Friday, April 9, 2010


Everyone loves to stand on a soap box. Mounting a six by 3 by 4 inch cardboard box makes a man feel like a real man. It happens a fair amount in climbing. Recently, there was a bunch of hub bub about some Swedish dude trying to send Chris Sharma's First Round First Minute project. Unfortunately, all that happened were a bunch of passive aggressive emails. What happened to climbers fighting?

Georgia Ice runs his mouth. He's not an altogether bad guy, some might say he's even okay. He climbs by himself- mostly making incredibly sketchy ascents of routes like the Steck Salathe (Grade IV 5.9) and Leanie Meanie (5.11b) at Arch Rock. He's probably gonna die jackhammering, cordless on the rock someday- but hey, to each their own. He does enjoy a good slander session, like every other Yosemite climber. He was engaging in such worthless spray one night in Chinese Camp. He picked a rather surly target though, who became quite angry. The wall pirate kept his cool down until the free-soloist fell asleep. That's when the pirate, and his brother, made a munter mule, and hauled Georgia Ice into the tree. He dangled by his ankles til somewhere around sunrise, when another hungover monkey cut him down.

That's the story. A pretty good one I think. Georgia Ice and the Pirate never came to fisticuffs, but at least something happened. I don't like violence. I love it. I personally think that more people should be fighting over climbing disputes. Back in the day, Mr. Way used to get bitch-slapped for stating his over arrogant positions. People got punched in the neck in the Camp 4 lot for chopping bolts. That sort of thing went down all the time. Now there's just people posting on their blogs about how someone should or shouldn't be trying someone else's proj. Snooze.

Give me blood, give me action, give me a fight! Why don't people stand by their climbing convictions anymore? I want to see someone punch a fool in the neck. KYEAH!

First Round First Minute- Climbing Narc Blog post

Mick Ryan spray

Deadpoint Spray

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I pulled my shoe onto my foot and stopped to examine a bump along the stitches of my foot. My fingers ran along the protusion. I felt a screw head. I iced my foot. The swelling did not go down. It was definitely a screw, sticking out of my foot.

Two days later, I dropped my sock next to the table at Dr. McKinley's office. "My foot was fused five years ago. I think I've got a screw sticking out." The Berkeley orthopedist examined my foot, took three X-Rays, charged me $300 and said, "I think you're right."

This morning, Lucho drove me across the bridge from his house in the Mission to Dr. McKinley's office. The good doctor swabbed my ankle in iodine, then opened a big metal case. The nurse looked inside and exclaimed, "You could do a lot of damage with that stuff!" I winced and pulled my hat over my eyes. He stuck a long needle inside my ankle, pushed anesthetic around my ankle, and then made an incision. Using a star drive screw driver, he pulled two screws out of my ankle. I could feel them being tugged out of my bone.

You probably don't think much about your body. What's your left big toe feel like right now? I imagine it's warm, and pressing against a piece of cotton- a sock picture of Obama on it. Maybe it's bare, sliding along the wood floor. Or maybe it's wiggling inside of your shoe. Regardless, you probably weren't thinking about how your big toe felt until I mentioned it. Well, just like your awareness of your big toe is incomplete, so was my feeling about my bones. Until the doctor pulled the metal out. I could feel my ankle. The bones, the hollow, the marrow. It hurt.

He placed a couple stitches in my ankle, handed me two screws- the kind that come out of the 99 cent bucket at home depot, and charged me another three hundred bucks. Thank you very much.

Hopefully, my ankle will heal quickly. Getting surgery, doing anything with the doctor- kind of sends me over the edge. I go a little nuts. I've done a lot of it in the past. I slip into a deep vortex of despair. I'm not gonna let my mind wander into the abyss though. It only hinders my healing. Which I need to do quickly, cause I want to send!