What's the most important thing climbing has taught you?


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Trad climber
Fresno CA
Dec 22, 2014 - 11:35am PT
Several great answers, but those of healeyje, apogee and rgold really struck home with me. I "like" climbing in the same sense that I "like" to breathe. I learned that with sufficient commitment, I can do much that I thought was impossible, but I also learned that "sufficient commitment" can produce terribly selfish behavior. Ultimately, though, I learned that I don't want to die climbing, so I repeat here the final portion of rgold's post:

With experience comes wisdom.

But only if you actually pay attention to experience.

Neither experience nor wisdom will be enough to keep you alive.

For that you also need luck.

I hope we all can experience that combination of wisdom and luck.

this just in

Justin Ross from North Fork
Dec 22, 2014 - 11:45am PT
To keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

To ride Westside till I die.

That out here in California we'll Bomb on you mother f*#kers.

Oh wait that was Tupac. Could be a good alternative thread.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Dec 23, 2014 - 10:00am PT
Talk is cheap.

Captain...or Skully

in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
Dec 23, 2014 - 10:03am PT
And OE CAN be good, sometimes.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 23, 2014 - 10:06am PT
Skully, yer statement belongs on "The New Religion vs Science Thread".
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Dec 23, 2014 - 10:08am PT
to avoid traffic


Social climber
Dec 23, 2014 - 03:44pm PT
that I scare pretty easy
duke of puke

boulder, co
Dec 23, 2014 - 04:43pm PT
That work SUCKS! Now puke!

Close. Instead how about..

That it's recovery between puking sessions.

Trad climber
Carson City, NV
Dec 23, 2014 - 05:01pm PT
That I am miserable without it.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Dec 23, 2014 - 05:39pm PT
Gravity is fair to all and favors few . . .
those it does favor must not fall
As it is not gravity's fault that you do not bounce at all!

and. . .

It takes all kinds. . .

there is more than one in every crowd. . .

a cure for what ailes me. . .

Metaphorically shadows life's elliptical path . . .

your gonna die . . .

Falling off is. . .easy . . . landing is hard and hurts

once you start. . .
stopping is hard


Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Dec 23, 2014 - 07:37pm PT
1) I'm not as tough as I thought...

[Click to View YouTube Video]

2) Remain calm, map out your moves between rest spots, make the moves, shake out, & repeat.

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Dec 23, 2014 - 07:44pm PT
That anything is possible with enough time and dedication, even despite the false belief that I'm as good as I will ever be.

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Dec 23, 2014 - 09:44pm PT
there's a very small difference between 100 feet and 2,000 feet when it comes to exposure; life is that way too

Trad climber
Dec 23, 2014 - 10:08pm PT
Pants first, THEN shoes.

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Dec 23, 2014 - 10:09pm PT
Here's something I learned from climbing, not in the general way suggested by the thread title on on a very specific situation on a very specific day.

Sometime in the mid-sixties my friends Peter Gardiner and Steve Derenzo and I spent a week doing climbs from Garnet Canyon. One day we hiked up to the Lower Saddle to do the complete Exum Ridge the next day.

That never happened. Late in the afternoon, a rescue party of GTNP personnel arrived at the Lower Saddle. There had been a bad accident at the Upper Saddle. A grapefruit-sized rock had fallen from the top of the standard rappel and hit someone at the base of the rappel. He had a depressed skull fracture and there was apparently a lot of blood lost. The victim was still alive, and needed to be carried from the Upper Saddle to the Lower Saddle where a helicopter could get him off the mountain.

The rescue party was short-handed and clearly already tired from pounding up to the Lower Saddle. We offered to help and the offer was accepted. The rescue took all night. If anyone knows the terrain between the Upper and Lower Saddles, you know it is a tough place to carry down a litter, especially in the dark. It's basically a boulder field broken by short cliff bands. We had six people carrying the stretcher plus an absolutely essential belayer. Going over the cliff bands, two or four of the carriers were just hanging onto the belayed litter. It was exhausting and scary work.

But now we get to the part about learning something. With a lot of people now strung out in the dark between the two saddles, it was inevitable that a certain amount of rock fall would happen. Every time the cry of rock was heard from above, the six carriers, reflexively (certainly no one discussed this) leaned over the litter and shielded the victim with their bodies. This was a very severely injured patient who probably was not going to survive, and the carriers were all healthy young people in the prime of life, but sensible or not, no one protected themselves, everyone protected the victim.

Fifty years have passed since that night on the mountain, and I still find myself thinking about it regularly. We see terrible things happening in the world. Our nation is increasing polarized. Disagreements without rancor seems like a quaint memory. It is easy to think human nature is, at heart, fundamentally and fatally flawed. But I spent a night long ago with healthy people trying to save a stranger who probably was not going to make it, people who reflexively put used their bodies to intercept further harm to the victim.

What I learned that night was that there are some very powerful human instincts that are fundamentally both good and heroic, and these instincts are alive in us, ready to be awakened when someone is truly in need. Honestly, the totality of other insights of 58 years of climbing pale before this one, which continues to suggest to me over the years that we have something to live up to, something to aspire to, and we don't have to look around for it; it is in ourselves if only we can find it.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Dec 23, 2014 - 10:50pm PT
Thank you, Richie, for sharing that most inspiring post.


Dec 23, 2014 - 11:04pm PT
thanks rgold.

if you were a preacher man, i'd attend your church...

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Dec 23, 2014 - 11:51pm PT
rgold: that's one of the best posts I've read here...thanks
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Dec 24, 2014 - 12:50am PT
balance too
How to breath,
And To Breath
How to make do
and make doodo,
make doodo into lemonade
[Click to View YouTube Video]. . . .

Who I am and who I want to be
and the opposition to success is often determined mentally and emotionally, as much as physically.
As physical as climbing is it is still all about the entire mix of mental, emotional and chemical!
That is actually still a level of Physical that helps to explain the spiritual and addictive experience that climbing holds close to it's core.

Dec 24, 2014 - 01:43am PT
Climbing - it's nice to have a hobby.
Messages 61 - 80 of total 84 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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