So a couple of weeks ago I went way down South and climbed my first multi-pitch and my first slab route. It was surreal. I flew down to meet Finch, who had paid for half of my ticket (Call me naive but I didn’t realise that accepting this generous offer meant he thought I was in love with him or something..). I arrived and Finch assumed I was staying in his bedroom. This pretty much solidified my recent negative feelings towards him. He was too intense. I politely declined and requested to stay in his roommate’s bedroom upstairs. Finch’s roommate had gone up North for the weekend after spending a couple of days here (South) surfing with his best friend, we’ll call him “Fisch” for now. Fisch was one of the awesome people at the festival I went to a couple weeks prior. I was stoked to hear he was staying the night at Finch’s. The thought of being alone with Finch kind of creeped me out.. he was being really full-on and getting all up in my persnal space. Ugh.
We went to a local pub for dinner and Fisch arrived later with some of the nurses and doctors who are friends with Finch. We all continued the night at another pub down the road. Fisch and I were spending most of the night together and I was glad to be away from Finch.
Despite me telling him we are just friends and that I didn’t have any other feelings, it seemed as though he wouldn’t stop trying to change my mind.
All three of us walked back to Finch’s house and made cups of tea, ready for bed; Fisch had an early morning to go surfing and then return home (North), a 6 hour drive; Finch and I were getting up a little later to do some bouldering.
Finch was being really odd and annoying.. he was reading Dr. Seuss books as fast as possible, out loud, whilst Fisch and I tried to have a conversation. We were practically waiting for him to go to bed.. I couldn’t stop looking at Fisch.. it was so hard not to make it obvious to Finch that Fisch and I were giving each other “the eyes.” Finally Finch said goodnight, and the second his door closed Fisch and I leaned in to kiss. The XX was playing in the background. Bonus points that he had great taste in music (something we have both noticed about each other and now show each other sweet tunes we discover). Fisch stayed with me upstairs in the bedroom, conveniently; his mattress was outside of the bedroom door so Finch wouldn’t have known any better.
Fisch left in the morning and I headed out to go bouldering on the beautiful rocky coast. It was absolutely magical.
After a good 4-5 hours of climbing, Finch, myself, and his friend Chuck returned to the car. We found a note from Fisch that said he had been looking for us all morning! Finch had forgotten to leave the house key out so Fisch could get his stuff after surfing and start driving home. Not knowing their arrangement, I saw some toiletries and things near Fisch’s mattress and texted him to ask if he had left them, I hadn’t received a response before we started climbing.
This was another thing that made me think that despite how intelligent Finch is academically; he appears to lack social or emotional intelligence (if you get what I mean? .. He seems to struggle socially.). Anyway, we called Fisch and organised to meet him at the nearest servo. We got there and exchanged the keys. I was worried that it might be awkward.. Fisch is my idea of someone who is out of my league, so I thought he might be regretting the evening’s events. Apparently not. After shaking the boys’ hands and saying goodbye, Fisch flashed me a wink and that cheeky smile of his and gave me a big hug and kissed my cheek. I figured if Finch had had any doubts about my feelings, they would now have quickly disappeared.
Now we were headed for the beach where we had been invited to a birthday party by a vivacious dread-locked man by the name of Luke. It was his Colombian friend’s birthday and she had told us we were welcome to come and drink, with a chance of some bouldering on the shore with Luke.
When we arrived we were not disappointed. There was plenty of food, beer, and friendly faces. Luke took us to the other side of the beach where a single beautiful boulder stood in the sand.
We stayed there for the rest of the afternoon and then, famished, headed back to Finch’s to order some Thai food for dinner.
This is when Finch really ruined the most-part of our friendship. Cornered in the car with just myself and him, he pulled the handbrake, looked me dead in the eyes and said “So what’s the deal with you? Don’t you like me?” I was stunned and, if I’m honest, a little scared. I spent a painful 10 minutes telling him what I had told him a week beforehand and now had to add the fact that he was making me uncomfortable. To give you the gist of the conversation, some of the things he said were “I am infatuated by you”, “I think I have emotional baggage from my ex-girlfriend”,”I can tell we will never be more than friends.” It’s safe to say I was feeling all kinds of awkward and uncomfortable. I spent the rest of the evening being relatively quiet and went to bed early.
That morning we headed to John’s house. This is the man who was taking us out on the multi-pitch granite slab route which he had bolted himself. I felt safe with this knowledge. But looking up at the huge exposed piece of rock, I almost pissed my pants.
John got me to lead the first pitch and until after the run-out second bolt, I was regretting my decision to climb this thing! John encouraged with things like “slab is all about the mental aspect of climbing.”,”trust your feet, they will stick.”,”slab teaches you a lot about yourself, you just have to be confident in your ability to climb this route.. remember, it’s just a 15.” These things he was saying pushed me through and after the first pitch I was thrilled to be up there. The exposure made you feel alive.
Halfway up the route, the third anchors are inside a small cave. The view from there is absolutely beautiful.
It was so nice to have a breather, take in the view, and get some shade. It was such a clear day, John said it was the best he had seen in years. I felt so lucky to be having such an experience and with the guy who put years of blood sweat and tears into this particular rock so that climbers such as myself could spend a morning up there. It is even better that all you need is 10 draws and a 60 metre rope!
John and I pressed on, Finch and Chuck were climbing super slow! John led the next pitch and allowed me to lead the last. He told me not to worry about clipping the last bolts and just really enjoy being on the rock. He said “don’t worry about belaying me once you get to the top!” and then added “Summit or plummit!” and had a giggle. I almost freaked out and then I thought.. this is what I live for. These moments. Just fucking do it! I sped up the last pitch, I felt so natural on the rock, I looked out at the view all around me .. with my heart pounding and with a huge smile on my face, I climbed past the anchors and up onto the summit of that magnificent rock. The view was breathtaking.
After a half and hour treck back down to the car, the boys dropped me off at the airport. I was still buzzing, and starving. I ate 2 toasted sandwiches, drank 2 coffees and 2 bottles of water. The tuckshop lady doubted my ability to eat both sandwiches. Bitch, please! I kid, she was awesome. I practically got third degree burns though from eating and drinking so fast. Worth it.
I realised after checking in that my flight made a stop just before home so instead of a one hour flight it would be at least an extra hour. I was exhausted and longing for my bed but I figured “what’s one hour?” Turned into 3 extra hours because a bird thought it would be funny to almost kill everyone and hit the nose of the plane (I was so happy it wasn’t the engine and not more than one!). The engineer wouldn’t allow the plane to fly so the delay was in waiting for another plane to “rescue” us. To make up for the delay the airport bought us about 20 pizzas (there were only about 15-20 of us on the flight so that was generous!). I forgot about the delay immediately. Sitting at the airport I received a text from Fisch. It made my night. I had thought about texting him but didn’t want to be “that girl.” He said he had had a lot of fun with me and that we would catch up when I got home. Stoked.
Being that my flight was so late, my lift home bailed out and I made a desperate call for help on Facebook. A good friend picked me up and I finally made it home.
.. I did end up having another couple great days and nights with Fisch, which I will post about tomorrow.
If you made it this far, I commend you.
Video available for download here: lt11.com/granite-earth/
The boulderer… A rare species of human that survives purely on its ability to perform a delicate dance between life and death in perfect synergy with granite. Lacking the ability to bathe and engage in non-climbing social settings, the climber is often left with nothing but chalky hands and a deeply ingrained quest to find the purest rocks, while simultaneously searching for a mate on this grey and white planet. This is… Granite Earth.
Starring - Jon Glassberg
Featuring - Brian Runnells
Dreamtime (V12) - Switzerland
Dogwood (V12) - Yosemite, California
Staff of Ra (v7) - Virgin Gorda
The Great War for Civilisation (V13) - Mt. Evans, Colorado
The Right (V13) - Boulder Canyon, Colorado
All of the Above (V13) - Index, Washington
Video - Paige Claassen, Rich Crowder, Jon Glassberg, Connor Griffith, Brian Runnells, Jordan Shipman
Edit - Jon Glassberg
Written by - Jon glassberg and Greg Mionske
Sound - Jon Glassberg
Original Score - Tommy Wilson (Milyoo) soundcloud.com/milyoo
Voice Over - Daniel Finn
Vidéo de la Coupe Québec du 11-12 Mai chez Allez Up! Catégories Juniors C, D, B, A. Le reste à venir bientôt!
In the last few months I’ve really learnt a lot about myself. My strengths, my weaknesses, and what really makes me tick. In learning these things I’ve been able to build on my strengths which has been a constant goal of mine. I have learnt how to identify the qualities in people that attract me to them and to only surround myself with those people who make me laugh, make me feel confident, and who appreciate my company as much as I do theirs. In doing this I’ve become a really happy person.
Recently though, I have had myself stumped.
There are 2 guys who I have found myself almost magnetized to (and who have both expressed an extraordinarily strong attraction to me). They are quite different individuals yet I like them both pretty equally. Both are climbers (Yeah, I broke that rule..), both are very intelligent.. and, I found this kind of strange, both of them are leaving at the end of June to travel the world for 6 months.
It’s no secret that I am blatantly honest on my blog, so judge as you will; but I won’t sugar coat any of this.
I had several intimate nights with the first man, I’ll call him “Polo.” We had a lot of conversations that one would usually have with a best friend or a boyfriend. We felt very comfortable with each other, despite only having known eachother since the bouldering competition (we met on the day). I felt something I haven’t felt in a while but the fact he was going to be leaving allowed me to keep myself at a distance.
Online I had been talking to the guy I went slacklining and bouldering with a few months ago (photo post on my blog somewhere). I also felt very close to him and I was starting to think there must be something wrong with me. But I noticed I was losing some of the feelings I had for Polo and growing closer to this “new” guy, ”Finch.”
I talked to Finch on Skype for hours and hours, as he lives several hours south from me. He moved to do a residency at the hospital there. After several long Skype conversations we made the spontaneous decision that I would fly down there, we’d split the fare, so I could see him and also do some climbing on the granite there. I’ve never made a decision like that so this was very new for me. I’m nervous and excited at the same time. I leave on the 23rd of May and I am staying for the weekend.
Last week Finch told me he was able to get me a ticket to this sold out festival I was dying to go to. I jumped at the chance to go, even though I would be going with his friends and him and would know no-one! I got a lift with an acquaintance, last Friday, to where the festival was being held; 2 hours drive south from where I live. I rocked up at the guy’s house who was hosting everyone for the weekend and instantly knew I was going to get along with all of Finch’s friends. The majority of them were medical students but, surprising to me, they all loved to party hard.
Finch didn’t arrive until late in the night when I was sufficiently intoxicated. We were like pubescant 14year olds for the first 20 minutes, then we continued to party with everyone else. He set up a tent in the back yard for us (all the good sleeping spots were taken) and we slept there. It was absolutely freezing. I fell asleep fairly quickly and then was woken up late in the night to a kiss from Finch.. We did what they do on the Discovery Channel and went back to sleep.
The next day was the festival day. In an attempt to avoid the cliché festival-style post, I will just say that it was a fucking amazing day and every stranger quickly turned into a best friend. I was up on shoulders for a good part of the evening. The highlights were Flume, Example, Shockone, and Alison Wonderland.
I got a lift back home the following morning with one of Finch’s friends and spent the next couple of days recovering.
What has had me stumped is that now I’m confused about my feelings for both Polo and Finch. I told Polo that I didn’t think we should be intimate anymore because he was going away, etc. and he was fine with that. Although I know that mostly why I said that is because I feel guilty (for whatever reason) for sleeping with Finch. Similarly, I told Finch we should just chill and hang out, take things slow and have fun because he’s going away but mainly because he was really rushing things when we hung out. He would always pull me away from the group to kiss me and things like that. I’m the type of girl who doesn’t like PDAs and I don’t like constantly being kissed, it feels forced and makes me feel objectified in a way. Also what I noticed was the way he kissed me; it was rushed, emotional but unemotional, I could use every word that means “fast” to describe it. On the other hand Polo kisses just the way I do; slow, purposefully, emotionally. I think the way you kiss someone says a lot about you and the way you feel about that person. To touch your lips to another human being’s lips is so intimate, and I think it can communicate a lot.
I am trying to take a couple of steps back from all of this. For the first time in quite a while, I’m confused.
Jon Glassberg climbing in Leavenworth, Gold Bar, and Index, Washington.
Coffee Cup (V9)
The Practitioner (V11)
Cotton Pony (V10)
Nine Iron (V10)
Thunderdome Low (V11)
The Prism (V9)
Leggo My Ego (V7)
Charli XCX - “Nuclear Seasons”
DWNTWN - “Stood Me Up”
Owl Eyes - “Nightswim”
Bullet - “Feat VV Brown”
Patrick Lukens - “Wings”
I’ve been incredibly happy recently. I’ve been working 6 and 7 day weeks, which has now dropped down to 5 and 6 day working weeks. My basic routine is work, climb, sleep; and I am loving it. I don’t really socialise apart from when I’m with other climbers. This could be seen as a bad thing, but it means I’m not out clubbing or drinking lots of alcohol, both of which are harmful to my health and my bank account! Sorry friends, but it is true.
Lopper lent me a book he borrowed off a mutual climbing friend, I may have mentioned her; she climbs like a boss but lost her passion about a year ago. It is the one of the Falcon Guides; Training for Climbing (first edition). I am only 2 chapters in and I’ve already learnt a lot about myself as a climber and how I can do simple things to improve my performance in climbing. I recommend that every climber read this book. Namely those that have specific climbing goals which they intend to achieve. This book will get you there.. but not without a lot of commitment on your part.
Modern climbers are strong, really strong. I have only been climbing for 9 months and so I guess I am in this category. But there are all these young guys who are onsighting ridiculously highly graded climbs such as 9a! I mean, yes most of them have been climbing since they were 8 or 9 years old but there are a handful who haven’t been climbing much longer than a year. I can’t help but notice that they’re in the taller range of climbers, but the difference in ability shouldn’t be that significant. Whatever the case, I need to get even more serious about my climbing. I may have thought I was climbing hard but it is time to up the ante.
I’m looking forward to receiving the velcro Katanas (unfortunately they are not in the new colours!) I ordered online, they should make long training sessions a lot less painful.
The CWIF 2012 bouldering competition which took place on 10th and 11th March at the Climbing Works in Sheffield. Featuring Shauna Coxsey, Dave Barrans, Guillaume Glairon Mondet, Alex Puccio, Ned Feehally, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, Chris Webb Parsons and many more.