Thin Skin

Despite my return to 'relative baseline climbing fitness', as my mind wishes to label it, the invincibility to which I recall being accustomed is nowhere to be found.

Day after day of rock climbing and suddenly I feel worn and unfocused. One good performance promotes expectations sure to garner complacency. Ego-driven goal-making falls short of the reality of the corporal form.

So on Friday I cashed in the cheques from the past week: I completed a short-term project (Fight Club) and swiftly completed another route before it had the chance to become a project (Baby On Board). I did endurance laps and felt myself quite the climber that afternoon, a feeling that should have been received with due suspicion. The planned weekend at Squamish was sure to bear fruit after such an...auspicious...beginning.

But such simplistic logic was to be my undoing. A rest day activity of climbing the moderate and enjoyable Angel's Crest became toil as we quickly overtook the lingering parties from earlier in the day; our 3pm start seemed well planned until we reached the traffic jam at the top of the route, unable to pass the 'key log' (of which there seemed to be several). A few hours of steady sun wore at us as we waited; a couple of apt choices in routefinding quickened the pace but I still topped out frustrated at the glacial pace of other climbers. Dispute over my obsession with moving quickly added further complication. Despite the added annoyance of having to descend with a climbing shoe on one foot due to an errant pack zipper, the day still carried some sense of enjoyment that the promise of a stronger showing on Sunday could surely only augment.

Of course, Sunday was hotter still. At Murrin Park, where our indecision eventually led us, shade was at a premium. Climbing felt strangely difficult to my still depleted muscles. Thin, vertical sport climbing gave no quarter to sore fingers and my already paper-thin fingertips. An attempt on a slightly more difficult climb was abbreviated by the tearing through of granite into the pad of my fingertip. Faced with this new oppression, I (again) sensed the tyranny of repetition required to learn certain lessons. Bouncing cheques and thin skin, with the vainglorious stupor to match.


  1. Word Up Drew!
    Nice job at the 'Nox!
    judging by the difficulty of those routes, if you're not at full fitness, then I'd say when your form returns you'd be stronger than before, right- sandbagger!!!
    Never seen "corporal" used that way, I always used "corporeal", but dictionary. com supports you

  2. I got by on a technicality there via an archaic usage and a serendipitous (mis)spelling. Let's climb sometime!

  3. bad ass! let's go up there and rock climb some of those routes...as you had stated yesterday, I am feeling a little dumb having never even tried any of these amazing lines! every week i realize more that the list of things to do in washington is too big. i'm in for any and all of em!