Saturday, December 31, 2011

Poemish thing about climbing

Late night out, sleeping in, slow start, the hiss of the gas stove turning on, the whistle of the tea kettle, the smell of coffee in the cold morning air

Gear in packs, water, food, and the car is running towards Oak Creek

Feet are hiking, muscles tense, brains waking, Sedona knowledge urges us not to try to go straight towards the climb

Winding in and out of Juniper cities, up slabs, and through sharp prickly desert locals

At the base, stoked, more coffee, water, clicking gear attached to harnesses, rope uncoiled like a snake

First steps onto the rock as awkward muscles remember

Soon movement is smooth, methodical, and spiritual

Delicately floating up rounded ledges, cracks, and bands of fossils from long ago

Runout on ancient sand dunes hardened by time

Surrounded by dark red castles, submarines, valleys, fresh air, blue sky, and exposure

Deep breaths and confidence sent up the rope by a good partner

Getting a piece in above the runout, deep breaths, and loud whoops

Hearing the same from your climbing partner

On the top of the world, high fives, hugs, disbelief, we are truly lucky

Rope goes through rings, on rappel, surrounded by air once again, descending slowly

Feet on the dirt once again, ropes pulled, ropes come down, time for a victory beer

PBR has never tasted so good, except since the last time

Hiking out with the eyes constantly trying to focus on the fading bright orange alpenglow on the rocks

Smelling the desert as it cools, jabbering like first graders, smiles big

Coming back up the switchbacks in evening light, tired, stoked, and reflective

Being wrecked the next morning sitting drinking coffee editing pictures and writing

Going back to work on Monday with the delicate hangover from weekend climbing

Seeing folks in the gym who are equally as stoked, sharing stories, sharing beta, planning for the next weekend.


  1. I like your poem, Jake ! What a beautiful day. So nice to feel tired in your bones but light and reflective in your gaze.

    1. Thanks!!! Didn't really know anyone but people I knew were reading this. Glad you liked it!