Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
Dru

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

Recommended Posts

All of this soul searching in a public forum...we are so eager to share what must certainly qualify as material for a diary. 'Tis amusing to read this introspective drivel on a message board. Let me be the first to say: I DON'T CARE WHY YOU CLIMB OR WHAT YOU GET OUT OF IT!

 

Reminds me of my first years, when I was a sourdough, still we behind my elfen ears. I used to ponder these unaswerable questions (Is it the summit or the hill? The destination or the journey? If I splat on that slab, will the mountains care? Blah blah blah ).

 

At some point in my alpine adventures, I realized that nearly 20 years of seeking bigger, steeper walls and bolder challenges was but for one purpose, to create a necessary condition for a desired response. You see, the first time I stood before a big, icy cliff, the crest of which I couldn't see, my natural reaction was to crap my pants. And the conquest of such a wall required finding a greater challenge, which, when I first encountered it, caused me to soil my shorts, once again. I never thought that my regularity would be a function of the alpine experiences to which I subject myself, but when my climbing pace slowed, when career and family pushed alpinism to the back burner, I noticed that my morning B.M. required more caffeine. The sports page was replaced by a television on which I could view highlights on ESPN. Soon, the only way I could move my bowels in the morning was to watch video of seracs collapsing on K2 whilst my wife simulated that terrible noise by shaking the ice tray in the Frigidair.

 

Finally, the day came when my bowel was about as impacted as Elvis Presley's, and there was no relief in sight. I took the day off work and hiked up to the Willis Wall, where, as you can imagine, when that Eiger-like wall emerged from the morning mists, I was able to work things out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I puit this out on its own instead of in a response to another thing about ropes or death or whatever.... Thinking about TGs response a bit about soloing Rainier. [Confused] needs a head scratchin' gremlin though.

 

You see I like climbing maybe most for the sense of accomplishment. Like you do a hard route or whatever and right away you get this warm glow of having done something significant. If you climb normally 10b and you do an 11a you know you are climbing strong. I you climb a big route on a big peak no problem then it means you are a compentent and lucky alpinist. Or maybe you just finally grabbed the hold with the blue tape in your home gym??? Whatever.

 

But lately I am finding the accomplishment runs out faster and faster. Like I have wanted to solo Snake for years and I think if I had done it back in 1998 I would have been high about it for a month at least. But if I do it now it will be cool for maybe 2 days and then Im going to be wanting to do someything else cooler?

 

So aside from giving up climbing altogether, which seems to bethe Buddhist answer, what should I do about this and does anyone else have the same problem? I have heard that you need to move away from the sucess/failure model to one where you just enjoy everything you do but somehow it sounds like a good excuse for failing to do much of anything to me, eg. "Oh i didnt summit but that is not the point Im just out there climbing for fun" and suddenly a summer goes by and you realize you did not succeed on anything....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not reaching the summit sucks. I've never been satisfied with it. It's unfinished business that eats at you until you return.

 

-Iain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i hear you drul. the feeling of acomplishment is great and in some aspects that is what i climb for as well. though i think the best part of climbing is the entire experience. from the approach intial intoxicated shit talking, to the actual planning, to the slog all the way to the drive home. i try to always find the best part of it all and focus on that. certainly there is always difficult parts and scary parts, but they are only parts.

 

if we all climbed solely for the sense of accomplishment then we might be let down more often and even leave a bad taste for it in our mouths.....

 

i climb for fun and try to make it that way always. i like to make sure everyone i climb with is having fun as well.....

 

so yes the sense of accomplishment is great, but haing fun regardless of your outcome is even better!!

 

good topic!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Dru:

"Oh i didnt summit but that is not the point Im just out there climbing for fun" and suddenly a summer goes by and you realize you did not succeed on anything....

Yeah, like Dru says.

 

Sometimes, 50 miles in a day or slapping that blue hold works for a sense of accomplisment. But too get the real goods the level of commitment has to be there. Not to say that you should not have fun nor push beyond a comfortable level of risk.

 

If we never push the boundy of what we can accomplish, we never end up accomplising anything.

 

Climb; Climb fun, Climb safe but most importantly climb hard...at least some of the time or you're just a follower. IMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Dru:

what should I do about this . . .?

Yea, you've got issues with external validation. Maybe it's due to birthing trauma, or your Momma didn't breast feed you long enough. Did you get picked on by the bullies on the school-yard playground? Or not. Maybe you should "Shut up and climb"?

Familiarity leads to greater comfort. It's natural to build tolerance to many things, including climbing. I think you should aspire to solo the south face of Dhaulgiri cause homeboy Tomaz Humar left that baby wide open.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by erik:

i hear you drul. the feeling of acomplishment is great and in some aspects that is what i climb for as well. though i think the best part of climbing is the entire experience. from the approach intial intoxicated shit talking, to the actual planning, to the slog all the way to the drive home. i try to always find the best part of it all and focus on that. certainly there is always difficult parts and scary parts, but they are only parts.

 

if we all climbed solely for the sense of accomplishment then we might be let down more often and even leave a bad taste for it in our mouths.....

 

i climb for fun and try to make it that way always. i like to make sure everyone i climb with is having fun as well.....

 

so yes the sense of accomplishment is great, but haing fun regardless of your outcome is even better!!

 

good topic!!

Yeah... I like climbing not just for accomplishment but for being out in the fresh air sniffing nature, watching stars from bivi bag, talking shit in the pub, seeing peregrines kills songbirds, getting away from the crowds, meeting hot climber chix, all that. But I find that when I am back in the office after a weekend of climbing, the fun is over, but if I accomplisheed something it keeps me happy longer than if I didnt.

 

But yeah if i couldnt talk or think about climbing except when doing it I would definitely go insane...maybe I am already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this thread would easily place in the top three all time threads in a contest for the most average content per post. Not only that, sex and bowel movements are also discussed. Clearly, important parts of life.

 

What more valuable way could we spend avoiding work then to read about climbers thoughts on life, death and risk; not to mention Pope's constipation. [laf]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Terminal Gravity:

I think this thread would easily place in the top three all time threads in a contest for the most average content per post. Not only that, sex and bowel movements are also discussed. Clearly, important parts of life.

 

What more valuable way could we spend avoiding work then to read about climbers thoughts on life, death and risk; not to mention Pope's constipation.
[laf]

Funny pope does not mention shitting his sleeping bag on the Cirque expedition and splattering explosive mud falcons all over Donna Top Rope.

 

As for Dennis Harmon your response does not hold. It is the easy stuff like Hood and Rainier that kills most of the climbers. Statistically speaking it is safer to climb hard than climb easy. So go soak your head some more and keep reading Andrew Todhunter. Maybe then you will remember how to spell "whillans" correctly.

 

You are welcome to think climbing is all about risk if you prefer but here are two words to refute that: sport climbing. [Roll Eyes]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mt. Shasta

Although these yuckos do not shit all over themselves they kinda, in a weekend warrior kinda way try to explain why they climb. Their words brought a small tear to my eye! [Wink]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always a good topic.

I myself climbed Taqhuitz up a long 8 pitch 5.7 this weekend. No real challenge, just interesting climbing with beautiful weather and no real expectations. Was the feeling of accomplishment as good as when I did the 5.9 last year to get to the same spot?? Possibly a little less, but the climbing itself, i.e. the journey, is the thing for me and a good summit pic is always nice. I also took up a friend who had never been up there before and I got to relive some of the newness through his eyes.

 

Anyhoo, I miss some of the stuff in Washington, but this perpetual sunshine and warmth is kinda nice. See ya'll around.;P

miker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Son of Caveman:

quote:

Originally posted by Dru:

DEVO IS NOT A DISCO BAND!!!
[Mad]

 

They are
New wave
[Roll Eyes]

Admit it Dru, you like the Village People too, don't you? hahahahahaha
[Moon]
i like Boney M a lot more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dru,

 

I invite you to break free from the traditionalism that your climbing career has followed. You seem like you like it a whole bunch but like many, you are tied down to a normal life in the city and your escape is when you don't have to work. This is the solution: Give your guidebooks away and start climbing the unknown. If you have enough experience which it sounds like you do, find a partner who is just as capable and head out into the areas where there is no guidebook and start climbing the way climbing should be viewed as. You know where there is good unclimbed rock and you know how to climb stuff with a goal to top out. Some climbs of course will have a small amount of aid or will need aiding the first time around and if you choose to free it later on then you will have the particular route beckoning you to free it some other time. How many people do you know who has broken free from the typical climber's profile and just decided to actually start climbing stuff that was undiscovered? If you are being truthful about how you feel, we would agree that not many people go there. We like the sense of security and the ability to know where we are going.

Dru, I invite you into the unknown which will change the way you view climbing for the rest of your career. It only takes a light hammer and a few pitons and a 1/4" hand drill and a few bolts.

Need a partner? Lets go climbing and if I am not good enough for you then I know people who are definately better than me who ARE capable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"the main advantage of the guidebook is not finding out what has been climbed but rather what is still unclimbed" - Dick Culbert.

 

I prefer to do my exploring in areas I know have not been visited rather than reinventing the wheel exploring areas that have already been explored. Thanks anyways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

[ 06-06-2002, 04:34 PM: Message edited by: Dru ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand what you are trying to convey. I don't think you are listening, go to the unclimbed areas which are still waiting for climbers to climb and fucking climb them. That is where you accomplishment will show it's true colors. I ain't talking about a fuckin power drill at a fucking crag!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Parodoxically, it's development within already developed areas that gets the most news and appreciation. It's the plucking of the last plumb lines that get the most tongue wagging. Climbers are just as much social beings as anyone and require constatnt approval and comparison. I recall a description by Geroge Bell of an anonymous drifter who climbed crazy shit in PNW by himself w/o ever recording it. Sounded pretty damn lonely. The trick is to court civilization and development, like some Hamsunian Lapp hunter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

crackbolter, I look forward to reading your biography of Dru's climbing career since you seem to know so much about it. The chapter on Salal Creek should be especially elucidating. [laf]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Crackbolter:

I don't understand what you are trying to convey. I don't think you are listening, go to the unclimbed areas which are still waiting for climbers to climb and fucking climb them. That is where you accomplishment will show it's true colors. I ain't talking about a fuckin power drill at a fucking crag!

when the new Waddington guidebook comes out, listing 440 routes on 220 peaks, its gonna be a lot fucking easier to find out which routes on those 220 peaks are unclimbed, and go do a new route, than it is to right now. Is that clear enough for you troll boy?

[big Grin]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the hell is the serl burger being served anyway? I'm still waiting for late fall/early winter 2000 to roll around. [laf]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know nothing bout Dru or his climbing. I do know that he seems to be bored with climbing and is looking toward the community for his answers. I gave my answer and now I am waiting to see his name in the books. If he chooses to find the true challenge of climbing, he needs to be a pioneer. Otherwise, he will stagnate and fade away. Climbing is a natural progression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't have to have your name in the guide book to get the feeling of malaise that I believe Dru is describing.

 

If you focus on one aspect of climbing eventually you get burned out. I've found this true of climbing and other aspects of life. Sometimes you just need to take a break for a time then when you come back to what you left you find that you are better and more focused.

 

Fortunately climbing has a lot of specialties. If alpine climbing is the main thing that you do try cragging as a focus, or ski mountaineering, or travel to a distant place to go climb.

 

I guess I'm saying to try and mix it up. Otherwise you will end up being a burned out boulderer with one little stupid rock as the focus of your life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by AlpineK:

Otherwise you will end up being a burned out boulderer with one little stupid rock as the focus of your life.

Been there, done that. [big Grin][big Drink]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by pope:

my climbing pace slowed, when career and family pushed alpinism to the back burner

Been there, done that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×