2014 GOALS

I look up to my bookshelf, which is currently occupied by climbing books. My collection of books has grown in the past year, not because I visited more climbing areas … but for the reason I am a nerd and I love buying books. In this PDF flooded age of eye squinting nonsense, I will always appreciate ink on paper.

SO my goal for 2014 is to attempt to visit every climbing guidebook area that is currently on my shelf. The areas I haven’t touched before are:
– Bishop sport/trad climbing
– Red Rocks sport
– Tuolumne Meadows
– Lake Tahoe Bouldering
– Big Chief Area
– Williamson Rock
– Horeseshoe Canyon
– NYC Bouldering

I have a bad habit of calling myself just a “boulderer”. The truth is, I still have a fear of ropes since I witnessed a friend falling in a bad trad accident. That was years ago, and I need to get over it. So time to mentally train! It’s going to be hard to push myself mentally, but I will try to deal with it instead of numbing through the conflict.

I’m getting psyched flipping thorough the pages of areas I have not climbed at before. Which makes me appreciate all the hard work the authors put in to each and every book. Your research, scoping, and willingness to share information is greatly appreciated by the entire climbing community and me. So thanks Louie Anderson, Robert Miramontes, John Long, Eric Hörst, Alan Moore, Tom Slater, and so many more.

Who else is down with me!?
Climb on.

-Natalie Duran

My Religion…

Spent this past Sunday paying homage to the rock Gods with a day up in Idyllwild, CA. This quaint little town is home to Suicide & Tahquitz Rock. It’s a mini-Yosemite with mutipitch trad, and “sh*t your pants” run out slab routes. I went back to revisit one of my favorite lines up in Suicide Rock, Flower of High Rank.

The night before, I took roll call for my gear. It’s always good to occasionally clean and check your gear as the lot. Sadly, for some reason one cordelette and a locker was missing from my lot.

Even though 70% of my climb time consists of bouldering, I still have an unreasonable passion for plugging gear. I will have to admit that I am in no way an alpine endurance athlete. The 40 minute uphill hike to the base kicked my butt. It has been a while since I was back in Idyllwild. So today after the hike I needed a full days rest to heal.

Earlier this year a good friend and climbing partner got in a really horrible trad accident, while I was belaying him. Thankfully he is now fully healed. Even though I wasn’t physically hurt, it was mentally shocking experiencing it. It took me a while to ease back into roped climbing. Yesterday was my first time back leading up with gear. I’ve done Flower of High Rank late last year, and cruised up the thing. This time was different. I definitely had a different mind set while leading. I was getting frustrated with myself taking hangs, but I just needed time to ease back into it all. Thankfully I didn’t hit any freak out moment where I had succumb to bailing out. Eventually I finished the pitches, and gained that feeling of passion I’ve been masking with fear for a while. Can’t wait to get back out there and lead more with them thar widget wedges.

Keep a right mindset & climb on everyone!

-Natalie Duran