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Dru

Climbing And Sense of Accomplishment (Heavy Duty Filosofikl Rambling, Help!)

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Excellent topic. As everyone knows, we all climb for different reasons and all pull different experiences out of our adventures. I agree with Iain about summits, even though I may have had the best trip, climbed the sweetest line, I still feel like not touching the top is unfinished business that eats at me and gives me greater determination when I do make it back. I try to let go of the "goal" and focus more on the journey, ie. planning, packing, etc. and I relaize when I get home that after however many days I was gone, my mind was focused on only the task at hand, no other distractions, just pure, focused energy. That helps ease me through the down side of the "what should I climb next" syndrome that creeps back in a few days after getting home.

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Well now there it is, the dilemma. In economics it's called diminishing marginal returns. One solution that comes to mind is to hit the reset button, i.e., delve into new discipline and have all that headroom to grow into again. Or maybe the dwindling high is a pervasive facet of aging and you never get it back. But I agree, the alternative (abandoning the risk-reward cycle altogether) is a steady mental death. Sorry, not much help. Time for the meds [big Drink] . Good luck, Aristotle.

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It's a problem of weastern thaught. More, Bigger, Better. I have been stuggeling to learn to be unatached to the outcome of anything. If I hit the top great, if not, hopefuly i learned something along the way. If people like me, great, If not... oh well. It works in any circumstance. I believe that the idea is to enjoy the experience. Because that is all this life realy is, is a bunch of expeirences." nothing is good or bad, as thinking makes it so" I don't remember who said that. [Wink]

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For a few different reasons, the climbing I am able to do is few and far between these days. When I am able to get out, which is usually by myself, I revel in the moment, not the accomplishment. I might get out to rope solo one aid pitch, or a quick scramble up a class 3 or 4 peak in months. My accomplishment isn't what I feel at the end of the day (or half day). It is what I feel while on the "gaper" climbs I do.

 

My friend Rob was telling me about all of these cool canyons he had done in Arizona and how he was going to do the west coast trail on Vancouver Island and the Wonderland Trail around Rainier. When he was done I told him about something I have wanted to do for a while now- the Perverse Traverse at Index by myself. His response was this:

"That sounds stupid."

Yeah, for most people it probably does, but I think it will be pretty cool.

 

It's all relative.

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quote:

Originally posted by sk:

It's a problem of weastern thaught. More, Bigger, Better. I have been stuggeling to learn to be unatached to the outcome of anything. If I hit the top great, if not, hopefuly i learned something along the way. If people like me, great, If not... oh well. It works in any circumstance. I believe that the idea is to enjoy the experience. Because that is all this life realy is, is a bunch of expeirences." nothing is good or bad, as thinking makes it so" I don't remember who said that.
[Wink]

SORRY TO SAY THIS SK, BUT THAT IS THE POTHEADS OUTLOOK!!!

 

HAHAHAHAHA

[Wink][Razz][laf][big Drink][Cool][Wazzup]

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quote:

Originally posted by erik:

quote:

Originally posted by sk:

It's a problem of weastern thaught. More, Bigger, Better. I have been stuggeling to learn to be unatached to the outcome of anything. If I hit the top great, if not, hopefuly i learned something along the way. If people like me, great, If not... oh well. It works in any circumstance. I believe that the idea is to enjoy the experience. Because that is all this life realy is, is a bunch of expeirences." nothing is good or bad, as thinking makes it so" I don't remember who said that.
[Wink]

SORRY TO SAY THIS SK, BUT THAT IS THE POTHEADS OUTLOOK!!!

 

HAHAHAHAHA

[Wink][Razz][laf][big Drink][Cool][Wazzup]
Ya enjoy the experience of sitting on the coucheating chips and drinking beer....watching Scooby Doo reruns... [laf]

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quote:

Originally posted by erik:

quote:

Originally posted by sk:

It's a problem of weastern thaught. More, Bigger, Better. I have been stuggeling to learn to be unatached to the outcome of anything. If I hit the top great, if not, hopefuly i learned something along the way. If people like me, great, If not... oh well. It works in any circumstance. I believe that the idea is to enjoy the experience. Because that is all this life realy is, is a bunch of expeirences." nothing is good or bad, as thinking makes it so" I don't remember who said that.
[Wink]

SORRY TO SAY THIS SK, BUT THAT IS THE POTHEADS OUTLOOK!!!

 

HAHAHAHAHA

[Wink][Razz][laf][big Drink][Cool][Wazzup]
Actualy it is TOAIST... Read up on you anciant chinese philosophy

[Razz]

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When you think about it, recreational climbing is basically a pointless and selfish activity. So you get to the top of Peak X, you climb better today than you did yesterday, you put up a new route at your top secret crag spot, you have cooler gear than the next guy, whatever. Basically, nobody really cares and nothing you do is going to make the least bit of difference in this world in the grand scheme of things now or ever.

 

What I try to do is separate myself from the outcome, and enjoy the activity. In other words, live in the moment, appreciate it for what it is, and leave it at that.

 

I love to climb, and for me, it's as simple as that. I climbed solo yesterday morning, I climbed with family and friends yesterday evening, I lost a huge chunk of skin from a finger, and I got stomped by a 5.11 that I've made it up on previous occasion. It was a good day. I wasn't hard on myself for failing at something I'd previously achieved, because in the moment I was doing what I loved.

 

Sure, I can't deny that I want to climb harder. I'd like to climb some alpine and carve some turns on the way down. I'd like to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. But I don't want to do any of those things just for the sense of accomplishment, or to push the limits of my abilities, or for an ego boost and spraying rights. When I'm on the rock everything else disappears - I'm not thinking about my wife, my kids, my job, the bills, the state of the world, or any cc.com spray. Everything melts away and it's just me, my mind, my body, the rock, and the moment.

 

It's not the destination, it's the journey.

 

Look at the expression on the face of a six year old in the middle of a climb, as I did yesterday, and you can't help but appreciate the joy that climbing can bring.

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I love riding the frshiez autosig's coattails.

During my daily routine as an educator at a public high school, Although I highly value and plan to have a satisfying experience, ie., climbing and summiting Mt Shasta via the Hotlum Headwall Ice Gully, summiting is not the end result for me. The entire experience is the draw that keeps me coming back. The preperation, such as the food, map,beer purchase, convincing the girl to fly out, and picking her and her gear up. Driving there college road trip style (girl is for road dome) and not being arested. Getting to the trail head and packng my sack with the minimum amount of gear and heading of into the wilderness with the feelings of anticipation. Then the actual route finding and physical issues are all that matters, as well as keeping the girl at a pace that will not kill her. And so on. What I am getting at is that for many even the summit via the hardest route is not enough, however, since I live and work in a "shitbag," a safe and adventerous outdoor experience is all that I yearn for.

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I've got many years to go before I have to grapple with this one, I think. But know of at least one four step program that worked for me. It involves the following:

 

1. Get injured and take a forced vacation from climbing for several months.

2. Get worked on all of the routes that you used to hike.

3. Reclaim your sense of accomplishment when your climbing has returned to its former standard.

4. Repeat as necessary.

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I agree with a lot of what has already been written. I sum it up as a "journey is the destination" view of climbing. Just geting out and being in the moment of the climb and relishing the freedom and feeling of being totally alive...these things get me through the days between climbing days. The time I spend on the rocks seems to be a suspension of time or a pause in the aging process; like the time I spend climbing will be added on to the end of my life somehow. Never thought of myself as much of an "Eastern" philosophy-type thinker, but the more I climb the more I seem to view life this way. Life on horizontal ground seems more trivial all the time and the time spent with friends and loved ones more precious...

 

[big Drink]

 

Greg

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quote:

Originally posted by sk:

Actualy it is TOAIST... Read up on you anciant chinese philosophy

[Razz]

llying.gifllying.gifllying.gifllying.gifllying.gifllying.gif

 

[ 06-05-2002, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: Dru ]

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quote:

Originally posted by sk:

Actualy it is TOAIST... Read up on you anciant chinese philosophy

[Razz]

actually I think that is an ancient Roman breakfast treat

 

[ 06-05-2002, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: fern ]

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Of course, there is nothing in this world that makes me feel more alive than that feeling I get when I think I'm going to die! Sometimes, things get a bit scary, and I wonder "why the fuck do I do this?" And then I remember "oh yeah, this is why!" I would even go so far as to say that climbing is better than sex!

 

Climb safe! [big Grin]

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quote:

Originally posted by jkrueger:

Of course, there is nothing in this world that makes me feel more alive than that feeling I get when I think I'm going to die! Sometimes, things get a bit scary, and I wonder "why the fuck do I do this?" And then I remember "oh yeah, this is why!" I would even go so far as to say that climbing is better than sex!

 

Climb safe!
[big Grin]

"Is climbing better than sex"?

 

"That depends on how good the sex is!" [Wink]

 

[ 06-05-2002, 01:37 PM: Message edited by: Dru ]

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quote:

Originally posted by jkrueger:

Of course, there is nothing in this world that makes me feel more alive than that feeling I get when I think I'm going to die! Sometimes, things get a bit scary, and I wonder "why the fuck do I do this?" And then I remember "oh yeah, this is why!" I would even go so far as to say that climbing is better than sex!

 

Climb safe!
[big Grin]

It's gonna be quiet at the dinner table tonight.... [Roll Eyes]

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quote:

Originally posted by vegetablebelay:

quote:

Originally posted by jkrueger:

Of course, there is nothing in this world that makes me feel more alive than that feeling I get when I think I'm going to die! Sometimes, things get a bit scary, and I wonder "why the fuck do I do this?" And then I remember "oh yeah, this is why!" I would even go so far as to say that climbing is better than sex!

 

Climb safe!
[big Grin]

It's gonna be quiet at the dinner table tonight....
[Roll Eyes]
...And mighty chilly in the bedroom. JK you might want the extra warm down bag tonight [Wink]

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quote:

Originally posted by jkrueger:

I would even go so far as to say that climbing is better than sex!

 

Climb safe!
[big Grin]

UH OH....

 

I MUTTERED THIS STATEMENT ONCE...FOUND MYSELF CLIMBING ALOT MORE, TILL I COULD TALK MY WAY BACK INTO GOOD TERMS....

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quote:

Originally posted by fern:

quote:

Originally posted by sk:

Actualy it is TOAIST... Read up on you anciant chinese philosophy

[Razz]

actually I think that is an ancient Roman breakfast treat

Bad spelling sorry [laf][laf] TAOIST [Wink]

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I knew I was jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire with that one - especially with this crowd!

 

My point is simply that any idiot can figure out how to fuck, but you have to be a fucking idiot to be a climber!

 

[big Grin]

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Dru,

 

Sounds to me like climbing is a drug for you and you have become slightly immmune to its affects. (i.e. the Snake and 1 month versus 2 days of feelings....) and of course you want more......

 

Maybe that's the problem. You want more and are not satisfied with what you do have. My god man! There are children starving in Ethiopia and all you care about is your feeling for climbing!!!!

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I suppose one way to figure out what you get out of climbing is to think about how you feel about a climb you did last year. It's been long enuff now to have it reduced to the simple things while the details may now be more obscure. So what is the OVERALL feeling you have now? What details come to mind first? For example, I did N. Face of Buckner last year which I remember as an awesome 2 days. I remember how tired I was climbing the last 1500 feet out of Horseshoe basin to get onto the Sahale glacier again. I remember the cool move to downclimb around a serac. I remember negotiating the schrund to gain the upper slopes. I remember the place where the couloir petered out to rock and the climbing turned mixed. I remember just how awesome the whole view from Johanesburg to Spider was. I remember digging around in the old mine we came across. I remember hanging my head upside down in a pocket hole in the meadow on Sahale arm with a stream running thru it to cool off. To me, these images are much more lasting than even the step across move on Canary I did only last week. So I guess for me the longer the trip and the longer the time spent in the climbing environment in a more remote place, the more "feeling" I get out of the deal. That's why I prefer an alpine climb to a crag climb (ice or rock) any day. Yeah, for me the journey is the deal. But I fully admit the summit IS important and I feel LESS if it isn't part of the climb. Maybe the summit is the measuring cup, but it isn't worth shit if there's nothing in it!

 

[ 06-05-2002, 02:16 PM: Message edited by: David Parker ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Stefan:

Dru,

 

Sounds to me like climbing is a drug for you and you have become slightly immmune to its affects. (i.e. the Snake and 1 month versus 2 days of feelings....) and of course you want more......

 

Maybe that's the problem. You want more and are not satisfied with what you do have. My god man! There are children starving in Ethiopia and all you care about is your feeling for climbing!!!!

There are children starving in America too. There are teens huffing gas in Cape Breton, Cape Dorset and Chase BC.

There are rich people in Hollywood with unfortunate haircuts and bad tailors too.

 

[Eek!]

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quote:

Originally posted by David Parker:

I suppose one way to figure out what you get out of climbing is to think about how you feel about a climb you did last year.

David this is some good thought. What I remember most from last year is doing Standing Wave, the Snowy Owl, being on top of Grant in mid-September when the planes started flying again and the air was filled with jet trails, and nearly falling off the Apron. Also climbing Rock On by headlamp and getting up at 11Pm to go and fail on Gunsight. And doing the KingSwing on Scarface.

 

But all of that is in the past. One thing I have tried to learn from old Fred is that he doesnt rest on his laurels. He always still wants to be out there trying something.

 

Maybe the secret is to reverse the Jedi wisdom and say Try or dont try there is no "Do."

 

I think maybe the feeling of having accomplished something lessens because there are way more other accomplishments to compare it to nowadays than there were 12 years ago when I started.

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