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Editors note: To avoid any confusion, Ethan was close to sending Sharma’s Dream Catcher, but due to poor weather, he wasn’t able to redpoint it.
Squamish, British Columbia
I just realized I’m drinking a beer from my first ever legally purchased six-pack. I choose a wheat beer, a New Belgium brew by the name of Sunshine to mark this occasion. Do you remember what you bought? I bet not. Half of you are probably under the age of 21, anyway… so, oh well.
Speaking of sunshine, I soaked up a little this morning in the old Pacific, catchin’ some glassy little peelers down at the ‘mar, bra. Chaka. It was therapeutic to say the least. To get in the nice, not so warm water (but still much warmer compared to winter and early spring dawn patrol sessions), after waking up at 5:30 a.m. and making the 15-minute drive to Pacifica. I was glad to see my friend Karl, who just red pointed his first 5.13c, Taste the Pain, out at Donner Summit, already in the line-up, grin on his face.
“Dude, It was so much better the last 45 minutes before you got here, its totally starting to die. … ” Karl is in the water at 5:30 a.m., every day. What a trooper!
I just got back from a 10-day (supposed to be 2-week) trip to Squamish, British Columbia, and boy am I wiped out. I made the 18-hour drive with friends from the bay area, Mark “Big-Meal” Heal and Ben “The Claw/Beastman” Eastman. My goal for the trip was to do the spectacular looking sport route established by none other than the “Sharma-nator,” Dream Catcher, which checks in around 5.14c/d. The other guys basically just wanted to boulder and maybe get on a rope if inspired to do so, and in Big Meal’s case, think, breathe, obsess over, talk about and live for nothing but bouldering, boulder problems, and their grades. The kid is psyched, to say the least, to the point that is almost annoying, (Sorry, Mark!). But it’s also motivating, I guess.
Since there was no way Mark and Ben were bouldering that day, I decided to have a go at the dry sections of the climb, so after doing a few pull-ups and a V0-minus lip traverse, I suited up and was ready. Sean Mcoll had told me — or better yet warned me — that the beginning slab was “really hard” and Sonnie Trotter said in an e-mail that I should brush up on my slab technique before heading up. Both turned out to be proper assessments of the difficulty of the slab and there were a couple moves that left me whimpering. I was able to do all the moves of the upper crux and the beginning rail traverse on my first tries, but that slab, man… I decided to have another go on it and split the tip of my index finger — something I have never done in my life (which I attribute to the humidity) — and was done for the day. As we walked out of the forest, the rain stopped and I ended up leaving my hat and my nice new fleece lined sweater in the parking lot. I ended up finding the hat later but the sweater was too good for someone to just let lie there, it needed a home and a torso to fit around and someone was happy to give it that. So the trip was not off to the best start…
We probably saw actual sunlight a total of about 20 minutes the first three days we were in Squamish. I healed my split finger and watched my buddies boulder, as things started to dry up a little. I picked up the fourth member of the group, Carlos “Hot Carl” Mason who came out to take some footage of me flailing on my project and do some bouldering. We made it a ritual of going to the local rec. center to play in the pool and take advantage of the sauna, hot tub, and showers. It was pretty much the highlight of most of my days, especially if it was a wet day.
Now I’m back home again, maxing and relaxing. Actually I’m waking up at 5 a.m. tomorrow to go surfing, but I will surely feel relaxed after that. I will also include a picture of the three kittens Natasha is fostering for the shelter. The lighter one is “Ghost Face Killa,” the darker one is “Capadona,” and the other dark one that is always sick and throwing up and crapping on the floor is “ODB” (aka “Old Dirty Bastard”).
This may be my last blog for a while folks, as I’m traveling to France, and I am not sure about the motivation to write blogs, let alone computer/internet access I will have over there. I will mostly be climbing in Ceüse; there is this one route I have wanted to get on there. It’s a pretty nice line. Not making any promises though.
I would also like to apologize to my mom who says I should take the time to carefully edit these blogs down to perfection, since it will be heavily scrutinized under the critical eye of the climbing community and the folks at Climbing magazine (who will probably be cursing me for making them edit this, for the misspellings, grammatical errors, and punctuation mistakes, and, of course, run-on sentences, in this blog (and pretty much all of them). Like Dream Catcher, I didn’t give myself all the time in the world to work on it. And against the wishes of — well, mostly my mom — I’m sending it in to be posted.
Well folks, I’m off on another adventure. Wish me luck.