). As I sit here writing this, contemplating a tip-devistating day at Arthur's Rock, my muscles cry for me to consider otherwise. But, before I digress to far, I made progress. I worked for a send that, for others may have not been worth the bat of an eyelid, but for me was a collection of swears, sweat, and smiles. To me, this is what climbing is all about; pushing it to the next level, even if it is just your level.
Andre Di Felice pushing progression.

From another perspective, I had the humbling pleasure of watching some of the Front Range's best climbers push their own levels of progression on a project, right next to the climb I was attempting. Sure, it wasn't anywhere near the grade that I had been working, but the progression was there. A climb has existed, a mere 5 feet away from a 20+ year established Front Range classic, that has been simply waiting for the right breed of progression, and still is.
Jamie Emmerson on the project.

We all have our limits. Unfortunately, in a world in which our successess and triumphs are measured agains those of other individuals, it can sometimes be difficult to remind ourselves that life is not a competition to get ahead of the rest of the pack but a challenge to constently progress ourselves; mentally, spritually, physically. Steven Hawking and Albert Einstein probably couldn't hold a conversation with me. Ghandi, Jesus, Buddah, Confuscious, and Mother Teresa, all have evaded me spiritually. And I couldn't even begin to compare my climbing skills with an entire group of people, now extinct, the Anasazi.
Sean Drolet, hanging out.

But, to me, today, it doesn't matter. I progressed myself mentally. Eventhough I was the only one still working on my "project" I stayed dedicated and commited to finishing the problem eventhough mentally I had my doubts (Thanks for the reassuring "just go for it!" Ken!). Physically, I pushed myself and commited to moves that, just a year prior, felt impossible. Spiritually, well, the sunset was simply breathtaking and I couldn't crack the euphoric smile I had plastered across my face.
Mark, enjoying the last moments of sunlight.

Mark had an amazing, proud send as well. Dough Boy (video to come!) What a proud line! Nice send Mark!

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