Rock Climbing Philosophy

We haven’t been climbing much since Sophie was born, but the latest Patagonia catalog had a bunch of interesting interviews and passages that reminded me why we used to climb.

From Henry Barber, who climbed barefoot, without chalk, in Eastern Europe in the 1970s, with knotted slings instead of high-tech pro — gear that he still uses:

Climbing these great routes in a minimalist style made me realize I could accomplish much more with less in all areas of my life…. Climbing is the only place in my life where I experience true simplicity…. the goal was to always have a day where I wasn’t sure of the outcome.

And from Lynn Hill, who concludes her book Climbing Free by declaring that rock climbing, for her,

has become a vehicle for evolving as a person, learning about the world, and sharing those experiences with others.

Stuff like that makes me miss our rock-climbing friends: Andre, Leah, Jeannie, Malcolm, Andrew, Corinna, Jonathan, Eric-Bubbles, all the people I have trusted my life to on cliff-faces. And all the beautiful places we have been. Andre’s photos are here.

UPDATED TO ADD: here’s my own philosophizing about rock-climbing with a two-year-old.


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