The Burdo Zone


Thursday, October 16, 2008


While September is my favorite month for all-around climbing appreciation, October is my time to "get serious" and focus on harder routes, especially hard projects. With daytime temps in the 50's here in Mazama, the holds are sticky and the air is alive with energy. Routes that would spank me a few weeks ago when collecting thermal capacity are now within the realm of reason, and it is like I suddenly have superpowers.

My current project is a new variation of the "Woof" mega-traverse route of last year, "The Easy Way Out". In this case, 80 feet of continuously overhung (to the point of near-inversion) cave-ambulation leads to a serious and dramatic bouldering pull of the front edge of the roof onto the headwall. As of yesterday I have linked major sections of the route and this weekend I plan to begin redpoint attempts.

The "beta" of movement engrams is now becoming wired into my subconscious, and I am now feeling "embedded" in the midst of a journey that may play out in a matter of days, or weeks, or not at all (it would take some really bad luck). Regardless of the outcome, the trip is worth every bit of energy and time I spend on it as reality seems to bend to meet the dreams I have harbored in my mind and heart for the decades of my climbing career. That this is a first ascent, a new creation in the choregraphed compendium of stone, makes the the wonder of it all that much more intense.

All the year I have been building for this, consciously or not. Now is the time to find my place on the cresting wave.

Photos from last weekend (10/14), courtesy of Jenn Quattrocchi:

10/19/08 update: A glorious day in Paradise highlighted by the good omen of finding a stray pink and white sheep/cat (stuffed toy) in the parking lot. Melissa says cat, Simon says sheep, I say "shat". The omen is fulfilled with my redpoint of "Out Of Control" hard 12d (new rating with missing foothold at the roof lip)...The Proj is latent of culmination...maybe omenized by a "Birds Of Surinam" coloring book on the trail next time?