Thursday, August 23, 2012

Climbing Kinship

Spring break, Thanksgiving break, Summer - no matter which school break it is, it's always spent climbing. All extraneous time is spent climbing for that matter. Our devotion to this lifestyle can only be described as an complex obsession most "ground walkers" can't even comprehend.

We are undeniably a different breed of  people.

The past couple trips I've taken to the Red River Gorge, Kentucky, have definitely shed light on the outdoor climber breed; especially since I'm always around the average indoor climber.
 As soon as you step outside into that dirtbagger paradise, you notice a change in the type of people . The climbers' appearances, morals, ethics, and lifestyle all change. Everything is based generally around respect. I know this sounds cliche, but most climbers tend to operate on the golden rule more-so than others.

Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

One early morning I checked my phone and saw it was in desperate need of a charge.  I walked up to Miguel's and plugged it in at a table that conveniently had a plug overhead.  Leaving it there, I had faith no one would steal it while I cooked breakfast and packed gear. Before I knew it, we were all ready for the day of climbing, and I didn't even think twice about my phone charging in the restaurant. After ten long hours of sandstone sending (wow, that's a tongue twister), I remembered my phone, still charging, and frantically went to go check on it. It was still there, making me think... climbers are awesome. You know as well as I do that had you done the same in school during your first period class , it would be long gone before your second period late bell even rang.

The next day I encountered a similar scenario except the roles were switched. I ran across a line with brand-new shiny Petzl Spirits left on the hangars. I just figured someone was working the route and I moved on, thinking to myself, anyone could get up there and take the gear, but you don't. Plain as day. I guess what I'm stabbing at is that climbers are, in fact, awesome and we're all a big family; a community of people sharing more than just rocks, a friendship. A climbing kinship.

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