Jan 05 2011

December comes and goes

For a good part of my climbing career, I dreaded too much time in the gym. Even though I lived within an hour of the arguably some of the best climbing gyms in the country, I couldn’t hack day after day at the gym in Boulder.  I started to feel as if ants were crawling under my skin and an unquenchable thirst for anything but the blue mats, plastic holds, and florescent taped routes. Luckily for me, I could pretty much escape at any moment to the great outdoors.


This past month I worried about my sanity as California’s 31 days were occupied by probably 25 of rain. Each new day brought a new pacific storm that soaked in the Sierras and left the climbing gym as the best option for any form of rock wrestling. Much to my surprise, I not only kept my sanity but was chomping at the bit to head into the gym. Perhaps the past year and a half of the least amount of climbing in my life led me to a newfound love of any form of climbing.


I’d be lying if I said that I spent the entire month indoors, I was able to escape to Bishop for a week long trip. It happen to fall on a warm spell that gave way to some of the most pleasurable climbing/hanging out conditions I can remember in the desert. I spent the majority of my climbing days in Owen’s River Gorge, a place that I had only been to once in the heat of the August sun fifteen years ago. I’m baffled why Owen’s doesn’t get a better rap. Is it because currently I am climbing the solid grade of 5.10 or 5.11, which are the majority of the routes in the gorge? I’m not sure why I’ve never spent more time there, it’s freaking amazing! Unending routes, friendly holds, long routes (yes, I only brought 8 draws due to the rumors of ‘short routes’ – good thing Lisa had more!) dog friendly, shady and sunny, the list goes on and on. But regardless of the reasons, I had an amazing time.


I climbed with my good friend Lisa Rands. Lisa and I haven’t done a ton of climbing together, mainly because she out boulders me by factor of a billion, but regardless, we usually have a great time together. On my second day climbing, I was able to climb to the point of pure exhaustion. The type where you are sitting at the dinner table trying to fathom the amount of energy it will take to lift the glass of water to your lips, and realize you just can’t do it and therefore go thirsty. Yes, I was in heaven; a state of physical destruction that I hadn’t been in for a couple of years because my fragile body hasn’t let me. Do I need to mention that I arrived at this point by climbing 9 pitches of 5.10? Regardless, it felt good.


After the journey over to the dry side of the mountains, I returned to what felt like half of the month of family time. For the most part, I consider myself a good daughter and granddaughter. I try my best to see my parents often and my grandmothers as much as I can. But, what I don’t consider myself is to be a great sister. My older brother lives about two miles from my parents house, but I manage to see him only on birthdays and major holidays. In fact, the run that I always do when I am at my parents house takes me within a hundred feet of his house, but until recently I had only been there once to deliver something for my parents. It’s not that we don’t like each other, but life gets in the way …. and I should mention that I was the annoying little sister that idolized her brother only to be ignored and traumatized that I wasn’t liked. So maybe it was some sort of subconscious ignoring him back? Although at the age of 32 he didn’t seem to care as much as I did at the age of 8….


But anyways, since he married my sister in law, who is about as rad as they come.  We’ve grown closer again (and at the age of 30 I’ve now learned to not pester him too much). And, not only that, they had an amazing little girl this summer, making me a proud aunt. So with the daunting amount of family time came some pretty rad times with a 5 month old, and more time in the climbing gym.

Hopefully the rain and snow will cease enough for some more time outside, but if not, my psyche has not deteriorated for the gym …. yet.




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  • Cute pic Beth! Can't wait to hit up the plastic again with you soon! 😉

    January 5, 2011 at 7:15 am
  • Hello Beth,

    You don't know me but thnx for your blog, I like it already though you just started posting.

    Happy day to you,
    Wendy (climbing in Europe)

    January 11, 2011 at 11:12 am
  • Thanks Wendy!

    January 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm