While I was driving from NC to CA with my friend Val in August we stopped at Shakespeare Ghost Town outside of Lordsburg in southwest New Mexico on I-10. Out of dumb luck we arrived just in time for a tour, which only happen on 2 days out of every month.
Went up a big rock yesterday with Conor. The day ended up being much colder than we anticipated due to a constant 40mph (or so) wind.
I discovered that a camera of mine I thought was broken works as long as I don’t use the zoom.
Warning: the following captions contain some climbing jargon that can be hard to decipher if you aren’t familiar with climbing-specific vocabulary.
Recently I was lucky enough to spend some time in the desert of Utah with an ever-changing group of lovely people.
Here is a quote from the introduction of Marcus Aureluis’ ‘Meditations’, a book my mother sent me before I left.
Lead me, Zeus and Destiny, withersoever I am appointed to go. I will follow without wavering; even though I turn coward and shrink, I shall have to follow all the same.
Here are a few pictures from the drive down.
Victory around 2pm. Al tried to get me to go back out with him and get another one but I was too cozy and tired in the cab of the truck for movement.
Ballot initiative I-166 establishes a state policy that corportations are not entitled to constitutional rights because they are not human beings
Yesterday Conor, Tess, Steve and I went out to Kootenai Canyon. I was proud of myself for getting to the top of Venus deMilo, at 5.11d my hardest route attempted on lead ever.
Also, on Saturday I did my first rope solo in Lolo with Conor. Rope-soloing means you are using a rope to protect your falls but no one is belaying you. I think I might be a fan.
3 days outside with my friend Brian and his dog Max. These are from the first day, where we camped at Rainbow Lake.
I am exhausted and I need to pack but all I want to do is think about the climb we did today. My friends Cole and Peter put it up a while back. Destined to be a classic.
*** Edit: I took a 40+ foot fall on this route ***
While leading the 4th pitch I climbed past an orange TCU to a good rest and thought about putting another piece in. The climbing was in a finger crack where you could pretty much protect wherever you wanted to.
I could see another good stance after a few more moves and thought I would be able to make it and so I just kept climbing, a mistake I hope never to repeat.
The next moves involved liebacking on an edge that was less positive than it looked from below, a bit of lichen, some bad footwork by me, and a bush.
I remember thinking “I really need to get my feet higher” and I popped off without warning. The TCU was in a flaring crack and came out with what felt like zero resistance. My next piece was a #3 camalot 8-10′ below the TCU which held.
While falling I had time for a bit of swearing and a thought similar to “Why haven’t I stopped yet?” The climbing was vertical enough that the fall was clean, which was extremely nice.
While driving to Mill Creek in the morning I remember talking with Conor about the idea that if you end up with a marginal piece of protection in you definitely need to be mindful that it is marginal. After I put that TCU in, for whatever reason, I didn’t give it another thought.
I could tell after I fell I had done something to my hand, but it didn’t seem that bad at the time and I finished the pitch.
The next day it was swollen and I thought I might have hit it on something and broken it. A week afterwards it was still a bit swollen (not discolored at all) and sore and I decided to get it x-rayed. Fortunately, nothing was broken.
From when I can gather I tweaked to my A1 pulley and maybe A2 as well in my pointer finger.
At the hospital they said I had ‘trigger finger’ caused by repetitive motion, but I know it happened when I fell.
From this article
Imaging is used to grade pulley injuries on a scale developed by Schoffl et al.4 Grade 1 injuries are pulley strain with no bowstringing. Grade 2 injuries include complete A4 pulley rupture or partial rupture of A2 or A3, while grade 3 lesions involve complete ruptures of the latter. Multiple ruptures or single ruptures combined with lumbrical or collateral ligament trauma are grade 4 lesions.
Injuries graded 1 through 3 are initially treated conservatively, while grade 4 lesions are treated surgically.
Conservative management consists of rest, ice, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. No evidence-based guidelines exist as to how long climbing should be avoided, but generally the prognosis for these injuries is excellent. In fact, conservative treatment has been shown to result in no long-term strength deficit and a return to normal climbing levels within one year, even in cases of complete single pulley ruptures.