Solo - Climbing Magazine


Free-soloing on Charlotte Dome

Free-soloing on Charlotte Dome

I remember like it was yesterday, or a couple weeks ago anyway.

Standing there looking up, the mountain staring back like a master to his pup.

Fully equipped but still so scared, of what lie ahead of me and why I dared.

To climb this cliff side up to its peak, and claim the reward I was there to seek.

Alone, just me, myself, and I; Take a deep breath and let it out in a sigh.

Look down at my hands and grab the first rock, listen to my watch and its calming tic-toc.

Brush off my shoes and step off the ground, suddenly it feels like the world has no sound.

Only half a foot up and the world starts to freeze, only things I can feel are my heart and the breeze.

Point my head to the sky and take the next step, move my hands and my feet in my second rep.

Ten feet up it’s too late too turn back, clip into the rock and put my hands in my pack.

Delicate fingers coat the rock in chalk, gotta prove myself after all this talk.

Clench my teeth and start to climb, almost a mile ahead and all I got is time.

Step by step I reach the first shelf, all that’s going through my head is, “Believe in yourself!”

A quarter up three more fourths to go, maybe its better if I take it slow.

Too far to fall and no one to catch, I reach an overhang; I’ve met my match.

But it’s too late now my pace is set, slightly exhausted and my tongues no longer wet.

I close my eyes and think of the top, grab the lip of the ledge and let myself drop.

Hanging from the mountain I take a second to stare, the weight I once felt is no longer there.

Too much to lose but too hard to try, sudden realization: “If you fall you die!”

Grab it again with my other hand; pull myself up so my feet can land.

Half a mile up and half to go, I know I can make it, it won’t be easy though.

Take another deep breath and make the next jump, as my feet hit the rock all I hear is, “Thump!”

75% and I’m almost done, look up to the clouds and then to the sun.

Shining bright energizing me, reminding me of the reward I’ll receive.

Smile on my face and hope in my head, striving for the ending of a book I’ve never read.

Suddenly something fills me with joy; I conquered the tiger like Siegfried and Roy.

Hands grab the ledge and I feel solid land, pull myself up to my feet and stand.

At the top of the world looking over the side, finally made it through this roller coaster ride.

My eyes light up, my fear subsides, I look into the distance filled with pride.

Around the world in 80 days, Perseus and his labyrinth maze.

I wrote my own story, the best of the best, conquered the North, South, East, and West.

Gravity defied, reality furled, and here I stand at the top of the world.