The Fourth Blog
People ask how I train for climbing trips to which I can only tell them there is no guidebook, but there is a 21 day tour of my life with my friends/family, otherwise known as The Outlaws, might help:
Day 1. Get plane tickets, and find out I’m stuck in a middle seat for the 10-hour flight, which is not a good situation for all involved; and then find out the Jeep has died completely and I need a new car.
2. Solo two miles at Tahquitz up to 5.11c; find out that Marci (my wife) had my plane seat changed to an aisle and started finding me places to stay. Then decide to put my money where my mouth is and buy a Prius which is my part of helping the environment and flipping the bird to rising gas prices.
3. Help Nikki (my daughter) make a tombstone for Thomas Jefferson as an art project; jog five miles with the Wondermutts; workout at the gym.
4. Drive to Vegas (in Marci’s car since the Prius isn’t here yet) for a spa treatment for Marci as a thank you for everything she’s done in arranging the upcoming trip; stop in every tacky souvenir shop we can along the way; try to go skydiving but the winds are too much; lose money; win money. Then go on a date with dinner and a movie.
5. Solo 20 routes at Red Rocks, where the heat almost hits triple digits, including Fear and Loathing (5.12a), Party Down (5.12b), Promises in the Dark (5.12b). Then drive home.
6. Jog five miles, and get guilty looks from the Wondermutts for not taking them, which prompts another three mile walk with them; workout in the regular gym where Damon “Damo” Corso finishes a photo shoot for a fitness magazine; get psyched that I can do 15-second one-arm hangs with 110 pounds, seated one-arm rows with 220 pounds, and regular pull-ups with Christina “Lil’ Bit” Pilo (Damo’s better half) hanging on my shoulders.
10. Chase a few rabbits with the Wondermutts; find out that Nikki got an A+ on her tombstone; workout in the regular gym; buy a new jacket for the upcoming trip.
11. Solo with John Bachar at Clark Canyon where he floats a 5.11c, and we both downgrade a 5.11d that I onsight, then congratulate Lonnie Kauk on his latest 5.12 solos. 12. Confirm plans with friends overseas and line up a helicopter for Damo to shoot photos from when we’re there; go buildering at midnight with Damo and the crew; get rousted by security in five spots.
13. Solo two miles at Tahquitz; watch Wes nab his second “mile-day”; find myself hobbling out due to a problem with the arch of my foot from over-training a few years back.
14. Go to foot doctor, and 20 minutes later I’m good as new with the order to stay off it for two weeks or plan on being back in six months--five years of being with this doc and we both know I’m just going to be back in six months.
15. Keep ice on foot but still go to regular gym; Wondermutts harass me for not taking them out for an extended walk; rabbits come to our front door and mock us; I learn that Nikki knows more math that I do, but I win “Battleship” championship, and Lil’ Bit floats her hardest problem at the Tramway.
16. Go to Malibu, and keep the soloing mellow with only 30 laps up to 5.12c; manage to stay out of the water while repeating little-known highballs; watch one of the Jr. Outlaws onsight a 5.12 like it’s 5.8.
17. Fly to Cincinnati, and give a slide show for a Fortune 100 company; meet the head of security for one of the buildings I soloed; jog two miles (okay, run from police for two miles); workout in hotel gym.
18. Spend 12 hours traveling for what should have been six; get home, and find out my math skills still suck; get drunk.
19. Finally drive the Prius for the first time; drive to Tahquitz with Wes, and solo two miles up to 5.11.
20. Pack; solo 50 laps at Malibu, and repeat two 5.13s as well as some highball boulder problems; celebrate Nikki’s last day of school with gift and dinner for great grades; go buildering with Damo and his crew again, only this time we outwit the security, and get some of the best photos of our lives.
21. Leave for Ireland.