ivan Posted September 23, 2017 Share Posted September 23, 2017 2017 1/28 - grim indeed, so deep into this foul year of our dear lord Trump, the 1st of his name, blessed be his orange-mane, and yet i'd not made it to beacon to bare my mangled soul? many things have passed, most of them tragic - what can they matter against a backboard so bleak? much snow n' ice this month - work all ahoo - the good country on the verge of a solid-gold cunt taking control - what can you do? the silverman crew in camas not too early in the morn, me emerged from my overnight couch-nap n' crawling in w/ a bit of a cloud-fuck hovering over my head the typical chuckles n' cheerful banter backed with chutzpah as we wandered back east through the growing wind n' wicked glowing snow, not knowing what is adling toward us all (and eager) yarg, the ranger in the lot, w/ the all too familiar yack-yack-yack the corner was the call, and the walk down had me all grinning - snow the whole way, my boots fortuitously in the car, and a snow-pole too curious indeed - can't recall the last time i tumbled towards the corner in this late winter season n' was skunked by some new comers, but sure as shit, there they were - battle-ground bryan n' his boi cluster-fucking their way up the rather wintry first pitch - i cracked open a beer n' waxed philosophic, but my crew grew cranky, and soon we were on the tracks n' headed west for a true circumnavigation the labyrinth was the call, on the logical assumption the east wind would be more merciful on the west side, though it wasn't - we wound our way there n' kicked in our place among the snow and the oak - kyle carried us up there as we froze n' fretted, then we continued our hill ascent through the cluster-fucked cold n' fuckered off west to near the boat launch had a beer n' some failed-fire laffs, then some redneck hijinx in the snowy parking lot, then that was it - the day done amidst the wreck of dogs n' burgundy n' bitter embers of this unctuous underworld... 6/18 - jeebus, 6 months in the can and only my 2nd climbing trip to beacon for this foul year of our lord, 2017 fadder's day morning dawned foul in more ways than i care to cofvefe - mike gave me the big head-fake, biking bound for cape horn - so just geoff instead - the plan to get some jugging laps in to make tower more tolerable - he leads stone soup 1 while i contemplate the hms haunted house of my life burning to the water-line and just how wonderful maybe that might be had fun tearing out 500 yards of police tape from the general vicinity of the parking lot ledge - didn't quite get it all - don't understand why whoever take down the old fixed line from the ledge as it would have made that enterprise much easier... summer's here, squamish the plan for next week, assuming the canuckistani's allow us passage 7/19 n' 7/26 - lapz 1 n' 2 - back from hated virginia on a long flight made slightly less painful by sitting in the emergency row - i said i'd help, but secretly i planned to leave all those foolz behind at the first hint of danger the first lap an exploration in just how creaky i've become - hot and sunny but fun, my feet not always cooperating the way they're supposed too - afterwards i hiked the cape horn trail circuit w/ a few beerz n' ended up w/ wierd blisters after weeks of inactivity in the sultry south, air-conditioned bound and beer-dependent the second lap a day after a long run after a long time of not running - jesus, how does this world work? panting n' perspiring after each pitch, i made my way from shade to shade, then went out to battle ground lake for a long, lazy swim 7/28 - day 5 - lap 3 been running and swimming lately a good bit more than usual and feeling wicked sluggish perhaps as the result, panting from pitch to pitch, wondering what the fuck happened to the old me? 3 little terrors in just 30 minutes today - the first a scotched scorpion, just a few feet up the start, mayhap placed by some malicious fool to put fear into the heart of the mortals - the third a fattish snake snug-deep in the finger crack on the first step of pitch 3 - and the middle the oddest of all, going to pull the 2nd crux of the slab pitch, right where you lie back above one pin to get to the place where you can clip the last one and scoot around and up to the tree ledge - caught my right short leg on the pin, and promptly my pants shot down, making further movement uphill impossible but just as difficult in the other direction, and suddenly i was on the verge of being found dead w/ only my drawers between me n' dignity - my first instinct was just to pull through, but it was a bad one, and w/ a bit of a whimper i had to half-reverse the move, hanging off of just one hand, to get shit unsnagged n' the situation resolved 7/31 -day 7, lap 4 - volunteered to do some camp counseling w/ the fam this week for reasons passing understanding (well, not really - who doesn't like money?) - a humogoniod heat-wave in the offing starting tomorrow, so soon after we concluded i hit beacon as the south face passed into the shade - jimbo n' sal bandying w/ babes below cruise'n, i paused to soak in the ambiance n' let the heat break a bit the scorpion n' snake from the other day have fled the scene - i hiked my hoe-boi shorts way up above my belly-button to avoid the other awful thing the river's nice n' cool n' slow now, allowing a most pleasant soak n' paddle after the pleasantries n' the festivities 8/1 - day 8, lap 5 95 degrees fahrenheit at the skamania mart n' just 4:20 - seemed a moral necessity to stop n' splash in the blissful cool of the columbia for a long bit so that's what i did, after a capital shit in the class-a crappers down by the launch - cast across the channel w/ a pbr stuck in my pocket, n' after just a few short minutes i was across n' basking in the curious conditions, captivated by the sight of beatards abounding all over the recently shade-clouded column soon enough the other side again n' it was up n' over - kevbone maybe on jills? some mike-dude solo n' on a cool creep w/ a rope - i'd seen him alone toproping above big ledge from the island, n' by the time i was on grassy ledges he was down soling the corner to the top of warriors, intent on fixing a line n' going swimming too the fading light in the torrid heat - home only a sanctuary of sorts - how do these pale things persist in seeming perpetuity? 8/3 - day 9, lap 6 STEM camp w/ kiddos n' at closing time it was 101 in the shade and i questioned my decisions as i headed beacon-ways, w/ heavy smoke in the skies and the suddenly thick-scene steadily growing ever thicker under the high gorge walls a lovely sea-lap to start as i waited for the heat to break - paddled out to the island n' up n' over to just below the base, where i sucked on a brew n' watched a gang of fools frolicking all over the hazy stone back at the dock bantering w/ the fisher-folk when adam sauntered down w/ his lovely wife and a new beacon belle - the ladies lazed in the water while we nattered about fuck-all over rolling rock n' i gained a certain respect for New Things then it was the lot itself and denali-dave done appeared out of the canadian cloud-smoke to cackle and crow about his crazy-thing - ole'boy's looking as shredded as a julienne salad these days - guess all that clean living n' anabolic steroids, sunflower sprouts n' beatard-parkour really is putting the zap on his head, i should cut meself off a slice started up the corner as a crew were rapping down from tree ledge n' the evening air started to seep in, the shadows growing ever longer - after two flawless ascents in a row, this one wasn't so much but i lived, so that's right - lolled around w/ andreu n' justin as they finished up uprising n' bumped again into dave soling up, n' adam n' the beacon-belle rapping down - a damned donnybrook down by the riverside n' revelry is everything, ain't it? life could get a lot worse than this lazy day, n' it likely will before too long 8/12 - day the tenth, lap the seventh - a week on the olympic coast w/ the homefolk, frolicking around lake quinalt - i swam the near 2 mile width and felt like a space traveler for a good long while - back in time saturday for adam's shindig in the shadow of beacon - w/ rain on the way after 2 months w/o, i figured to get my lap in before the festivities as there was fuck-all chance of getting another in the morning bbq n' mojitos, taco dogs n' pretty girls, the gusts of fall upon our faces in the darkness - climber films n' classic bullshitting, nattering w/ the olde guard - guitar picking n' gut-sides splitting 8/16 - day XI, lap VIII 3 days of negotiations n' seemingly endless nattering in the midst of dogdamned summer and still no salami? firfuksakes, a man needs to blow off some steam... the lot near 3 - rumors of alex honnold in the neighborhood but preferring bulo's pt for reasons beyond reason - ran into steve n' adam n' levi instead on grassy ledges and had a chuckle-chuckle at the duckblind - they tucked down tourist attraction soon thereafter and i wandered over to the river for a lonesome swim - nearly a good mile circuit in the channel there, and almost all in water w/ great visibility and interesting things to stare at while doing the endless stroke-stroke - arrived at home to find my wet drawers n' shirt still on the top of the ride, miraculously still present after a near-hour drive 8/18 - day 12 beacon w/ the brother-in-law, he in town for the great eciltopcalypse of 2017 - he's never climbed shit so i thought have him play around on rhythm method to suss it out, then maybe shove him on to the corner had a ball n' some beers n' enjoyed the capital sun - the corner didn't totally work out but jim was there to gavreet w/ for a bit n' i at least got meself a half-chubbie - afterwards it was the lake w/ the clan n' some pizza n' early 2 bed to be in redmond in time for the world to go away 8/23 - day 13, lap 9 the first dying gasp of summer, clouds about and occasional rain drops, temps in the 70s - an easy climb of the corner, past a crew that probably woulda been happier if'n i weren't there - someone seemed to think we needed a bolt at the very top of the se corner but left the pin - can't say i totally agree but whateva cool temps n' breezy by the dockside so just had a quick splash out to the island n' back fork - the summer's dead in a few days 8/24 - day 14 crazy day meeting new hires at work - 2 former students now teachers themselves - unsettling news of another one now in jail for a decade for shit that just ain't right adam n' steve fucking around on a recently much renovated local access/reasonable richard - jugged a lap to warm up, then top-roped them both while chit-chatting w/ jim n' sal n' generally enjoying a lovely, breezy, cool, late-summer day a little bird on the way home zigged, then zagged, n' in the end splatted itself on my wind-shield - i suppose even the very wise cannot always find the right way 8/29 - day 15 horrible news last week - the powderhund bryan is busting loose from pdx n' heading south to san franny to get his ghey on - setting up a permanent residence down there w/ his special lady-friend in the land of the cork-soakers - sigh... one last climb i suppose before i start hitting him up to drive us to yosemite for spring break crazy hazy w/ gaudy fire-smoke in the gorge - couldn't hardly see across the columbia did the middle-aged warriors route, scooting around the other folk clogging up the lower 3 pitches - good times n' bad beer - couldn't help but notice the new bolt for the route off grassy ledges is sucking all kinds of suckers off the 4th pitch into a place of pain... shit n' shinola, seems like school is back in full effect in six faqh'n days 8/31 - day 16, lap 10 last day till it gets real work - blissfully simple end to the warm-up week - pale ale and an easy ambulation out - crowds on the corner - jim n' shit - blitzed up n' then back to family bidness heat wave coming - thinking the pierce island swim'n'circumnav is the order of the day 9/8 - day 17, lap 11 the world turned upside down, the weak turds discouraged by the Great Eagle Crick Cook-Up of 2017 - 4 days after the big burn began, the Lords of Beacon re-opened the park so i scooted in to see what was still standing despite the rumors of raging destruction, both sides of the gorge look good enough - oregon still smoking away of course, and the archer mtn sizzle continues, but 14 was clear, if a little traffic choked, and sunbreaks even showed here and there, a bit startling after a week solid of a sad, orange sun hardly able to scowl down on us in it's late summer-glory beatard itself like the great n' querulous Khaleesi, totally unburnt despite the dangers close aboard - the local boys out in full force - adam n' dave n' steve, their homes still standing, undaunted n' undying, crawling all over the south side n' uncrying bits of burnt debris all over, lifted up from the oregon side i'm sure after a flight thousands of feet up - seems 99% of it all was well out by the time it settled, but that 1% was clearly a bitch lotza new bolts on the wall of the sport-boys there by blade-runner - looks to be getting some activity n' that's fine by me - the welcome table is well when it is widely set gut-lafz n' giggles w/ the crew up on snag ledge - we banter a bit before they all go away, then i bound up to grassy ledges for a beer and a bit of determined gazing at the gaudy scene before me - smoke rising east, north, south, n' west - fire clearly ragin up every canyon south of the river - chinooks cruising past w/ water buckets - hueys dully chopping away at the air like its doomed saigon in spring oddly, train traffic un-interrupted on both sides of the river, even though on the south side the track wends in n' out of 84, which is closed to all the trail down totally quiet, not a hiker in sight - the archer mountain smolder quite clear in the near horizon - the high-pitched whine of a generator somewhere close by, i assume powering some omnipotent attempt by humble humans to tame tumultuous nature i was careful not to trammel the sweet-green mantis feeding on the tawny grassy ledge - we are all Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, and so Judgement is not just now in our own best interest, got it? 9/9 - day 18 another burning day in the gorge, this one a bit gusty, so the fires bloomed as the wind blew passed out by 9 the night before - adam said he wanted a solid sleep in, so when i awoke at 5 i had little choice but to get a pre-dawn drunk on in order to nap again before leaving at 11 cool n' breezy, the first day of climbing in pants since squamish in june - the eagle-creek sizzle continued unabated though, w/ the frantic all-day dance of the hueys a constant fucking reminder pipeline - adam did it fine while i fucked around w/ my belay book - "the barbarous years" - turns out them early colonists were kinda cock-suckers afterwards we ambled up jensens first pitch n' then did some scrubbing n' fumbling on red ice - i did such a infelicitous job on tr that poor adam said fuck it... spitting rain by cape horn on the drive out, then pouring by camas - could be the cure for our recent calamity? 9/13 - day 19, lap 12 the hump day dispensed, the air clear n' coolish, i eschewed a long swim in favor of a hootenanny out beacon-way - columns of smoke billowing into the balmy sky, 84 still closed, crowds of cars pouring out of the gorge on the washington side as i breeze eastwards, eager to see the waning summer survive a bit longer bill coe leaving cryptic messages on jim's rambling ride - jim n' sal n' adam n' a foreign-speaking feller at the bottom of rhythm method - some good gavreeting - tried to put on sal's harness for a lap but it was silliness indeed, n' i wasn't so keen to climb-up n' climb-down w/ just a bow-line about me beer-gut the corner alone then - a good crisp wind to go w/ - a lovely lady following young warriors pitch 3 n' a bit of bantering, then bounding up again w/o interruption (i busted my lap-beer w/ the boys, so no need to tarry) an easy orbit back - life's too easy - i fear the turning of the page... 9/14 - day XX, lap XIII an awful n' orange sky as i plied east, intent on planing down the passions that do accumulate eagerly from time to time over the drip-drip of a day limpid air, high clouds, the slow smoke seemingly w/ nowhere to go, it just sits there sullenly in the great valley - the choppers thud away, doing the dance of the valkyrie, dumping their loads n' limping away - time stands still beacon all in a hush, the lot forlorn, i head out under a surreal sky - the base and a half-beer, i banter w/ a cute couple and crawl away upwards - the ledge, the slab, the ramp, another ledge again, no sights to be seen well across the way to the oregon side - obvious bands of dead trees, mostly well above the highway - extensive cutting above 84, bright white stumps marking the passing of the primal scurge cameron n' his comrade who's name for chrissakes i can't recall (i spent a good time scratching my head to summon cameron's back to mind afterall) - they done w/ young warriors, we wound our way together up the final ridgeline, n' had a good laugh at the shiny new belay bolt at the top already having been disassembled, the rock-dust from the drilling not even having had time to be washed away before it was dispatched back in the lot, an amazing site - some guitar-playing fool going damn near 60 n' westbound suddenly flew into the ditch, bouncing viciously in the rubble, rubbing up against the stony hillside, rolling nearly 180 onto his backside before bashing back into the main thoroughfare, the bottom of his ride clearly ripped out and his beer certainly spilled don't worry, he came to rest, quite crucified, broken body n' spirit, in the beacon rock ranger parking lot - i'm unsure his trials n' tribulations were at an end... 9/16 - day 21 - laps 14-15 the day begun after delicious sleep, the air so lively and cool now, the fan thudding away in the darkness, dispersing the humid demons of late first it was climbing w/ ben, then it wasn't, then it was again, and then i simply said fukit n' headed out alone, figuring something would shape up great gusts of wind, the smoke blowing wildly - lines of traffic though 84 is half open now - limited visibility - st. peter's dome like a looming demon, perfectly outset from the cliff behind, spectral, silent, wrapped in clouds of smoke though it was a good n' gloomy drive, ozone was packed and beacon too - topher n' tim on blood, sweat n' smears, struggling but not quite brought to tears - one lap up the corner, then two, the second pausing atop flying swallow to watch the action below big ledge n' enjoy some beerz big rain on the way - i'm over the surreality of these recent smoky weeks - hoping for a great soak to chase away the cloud-murk, then indian summer for as long as it can be sustained 9/22 - day 22, lap 16 my autumnal ambitions of beyond the dreams of wildest avarice paid off in spades - the corner a treasure trove of wondrous delights, my eyes as wide as The Dude when he's just checked in to see what condition his condition was in - manna from heaven just kept falling from all around muthafuckers - lord how i love the complete fucking amateurs hereabouts rick n' steve n' a Right Olde Hollee Shit of a hootenanny soon thereafter - ole'rick's looking a tad too thin, we gotta feed him some corn-beef n' cabbage n' get'em back thick - blood red sky on the slow crawl back, the sun divided today in even bits, how i hope i shall survive to see the other side... 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