Thursday, July 1, 2010

Post Numero Uno

Why "Climb and Punishment?"

It is the name of a climb, a 5.11 in the Gunks that I've never done, and given its difficulty, who knows, I probably never will.

The name has a certain ring to it that I like. It resonates with my professional life as a criminal defense attorney, although I have no intention of engaging in any law talk here.

It also seems appropriate to my rock climbing life:

I climb, and this blog is about climbing.

And climbing involves punishment, by its nature. It takes a physical toll, of course. I've discovered it also takes a mental toll. You climb, and sometimes it is all about sending and high-fiving. Other times you question your choices. You wonder about your limits. You take known risks, and some unknown. Later, if you think about it (and feel a responsibility to be around for your loved ones), you feel guilty about the risks you've taken that in hindsight seem unwise. You resolve to learn from your mistakes.

And then you go out and do it all over again.

I hope in this blog to think and write about some of these issues about which we climbers are always punishing ourselves.

Sounds awfully serious, doesn't it?

I also plan to do those fun things people typically do in climbing blogs. I will talk about climbs I do and trips I take. I will post pictures, talk about gear, and put up links to stuff I think is cool. And I will make general observations about the larger climbing scene.

I am a trad climber. I climb almost exclusively in the Gunks, where the moderates are numerous and the moderates are good. I am in my early forties and I began climbing in 2006. I am married, with two kids, and consequently I do not get out to climb nearly so much as I would like. Despite the fact that climbing often takes a back seat to the other events of my life, my climbing has progressed quite a bit, though I am still firmly mired in sub-5.10 trad leading. I have had fantastic days climbing, like the day I led both CCK and Bonnie's Roof, on-sight. I have had bad days, like the day I fell near the top of Insuhlation and broke my ankle. (I'm sure I'll write more on that subject.) Along the way, through good experiences and bad, I like to think I have accumulated a little knowledge, which we all know is a dangerous thing. So caveat emptor, reader.

I love climbing, and I love the Gunks. I live in NYC, but over the last few years I've come to feel like those cliffs in Gardiner are a spiritual home to me. Above all else, I hope in this blog to communicate why I love climbing so and why the Gunks are so special to me.

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