Still Makes Me Cry Every Time I See It

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Messages 21 - 40 of total 55 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
taorock

Trad climber
Okanogan, WA
Jan 1, 2010 - 12:39pm PT
Looks more like a 5.10. Its UIAA rating would indicate that as well.

The "slip" was amazing, because he was so present and immediately changed his sequence of moves.

Thanks for posting this.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 1, 2010 - 01:27pm PT
The guy is eleven years older than me. I guess I see what I can look forward to---if I'm really lucky...

The moment a few people referred to as a near fall really isn't anything of the sort. What happens is an example of what aging climbers have to continually cope with and adjust to: the strength to perform certain moves, a strength that used to be there and that the brain still thinks is there, is no longer available.

Climbing---well, trad climbing anyway---is all about coping with what is. You have to carry on with what the rock gives you, with the rack you actually have, the shoes you chose, with the water, food, and clothing you brought, the environmental conditions, and finally, with whatever strengths and infirmities you bring to the route.

Aging adds a new variable to the equation. The body you have to work with isn't the body your brain thinks you have. It issues commands that the troops can no longer carry out. As far as I can tell, the brain does not adjust to this new state of affairs, and instead the climber has to add a new feedback mechanism, one that tells the out-of-touch commander-in-chief that he's nuts if he thinks you can do that, and perhaps we should explore a way than demands a bit less power.

The video is unique in that it makes a moment of this internal dialog visible. The climber pulls up, realizes immediately that he can't lock off, drops back down and locks instead with the other hand. It doesn't look elegant, but I don't think there was anything marginal going on.

The most poignant thing for me, the thing that spoke the most about the indomitable spirit now confined to a failing body, is the difficulty the climber has with high steps, and the pride and effort that goes into not using his knees. This is most visible early in the clip as he surmounts the lower buttress.

There is another moment, very early on, that I found moving, although I may be adding my own interpretations to a entirely random gesture. Just as he begins, the climber pauses for a moment and touches his forehead to the rock.

Was this just an instant of imbalance corrected with a head touch?
Or was it, as I prefer to think, a gesture of acknowledgment, of thanks to the crags that have obviously been a shaping influence in a long life, and perhaps also a plea for safe passage, yet another time, after all these years on the rock?

The climber confronts a very old adversary that is simultaneously a very old friend, and with the slightest tip of the head, a lifetime of experiences, like an electric charge, passes between them. Thus begins another in a series of ascents stretching back for years, a performance, with all its awkwardness and frailty, that speaks of the eternal bond this man will carry with him to an end that is, relative to the span of his life, now not far off.
hb81

climber
Jan 1, 2010 - 01:48pm PT
Looks more like a 5.10. Its UIAA rating would indicate that as well.

It is about 5.8 actually, as the rating is VIIa (saxon grade) and not 7a (french grade). But I guess the real problem here are the runouts anyway, they look quite dangerous.
dfrost7

climber
Jan 1, 2010 - 01:49pm PT
Thank you. Beautiful way to start 2010.
taorock

Trad climber
Okanogan, WA
Jan 1, 2010 - 02:27pm PT
hb81, thanks for the correction.

Very incisive and descriptive observations rgold.
ec

climber
ca
Jan 1, 2010 - 04:48pm PT
I feel like fixin' my brain, but I'm afraid that I won't feel the same...
perfect track!

Great vid!

thanks, ec
Fletcher

Trad climber
The beckoning silence
Jan 1, 2010 - 04:49pm PT
Thanks rgold, for those nuanced thoughts (once again).
Binks

Social climber
Jan 1, 2010 - 05:13pm PT
inspiring... love to see the older guys still cranking, even more inspirational to me than the feats the young are carrying out. anyone can be strong, bold and powerful when young, but those who show us how to carry the momentum forward teach invaluable and rare knowledge
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jan 1, 2010 - 05:14pm PT
"Or was it, as I prefer to think, a gesture of acknowledgment, of thanks to the crags that have obviously been a shaping influence in a long life, and perhaps also a plea for safe passage, yet another time, after all these years on the rock?

The climber confronts a very old adversary that is simultaneously a very old friend, and with the slightest tip of the head, a lifetime of experiences, like an electric charge, passes between them. Thus begins another in a series of ascents stretching back for years, a performance, with all its awkwardness and frailty, that speaks of the eternal bond this man will carry with him to an end that is, relative to the span of his life, now not far off."

rgold, That is good stuff.

Dingus, Thanks for posting this again.
Z
Anastasia

Mountain climber
hanging from a crimp and crying for my mama.
Jan 1, 2010 - 05:22pm PT
Incredible...
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 2, 2010 - 10:29am PT
rgold, I think he was acknowledging an old friend with that nod, saying hello at least one more time. And he was thanking whatever gods he admires, that he could still climb that Stone Steep Grade.

I imagine he's climbed that route dozens of times over the years.

DMT
MH

Trad climber
Mays Landing, NJ
Jan 2, 2010 - 10:45am PT
Thanks Dingus. I could at least (sort of) control my tears - until I read RG's post.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 5, 2012 - 08:09pm PT
BUMP....



DMT
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Dec 5, 2012 - 08:28pm PT
Great bump Dingus...... I just love this Video and Rgold's writting brings out some deep feelings in me.


But I thought this post was going to be about the movie "Homeward Bound"

I always start crying when "Shadow" comes limping home..... baw- shucks...

or now when I think about my up comming 60TH birthday!!!

I just break down and cry...

TPFU
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 5, 2012 - 08:31pm PT
Guy, this is my 40th season of climbing :)

Here's to you bro.

DMT
wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Dec 5, 2012 - 08:34pm PT
great post dmt,what a sport ,this here climbing,aye?
MH2

climber
Dec 5, 2012 - 09:09pm PT
Nice to see this. Even though we may not know the people we can guess a lot about what they are feeling. I liked the 'old-man yoga' at 6:53.



eidt:

would like to add that for me perhaps the most significant moment is the tying of the shoelaces, always a time of mindful transition for me
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Dec 5, 2012 - 09:26pm PT
Very Inspirational DMT TFPU
Did that guy mentor Donini BITD?
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Dec 5, 2012 - 09:37pm PT
Awesome video! I can only hope to be able to put my climbing shoes on while standing up when I am that old. Hell, I can't even pull that move off now!
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Dec 5, 2012 - 09:49pm PT
WOW, Dingus!
Awe Inspireing!

Thanks for posting this!

There was one part I found familiar; When he used his hand to raise his foot.
I have to that a lot with my bad knee. :)
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