People

Living With A Very Serious Climber

And the secret to living with a serious climber is.... don't take it too seriously.

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

It’s all business (until he forgets about it)

“I think I’m getting sick,“ I say.

“Darling!” exclaims my husband. “I’d better take some vitamins.”

He swallows two multi-vitamins, two Echinacea, a super C and goldenseal.

“What do I take zinc for?” he asks, rooting among the bottles.

“Compassion and empathy,” I reply.

He looks momentarily disconcerted and then swallows two. Just in case.

It’s not that my husband doesn’t care that I am sick. He does. Passionately. He is this close to sending his project—and a cold at this point would be disastrous. It would serve him right, but I realize how dreadful my life would become if he lost any Training time.

Living with a Very Serious Climber (VSC) is not easy. Life falls into two categories: Diet and Routine. Actual climbing is pretty far down the list. (Don’t confuse climbing with Redpointing, Training or Training For Training.) I’ve been climbing for over 10 years—did my apprenticeship on “VS” in Britain, spent three winters at Hueco and sport climbed 5.12—but our different views of the sport mean that we rarely climb together anymore. Recently, I suggested that we just go to the crag and enjoy ourselves. VSC looked at me as though I had suggested he lose weight by sawing off his leg.

This story of part of The Vault, a compendium of over 2,000 articles on rockandice.com and is available to members only. Please join us with a membership to continue reading. If you are already a member, click here and enjoy.