Obligatory Inaugural Post
This blog is obligatory. That means it has to exist.
This is what happened: sometime in that post-high-school, post-suicidal, phase I found climbing. Or, more accurately, I spent a spring and summer doing some Mountaineering with a capital M and the climax of it all was climbing Mount Baker with my dad and some of his friends. Because I didn’t know anyone else my age who had climbed Mount Baker, this convinced me that I was a Mountaineer with a capital M, which assured me that I was a cut above the average human. I was a powerful, competent, adult with real adult skills like knowing how to self-arrest on a gentle snowy slope and how to tie a figure-eight knot on a bite. Since then I’ve been carrying forward this basically useless pretension of trying to be a climber, occasionally for no better reason than because the alternative is going back to who I was before, and that terrifies me.
Self-deprecation by the way, is all just part of the game, the cooler you are the less you’ll admit to it. I’ve bailed on class 3. I’ve been terrified while following 5.8. I’ve almost died because I was so good at snow climbing I didn’t need crampons. This humility is how you know how great of a climber I am.
Yet not all of what I write here is going to be so hilariously funny, some it is going to be very serious, seriously. Every now and again I’ll have something serious to say and will fully expect all of you take it very seriously. Some of it won’t even be about climbing. On occasion an evil spirit will descend upon me and I will find myself caring about things like politics and literature and feminism and be compelled to write about these things instead of about climbing. I may even be observed posting a poem or piece of fiction. I’d like to apologize in advance for any of these diversions. As with everything posted on this blog, you may ignore it at your leisure.
What will also be missing from this otherwise typical obligatory climbing blog is piles upon piles of photos and videos of me sending the gnar. There are a couple reasons for this. First and foremost is the moderately distressing fact that I don’t really send a lot of gnar. Relative to my commitment to climbing and the breadth of my experience, I am easily the least talented climber I know. Although I more than make up for this with a flair for online snark and memorizing climbing trivia, I will be unable to provide a number of the obligatory climbing blog obligatory posts. I will never go on a highly successful international crag climbing trip, I will never send a long term bouldering project, I will never climb that route everyone has been talking about for years. This is just the way of things. We all have our challenges, the aspects of our lives we must overcome. Some people had single parents or grew up in a rough part of town, others struggle with substance abuse or crippling debt, still others are short or have blond hair. My Annapurna is my mediocrity.
On a more practical note, after this obligatory inaugural post I intend to publish new, extended material every week and possibly shorter, more off-the-cuff posts throughout the week. I sincerely hope you derive as much pleasure from reading this crap as I did from writing it.