Dither Me This #10: Seasons

Yesterday was the longest day of the year, the summer solstice. The sun lagged longer in the sky and higher than any other time of the year. There is something to be cherished about having such long days: the ability to go on 7PM bike rides, nearly mandated by the heat. In part, as a consequence of all of this photon energy, all of us in the mountains are treated to a flourish of water making way from the high peaks to the canyons and valleys below, eventually to the sea, adding a little more salt to the brine, picked up along the way. … More Dither Me This #10: Seasons

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Dither Me This #8: Honnold

What’s the point in posting about rock climbing anymore? Alex Honnold already free soloed El Capitan! You’ll never do anything that cool and no one will ever be as impressed. I sent a 12c yesterday. It was a sport climb with a bunch of safe bolts that caught my numerous falls before I finally pulled it off. But Honnold free solos 5.13! … More Dither Me This #8: Honnold

Dither Me This #7: Breathe

“Breathe Patrick. Come on Patrick, please. Don’t hold your breath. Don’t. No. No. No Patrick…” then I’d pass out, go limp in her arms – my mother on the brink of panic watching her toddler refuse to cry by holding his breath instead. I don’t remember doing it, but she would tell me these stories among others, how she’d have to take me to the hospital in the middle of the night when my asthma got too bad, when the albuterol wouldn’t work. … More Dither Me This #7: Breathe

Dither Me This #6: Risk

I step hesitantly across the catwalk, trying not to glance down into the ice-coated gorge. My steps are wobbly, partly because of the mountaineering boots, but more so, terror. I’m offered a rope as we descend a narrow iron ladder to secure it to my climbing harness in case I become apprehensive about falling deep into this yawning cavern. Sweat drenches my woolen undershirt. The inch-long barbed crampons make balancing… … More Dither Me This #6: Risk

Dither Me This #2: Wind

It’s been windy here lately. Last weekend, while climbing on the Bastille in Eldorado Canyon, dirty particles beat into my eyes with such fervor and consistency that I couldn’t keep them open. The calls from my partner below were washed warbles, even though I was only 20 feet off the ground. I was cold. Unless I locked off and pressed my stomach flat against the wall, the invisible force would pry me off, howling high across the rocky outcrops and flooding my ears. … More Dither Me This #2: Wind

We Are the Walls

The author in Yosemite. Photo by Brian Kimball We Are the Walls by Sara Aranda Morning light     mountain flake balance of granite     and us and our feet     delicate, malleable hands— how they trace stone walls better than the sky. We’ve come to know another language of incomprehensible body     a dialogue of skin and blood. We … More We Are the Walls