Tuff Luck

How could I possibly resist? After a rather lackluster winter, my motivation for climbing has somewhat returned though the integrity of my tendons lags behind. After 6 days of coursesetting last week at the now recently opened Seattle Bouldering Project, all the holds fresh out of the mold, my fingertips looked and felt like they'd been held under a belt sander; my finger joints, supple and limber from months of guitar playing, felt once again like blocks of wood; my elbows ached with the classic signs of overuse. What better venue for rehabilitation, then, than the sharp, tweak-prone pockets and skin-mangling edges of Smith Rock?

Truly the Dream Team of northwest climbing, we planned on taking the crag by storm. No route could possibly stand against our campaign of Chalk and Awkward Humor. With our TheraCane and my secret talismans, SLCD's and chocks from an outmoded and all-but-forgotten style of climbing, the trap was set for any unwitting 5.14 sport climb. All we had to do was wait for one to take the bait...

...and wait we did...

But soon, our glorious plan was in effect: the sweeping walls of enhanced pockets and epoxy-reinforced flakes began offering up their most precious gems out of sheer terror at our might. With thunder in our step and lightning in our eyes, we prepared to release the fierce maelstrom of our fury...

Jeanna almost redpointed Toxic but the nefarious route had used subterfuge to divine her weakness: reachy, dynamic moves...

Brian fought valiantly against White Wedding but it soon played an unexpected wild card. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" Brian screamed as he was spit off the top of the climb by the revered tactic oft referred to as the "redpoint crux two moves below the anchor"...

Though the air was rife with the foul smell of defeat, I unsheathed my blade for a duel with the master of deception: the feared Slit Your Wrist arete. With such formidable weaponry as 'one of the sharpest edges in all of Smith with a little nubbin the pokes right into your right index fingertip' and 'weird sideways teardrop-shaped enhanced pocket that tweaks the shit out of your tendons' I was clearly outclassed. Apropos of my apparent defeat, I whined of sore fingers and called on Brian as my second to vanquish the foe and establish a toprope that I might somehow redeem my ego, though that also was not to be.

In a show of ultimate cowardice and ignominy, I unleashed my devices of medieval torture on the unsuspecting and harmless peasantry of Lion's Chair and set up a toprope so we could all further its submission. Victory at last!


  1. We should be paying to read this stuff, seriously!

  2. Chipped holds at Smith? Wasn't there a period in the late 80's where some climbing company was paying climbers for every 5.13 route they could put up? Personally, I've never seen any manufacturing...but, then, why are all integral holds so out of reach?

  3. When you put up a route there you just estimate your maximum reach and 'clean out' a pocket; later, someone will cry foul and fill it in with Bondo upon which another one will be discovered another foot higher. Then your route gets downgraded from .14a to .13d because someone 'discovers' a new monodoigt mid-crux and cleans the epoxy off an 'off route' foothold you wanted to make unusable. In reality, I've seen drill bit marks in the back of pockets but that's about it, plus I love the climbing there. I'm really only 50% serious at any point in time.

  4. Actually, it appears I layered my inchoate facetiousness too far. I've indubitably and adroitly (on many occasions) explored extraterrestrial dimples at the far reaches of some pocket, after locking off so hard, I thought my shoulder might literally implode. Ahem, 'Aggro Monkey'. Though, none of these enhancements can overshadow a "dufford" driller. I wouldn't want to name names since it could be construed an "attractive nuisance".