Last year, I worked with professional climber, Dru Mack, to create a documentary series that focused on himself as a climber as well as his then upcoming trip to Spain. Three videos separate videos were created and then compiled into one mega film which can be watched here.
three days later and i'm back out in the red.
sport route difficulty is graded differently than bouldering, so i don't really know what my limit is right now. i've got a vague idea, though. in my opinion, grades are incredibly subjective and can vary based on numerous factors: outdoor or indoor, length, types of moves, and types of climbing holds (crimps, slopers, pinches, etc.).
after warming up in secret garden, we headed over to the monastery to hop on middle path (12c). with some rough lil' crimps, two large moves (the first and second crux) and the final task of clipping the chains while being super pumped out, this route was tough.
after a fierce battle, i sent it, or at least my definition of what an outside send is. was it pretty or graceful? not exactly, but i made it to the top with only a few whips; my first time whipping on lead to be exact. this route was extremely fun and i will definitely be returning in the future to do a clean run now that i know the beta.
i finally did it. i went outside.
after 10 years of climbing indoors, i finally made the not-as-long-as-i-thought trip to the beautiful red river gorge. prepared only to top rope (climbing with the rope on a fixed anchor at the top), i took a leap of faith and lead climbed for the very first time. not only did i send Grandpa Joe (5.9), but i flashed it! the rest of the day was filled with incredibly fun climbs, joyous friends, and i left with an urge of inspiration and feeling of overwhelming happiness that i haven't felt in a long time. spoiler alert: i went home and immediately bought all my own gear.
so why did it take me so long to get outside? there's a number of reasons i can answer with, but when it comes down to it, they're all bullshit. the gorge was too far away. i didn't have the gear. i didn't know how to lead climb. i'd have to top rope everything. i didn't have the time. i didn't have anyone to go with. it was too hard to find a time that worked with everyone's schedules. blah, blah, blah, blah.
this outdoor excursion opened a new door and release to the stress of my daily life and i absolutely cannot get enough of it. so take a chance and do it, especially with people you love. if you're waiting for the perfect moment to do something you've always wanted to do, it's never going to come.
photos taken by myself and my lovely friend, reese garza.