The Problem With Having a Platform

I had a very odd experience this winter, where a stranger told me one of my own stories. It sourced from this blog; although he did not know that. Briefly:

I was out ice climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park with a new partner. It was our second time out together, and we were still getting a feel for one another, as humans and as climbers. This involves a lot of discussion of life, philosophy, and (mostly) previous climbs. My partner asked if I had climbed the Diamond, perhaps Colorado’s most famous alpine wall, to which I answered: yes, I had.

It’s not too bad but you’ll need to move fast, I said to him. Yeah I’ve heard, he says. My favorite story of the Diamond is some guy is up there, pitching it out, going all slow, when suddenly Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell just simulclimb by! Leaving them in the dust.

That event happened to me and my partner Beth, the first time we climbed the Casual Route. I mentioned it in the trip report I published here on this blog, and on Medium. Thanks to SEO, and because lots of people are interested in climbing the Diamond, those posts see a good amount of traffic (and they will see more this summer, as we enjoy Diamond season). Somewhere along the way, this person had read that post, or discussed it with someone else who had. My own story was getting away from me; taking on a life of its own in my community.

This was a thoughtful a moment for me.

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Climbing Hidden Valley Campground in Joshua Tree National Park

Hey all, I just got back from a pair of trips: a climbing trip to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California; and a long-weekend of ice climbing in Ouray, Colorado.

Words are forthcoming about both ventures, but for now, I just wanted to share some photos my climbing partner Jose took while we were in J-Tree.

I brought all the climbing toys, and Jose brought his photography toys. Let me tell you — it pays to adventure with a professional photographer! It makes a biiiiig difference to have someone who knows what they’re doing along! (and someone who has all the expensive lenses, hehe).

Check out some of his best shots of Hidden Valley Campground, below.

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Nepal 39: Hash

Pokhara Cafe

The Malaysian and I played two more games of chess. I eked out a thin win in the second game after he sacrificed his queen in a risky gambit that never paid off, and we played an onerous game of pawns-and-king for the third that should have gone to a stalemate, but ended with an unforced error on my part that allowed him to back me into a corner and checkmate me.

Although the Malaysian took the series 2-1, I felt I had represented myself well, especially considering I hadn’t played serious chess in a year or more.

While we were playing, a small group of spectators had gathered around us. Some of this group were patrons of the cafe, perusing menus and asking questions of the hostess, while others were clearly here just for the chess.

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Some Thoughts

Prayer Flags in Front of Himalayas

 

It’s been two months of Nepal stories on this blog now, and we haven’t even gotten through a week in the country. I guess you all don’t mind though, as I seem to have picked up a good-sized audience for this story. I appreciate it, I really do. It keeps me motivated to keep writing, and spilling my soul into this project.

So thank you all.

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