joshua0: (Default)
2018-08-19 01:25 am
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Trip reports: expectation, and experience.

a blurry road at night, lit by headlamp, with trees whizzing by
It never goes smooth. How come it never goes smooth?

I have had a lot of trip reports in the queue to write -- or, perhaps I should say, I have taken a lot of trips recently, and some of them had moments worth writing about. I have half of a trip report written about getting shut down on Mt. Shasta; after it became clear that it was a simple recounting of a day, with nothing terribly interesting to say about it in that light, I gave up on that incarnation of it. In my mind, too, was brewing a set of thoughts about a recent cycling trip to make a lap around Lake Tahoe. On my laptop is also a draft of a post about mental health -- or, really, the things that go along with the absence thereof -- that I never seemed quite satisfied with enough to post.

It seems like what I was looking to write is a synthesis of all of these. Over the past few months, I have entered a handful of experiences with expectations for how they would turn out; some of them went exactly as I'd planned, and some of them were entirely the opposite. To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what my thesis is here -- is it that expectations influence outcomes? that they don't? that expectations influence experience? Regardless, here are a collection of moments of each of these.

"The best climber is the one having the most fun." — Alex Lowe
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joshua0: (Default)
2017-12-02 12:57 am
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Trip report: High Exposure (5.6)

looking out over the Trapps, from the Grand Traverse Ledge on High E

Let's talk a little about High Exposure. High Exposure is this famous route in the Gunks, which themselves seem to be the Northeast trad-climbing mecca. When you get to the Trapps -- the specific part of the Gunks where High E is -- it's easy to see why people go there: it's about a mile-and-a-half long carriage road with a cliff on one side of it, with classic route after classic route after classic route back to back. The local ethic is not to add bolts, and it makes sense, because the rock is eminently protectable: many of the routes have perfect gear placements the entire way up. The Trapps have climbing from 5.2 all the way to 5.hard, and great climbing at every grade: the very first 5.3 that I got on there had a mix of every style of climbing, from stemming to pulling on a little overhang. If you've never been there, you'd expect "amazing 5.3" to be a pair of words that don't go together; a Gunks climber would say it unhesitatingly, and they'd be right.

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joshua0: (Default)
2017-07-22 12:16 am
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The Great Matthes Crest Cluster

rope running between flakes on Matthes Crest

On Saturday (that is to say, July 15th), Josiah, Liz, and I went for an attempt on the Matthes Crest traverse from south to north. It was a total mess; in my book, it falls just barely short of an epic, but it certainly crosses the line over into being a total cluster. We got in a decent ways over our heads, made a mess of basically the whole route, and had a really long day. Remarkably, almost the entire day was still fun. Here is, more or less, how it happened.

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