Sitting, waiting, wishing... I was back in Spain
Hello, to all of my loyal readers! ... Wait, I don’t have any! My name is Ethan, and I am the luckiest person on earth. I say this because I get to do what I love all the time, which is travel to some of the most beautiful places on earth, climb some of the most beautiful rocks on earth, and occasionally hop in the ocean and (try to) surf waves.
Since my last trip to Europe, which I got back from on Halloween, I find myself constantly drifting off, daydreaming that I’m still in Mallorca, floating on my back in the crystal clear Mediterranean sea, looking up at “Es Puntas” (Chris’ arch), wishing I could climb it. That’s why I'm going to train like a bat outta hell before the next time I go there. I definitely had the most spiritual and most exciting climbing experiences of my life deep-water soloing in Mallorca, and I can’t wait to go back. I did some of the coolest routes I have ever done, over the ocean. A lot of the routes I did were second(and even one first) ascents, so the climbing was totally adventurous. Kalymnos was amazing, also. It’s tied with Ceüse for best Euro super-crag, on my list at least. There are wonderful caves that are almost over featured in some places with routes of all difficulties, and the stalactites ... crazy. But even on those quality routes I was thinking to myself, “ this would be a lot nicer if these ugly metal things weren’t hanging all over the wall and there was water below me. Maybe that’s why I have just been bouldering since I got back.
I only got to try it a couple of times, and I realized it was a lot harder than I originally thought, but I’m still really psyched on it and I’m not giving up. I was distracted by other rocks for the rest of my trip but still had fun and got to climb some new stuff and watched some friends climb some new stuff. Natasha sent her project, Mesothelioma, a beautiful highball in the Pollen Grains. It’s a new school classic, a gem. A friend Ben Eastman flashed the rig (V7), wearing a knee brace from his torn ACL.
Then it was time for the Valley where it has been unusually good weather for this time of year, until this week at least. I hooked up with the Berkeley crew, who are the most psyched group of dedicated boulderers, willing to make the three-and-a-half hour drive up to the Valley for just a couple of hours of bouldering in a place they have climbed a thousand times. But the bouldering is that good there. I did a bunch of camp 4 classics like Thriller, The Force, Leroy, and Stick It, on my first day, all were about V10.
The next day the Berkley crew took us to a newer area called the Indian Caves where I surprised myself by flashing this slightly overhanging face problem called Drive On that they said was a “hard V10”. Paul Baraza also sent the line. The next weekend I made the second, and Kevin Jorgeson made the third ascent, of this really cool, squeezey, slopey (atypical of Yosemite style climbing) roof problem that Tommy Caldwell did first, last year. I also hung out with Valley monkey, big-wall master Ivo Ninov, and he got me psyched to get on the nose and try to free the hard pitches. He made it sound so possible.
Anyway, what’s next? Maybe back to the Valley for more pebble wrestling or something bigger, if the weather gets better. Maybe back to the east side for the ultimate project. Maybe up to North Northern Cali for the best limestone in North America (I’m not kidding) or any of the new found crags up there? Or maybe out to Indian creek, for my education at the university of splitters? I guess you will just have to wait and see for the next installment.
Oh yeah, I just started reading a new book by my favorite author, Carl Hiaasen. The book is called Nature Girl. It’s hilarious.