Crash Pads are Scary

I am not a boulderer. I used to love bouldering, but now I love it slightly less. Optimal bouldering conditions (or so I hear) exist when icicles begin to form inside your nose. You have to carry around giant pieces of foam, which bystanders think are elk saddles, and which prevent you from sneaking through small crevices or between trees. It hurts my body. And most of all, it is absolutely terrifying. I prefer falling into light, cushy air.

But alas, I’ve come to terms with my distaste for a few of bouldering’s necessities, and have decided to embark on my first bouldering trip…ever. I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve bouldered outside. However, seeing as winter sport climbing destinations are cold and wet and snowy at best, Hueco Tanks seems like a more pleasant alternative. While thus far I’ve made it sound as though Hueco is a last resort and I’m dreading spending two weeks hurling myself at moves more difficult than the crux on the hardest sport route I’ve ever climbed, above no more than a tiny square pillow, I couldn’t be more excited for this trip.

I rarely set off for a climbing trip void of expectations, however, it is safe to say, my goals are not too lofty. I’d like to climb a route, excuse me a problem (or boulder?), more difficult than my previous best of V7. Regardless, I will try my very hardest, reminding myself that I am only a few feet off the ground. I will enjoy the sun and the company of friends who won’t believe I’m actually going to boulder until they see it with their own eyes. I will even enjoy being in a campsite without the comforts of my mom’s frosted Christmas cookies, my Grandma’s dark chocolate pecan clusters, cinnamon rolls, ginger ice cream, and every other compliment to gravity that has covered the kitchen counters over the last few weeks. Christmas in Estes Park with my family was wonderful, complete with snow, wildlife, and lots of games. However, I cannot eat another Christmas treat without feeling like I might die. So with that, I’m off to Hueco with my brother as co-pilot.

The 4 man toboggan. Sledding with Michelle Hurni, one of my high school climbing coaches, and her husband George.

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas and happy holidays. Don’t go too crazy on New Years, I’d like to see you all in 2012. Maybe we can even go bouldering together…but probably not.

Winter in Estes Park



0 responses to “Crash Pads are Scary”

  1. I don’t boulder either.. It scares me! I haven’t been able to climb for months due to injury. This weekend will be my first trip in about 5 months… Wish me luck!

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