Two days at the Columns this week, climbing under the October sun, seventy degrees on black basalt. Perfect.
Both days climbing were under the auspices of teaching climbing to my high school students, but by skipping lunch and staying long, I can almost always find a way to get a few hundred feet of climbing in per day.
THE Underwear Model said the other day, “Won’t they all figure out at some point that most of what you do is just an excuse to climb?”
He was speaking about the Integrated Outdoor Program’s upcoming Desert Trip, one that involves caving inside Boyd Cave, Oregon, with a mouth full of sharp, overhanging boulder problems and unsent projects.
On that trip next weekend, I know that I’ll climb until I have to cut my arms off.
But the thing is, I find climbing everywhere. On the back of a 7-Eleven. In the alley off Broadway Street. Behind Baja Fresh on Coburg. On the bark of the Sequoia in Washburn Park. Under the Chambers train trestle. On the I-5 sound barrier wall near Springfield.
So is it any mystery that I find boulder projects in the opening of a desert cave? Is it any wonder that I find 45-degree overhanging walls inspiring?
And the ultimate boulder problem: The Boyd Cave “Pain Crack Project.” So sharp that it might cut a pinkie off. Draws blood every go. But stiff V8 or V9 beautiful with dynamic moves.
Maybe a send soon?
Or maybe I’ll just have to content myself with the fact that tonight I discovered the ultimate dirtbag beer: Name Tag Classic beer from Trader Joe’s. At $2.99 per six-pack. That’s cheaper than Busch Ice. King Cobra. PBR. Or Hamm’s.
A new classic.
And my jingle? “Name Tag beer. The swill for drinking climbers.”