Once a Year

Once, a group of 4 went rock climbing. Now almost, but not quite, a year later half that group went rock climbing again. What was at one time routine is now an annual pilgrimage to vertical walls not so far off.

Not exactly a morning crew

In this valley, during winter months, we'd climbed many feet of polished, princess cut, gemstone blue ice. Thoughts of ascending dry rock in months when the ground was covered in gray or red or yellow jagged scree, not unblemished white, had never before occurred.

While Alex Honnold may casually sprint up 500ft in minutes, we lingered for hours basking in the sun's Goldilocks warmth.

Ego would tell you that we climbed slowly by choice, however this would be a lie. We are out of practice. Apparently climbing rock once a year isn't a recipe that creates a fluidity of movement. We moved stiffly, clumsily. Graceful we were not.

Still though we enjoyed ourselves and did not regret being there, on that wall soaking in the sun. We joked about how sore we'd be in the coming days, using muscles long since asleep or at least unaccustomed to this sort of motion.

Our route wasn't THAT trivial. Loose rock abound. It wondered around, necessitating use of long earned but repressed experience to discover the next bolt pointing the way. Unpolished, uncut, but a gemstone none the less.


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