posted by limit
You know all those sports highlights, where some ball wielding superhero comes through and in a flash of glory sinks a three pointer AND draws a foul with .2 seconds left of a 4 point game? Buzzer Shots. The only reason to watch sports. And awesome. Unless you’re one of the three climbers who makes a living comp climbing, you probably never get to experience this in climbing life.
Or so I thought. Today is January 31st which means that tomorrow is February 1st which means that rapture closures go into effect at tons of climbing areas across the country1. I had a project at one of these eminently closing areas in Boulder Canyon at Blob Rock. Let me just state for the record that I have known that Blob rock closes February 1st since July. You know when the last time I was up there to try this project? Try November 20th. Now, I thought I was a bad procrastinator in College. Turns out I’m no different in the real world. Actually, I’m worse. I waited SEVENTY days to come back and try to send a route that is HARD for me, on the last possible day of the season. As I was hiking to up my route, I couldn’t help but feel like I was about to make a Hail Mary pass with seconds left in the Super Bowl.
Sure the timetable may be different. In football, it’s the tick tick tick of the play clock; in climbing it’s the slow, inexorable yet oddly casual flip flip flip of calendar pages. But just the same, the end sneaks up on you, you start wishing you had scored more points in the third quarter or at least played better defense. The next thing you know its 10 minutes till sundown, a cold gale force wind has kicked up and started swinging the quickdraws upside down and spewing your chalk out and around like the wake of a ship on the north sea in the throes of a nor’easter..
That was my situation about two hours ago. But I decided to buck up, muster my go-go juice, summon my power animal, and go for broke. I thought for a second that I could feel like a hero, be like Michael Jordan, and seal the championship as the sun set and the crag closed. As it turns out, I choked. Now I’m holed up in Conner O’neills slaking my sorrows in the burned barley and frothy felicity that is a Murphy’s Stout.
But whatever. I’ll CRUSH that thing come next fall. In the meantime, I’ll be training and petitioning congress to officially designate January 31st as Buzzer Shot Day.
Honestly though, that sounds like a lot of work. I’ll probably do that…oh…I don’t know…NEXT week… or sometime. Right now, I’m buzzed and happy and hoping that all of you sent your Buzzer Shots.
- It turns out that raptors are large predatory animals. Up until a year ago, I thought climbing areas were getting closed for mating lizards that lived in the rocks like Pueblo indians. I think I watched Jurrasic Park too many times as a child.
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