Friday, November 26, 2010

The Handsome Cover Model

I baked a vegan apple pie, a regular apple pie, a sweet potato pie, a ham, and then helped with the turkey, the food prep, and the cleanup of a meal for 17-20 rock climbers in Bishop. Well, Kim did half the work. I can't take credit for all of it.

Between the truffles and the pie, Eric said, "So, you're on the cover of the new Rock & Ice and you haven't even sent the route that you were on."

"Nope," I replied. I tried Bob Jensen's Easter Island 5.12c/d on Phobos Deimos Cliff in Toulumne three times but quit when I tore a huge flapper in my finger. "But I can always go back to the route and send it. And if I don't," I looked at Eric, "I'll still be on the cover."

I figured Eric was a little jealous. Everyone wants to be on the cover of a magazine. The reality is that your friends will give you shit and the only people in your fan club will be 30 year old dudes. Climbers are an insecure lot. Yesterday, Kim and I went to Rio's Crack to try the v6 boulder problem. I thought it would climb like a crack with finger locks. I thought I would crush it. I thought wrong. Whatever. An Asian girl from the bay, started spraying as soon as we got there.

"Well, I've been working on 9s and 10s for the past few months but haven't done this one because it's really hard," she tossed her hair back. "I've done Flyboy sit (I was supposed to know that was V8), and High Plains Drifter (I was supposed to know that was V7) and this thing is really hard. I'm just trying to wrap up the lower grade problems that I haven't done."

She reeked of insecurity. I had an immediate desire, not to offer encouragement or support, to start posturing. "These moves are totally harder than the ones on Big Baby (a 5.11 offwidth in Inidian Creek Utah), and the Westie Face of Leaning Tower (a 5.13 bigwall in Yosemite)." I didn't say that though because she wouldn't understand whatI was talking about. A more appropriate response would have been, "I've been on the cover of Martha Stewart's Home living, and I totally won the chess tournament the US government sponsored in Russia last year, I don't know why I can't do this problem!" Instead I didn't say anything.

Let people deal with their own insecurities and I'll deal with my own.


J V said...


Scott said...

It's impressive the way your entries/articles tear down features of the climbing community (albeit annoying ones) by the dozen. And I agree with what you say about spraying habits - everyone's expected to know everything about the famous boulder problems or sport routes, but you start mentioning anything the least bit out of the way and you get blank looks.

Isaac Howard said...

Super true. Almost everyone wants to be famous or thought of as famous. The truth is people don't become famous by accident. Very recognizable people in any discipline have put themselves there by playing the right games, knowing the right people, by working very hard and being very lucky (which can be a very tricky thing to do). Our culture currently makes people think some very strange things, (i.e reality t.v, climbing magazines/movies etc.) Become what you do and the security of your ego is moot.