Places Climbing’s Brought Me

Recently, I went through all the photos on my computer, and sorted out all the climbing ones for a project I’m working on. I was surprised by how many I found. Five years of photos, starting in my university climbing gym, and slowly growing into photos of small cliffs, endless pine forests, frigid rivers, high alpine peaks, frozen waterfalls, and foreign countries.

I often struggle to explain why I love climbing so much. After all, so much of the experience is internal. But after looking through these photos, I think they make a compelling case on their own.

Here’s where five years of “The Sport” have taken me.

(A lot of images after the break)

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Climbing has take me across freezing rivers

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To endless puns in climbing gyms

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Sunny afternoons spent solo 

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Down the paths less traveled

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To the cliffs you stare at as you drive past and think “I wonder if people climb those”

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To the spot the 10th Mountain Division trained. Camp Hale, Leadville, Colorado

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To the mountains with packs that look like this…

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And iceboxes that look like this… And hangovers that need icepacks the next day…

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And hammocking spots that just have to be seen to be believed

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To places that feel like something out of a fairy tale

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To moments that belong in the Abercrombie catalogue.

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To new vantage points on familiar areas

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To spectacular sunrises where you’d least expect them

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To windswept summits

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To the pages of authors I’d never have read otherwise

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To quick afternoon laps with my sister, minutes from our home.

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Climbing’s led me to doing Yoga in the creek with these weird Boulder hippies (love ya both)

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It’s brought me back to old haunts

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It took me up the side of a cliff with these monks

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Climbing’s brought me to the top of every one of these Flatirons

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And to this dank climbing gym in Hungary

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Out in conditions in which we really should have stayed home 

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Into the alpine in winter

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Across frozen lakes

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To taking ‘senior photos’ at hanging belays

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To sketchy snowfields…

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Mountaintop meditations…

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And psychedelic rappels

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Climbing’s brought me triumphant (and trying) relationship moments

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Southern California desert in the middle of summer

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To waking up in hammocks in the middle of nowhere with your climbing partner

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The sport’s brought me many good friendships

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It’s taken me to the snowy Alps

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And up frozen waterfalls

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It’s brought me beautiful early-morning glow at 4,000 meters

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And it’s punished me with hours of inescapable rain

But overall…

Climbing’s brought me five years of wonderful memories

Looking back on all these photos, not for one single second did I wish I spent those hours in a bar, at the gym, or doing anything else. Each and every one of the moments represents something beautiful — and I think, even if you don’t know me personally, you will be able to see that in this post.

Looking back at all these photos was so beautiful — I couldn’t not share it.

I hope you all have something similar in your lives.

Best,

Dan

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Climbing Pinterest

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9 thoughts on “Places Climbing’s Brought Me

  1. Beautiful scenes from your own life! Amazing to have all that already!
    Good luck with the next cycle!

    All my love, Granny Kathy

  2. Oh those pictures bring back memories of our climbing days. Love them! Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I’m looking at them saying, “I’ve been there … and there, did that and that one doesn’t look familiar, how did I miss that? and finally, oh what fun!”

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