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)
Climbing has take me across freezing rivers
To endless puns in climbing gyms
Sunny afternoons spent solo
Down the paths less traveled
To the cliffs you stare at as you drive past and think “I wonder if people climb those”
To the spot the 10th Mountain Division trained. Camp Hale, Leadville, Colorado
To the mountains with packs that look like this…
And iceboxes that look like this… And hangovers that need icepacks the next day…
And hammocking spots that just have to be seen to be believed
To places that feel like something out of a fairy tale
To moments that belong in the Abercrombie catalogue.
To new vantage points on familiar areas
To spectacular sunrises where you’d least expect them
To windswept summits
To the pages of authors I’d never have read otherwise
To quick afternoon laps with my sister, minutes from our home.
Climbing’s led me to doing Yoga in the creek with these weird Boulder hippies (love ya both)
It’s brought me back to old haunts
It took me up the side of a cliff with these monks
Climbing’s brought me to the top of every one of these Flatirons
And to this dank climbing gym in Hungary
Out in conditions in which we really should have stayed home
Into the alpine in winter
Across frozen lakes
To taking ‘senior photos’ at hanging belays
To sketchy snowfields…
And psychedelic rappels
Climbing’s brought me triumphant (and trying) relationship moments
Southern California desert in the middle of summer
To waking up in hammocks in the middle of nowhere with your climbing partner
The sport’s brought me many good friendships
It’s taken me to the snowy Alps
And up frozen waterfalls
It’s brought me beautiful early-morning glow at 4,000 meters
And it’s punished me with hours of inescapable rain
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.