Bruce Willey - Reader Blogs

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Bruce Willey's Blogwriter, photographer, zanjero Home base: Big Pine, CA, Berlin, Germany, and Atlanta, GA. For more about Bruce Willey visit his website: BruceWilley.com

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Bruce Willey - Reader Blog 79/17/09 - Two fools rediscover the Aiguille du Fou, Smoke Blanchard’s lost route in the High Sierra - I had just climbed to one of those belays where living feels beautiful and life is sweet. Tying off a horn I call down “off-belay” to Greg with a certain amount of relief. Time, then, to fondle the view from 200 feet of the arête and wait for him to pull through the cruxes made apparent by the slow progress of the rope.Bruce Willey - Reader Blog 67/15/09 - The Eastside Lowdown: Front Country Cragging under the shadow of the High Sierra Crest - To be frank, I thought about starting this story with an epic. Some hanging on the thin edge thing: frozen fingers grasping for a nub, a hair-raiser of a lightning storm scrubbing the inside of your helmet, being skinned alive by a fall on run-out slab. It sells magazines and stokes campfires, not to mention touches the void that is ego.Bruce Willey - Reader Blog 56/26/09 - Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost: In search of the perfect climbing dog - Give or take 15,000 years ago a feral dog decided to hell with hunting all day. Why not instead hang around groups of semi-sophisticated apes who use hunting clubs and flint arrows? In return for helping with a few chores such as locating their food and a few well-placed barks at the lions creeping around camp, the dogs could pick up a few meat scraps and leftover bones, not to mention far more time for long naps. The symbiosis worked all too well.Bruce Willey - Reader Blog 45/07/09 - Suffer the Lizards: Losing Our Religion to Southern Splitters - This being Easter Sunday our water bottles would no sooner turn into wine flasks than we would chance upon the devout. All those good folks are up-river, filling the white little Baptist churches bursting at their holy holler seams. He may have risen, but our Easter services begin and end on the sandstone sermons writ large on the wall, rising under our own effort with the miracle of cams to save our souls. Bruce Willey - Reader Blog 33/26/09 - What Happens in Vegas Stays in the Atmosphere - If you compare climbing to other sports as Ernest Hemmingway famously did, one is forced to draw a few conclusions. Obviously climbing is a lot more eco-friendly than auto racing and bull fighting. We don’t go billowing around a track, needlessly spewing oil and fumes. We don’t stab hapless angry cows with sharp sticks.Bruce Willey - Reader Blog 212/05/08 - A Red River Gorge Thanksgiving Pilgrimage - A Southern climbing trip always begins by packing the Toyota station wagon with the tent, stove, two packs and a rack, rope, food, beer, sleeping bags, a banjo, deer scent, neck sunscreen… the usual. But this year, three days shy of Thanksgiving, I crammed into the car a large, 40-pound bag of grade-A guilt.Bruce Willey - Reader Blog 111/03/08 - The Last American Road Trip - It begins when you can leave town, when you leave your common sense, your guilt, and a large chunk of yourself behind. It could be four years of pent-up academic frustrations. It could be the many years at a job that fleeces your ability to connect to the sweet simmering world. It could be your local crag doesn’t hold the same allure as it used to. Or it could be simply that you want to let the road show you the pace.

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