What Goes Up Must Come Down
Around the halfway point of multi-pitch climb in Harper's Ferry, WV, first climbing up, and then, inevitably rappelling down.
Dirtbag Days: Live to Float
Driving home from another day of indoor lead,
I notice some leftover chalk from my nails
land on the leather of my steering wheel cover. I thought
I’d washed it all off, but the water-
This is the first time it hasn’t rained on my way home from
climbing all week. I guess after I’m done passing
the wheel cover’s thread through each of my nails
to get out the rest of the chalk, I should
roll down the window.
At the stoplight, I take turns stretching out
each arm. As I pull back my fingertips,
fiery claws try to take my muscles
but I don’t let them. The pain feels good, and it’s
funny to see my veins pop out so far.
My right hand takes the wheel as my left comes up above to
hold the roof of the car outside the window.
The wind that passes through the sleeve of my shirt
feels nicer than imagined. My right hand
is in charge of directing every pound of this vehicle,
but that doesn’t stop it from seceding into its
natural state. It finds that shallow opening between
3 and 5 on the wheel and meticulously stacks my right thumb,
the fatter of the two, creating a beautiful hand jam.
my left hand latches on to the thinly raised edge
that runs the length of the car roof on each side. It’s only
something like two-eighths of an inch,
and yet I feel as if I’m being lifted out of my seat.
Maybe there’s pressure on the wheel. There must be.
But no, that’s pressure on the wheel.
Slab of Granite
Following a trail
To be dwarfed by
a slab of granite,
And overlook the beauty
of the Mother's work...
After strapping up, I give my hands a solid clap.
Clouds of white.
My knuckles hurt and my hip shouldn’t have bent that way.
But it’s a game of inches.
The muscles in my arms are trapped in a tight cage.
They’re plotting an explosive escape.
I’ve worked so hard just to reach my fingertips over this sloper.
And now they’re slipping.
One by one, the past draws blur through my eyes.
Big Wall Romance
New fiancees Sebastian and Halie take a moment to check
each other's knots before sending the next pitch; backs turned
to the Potomac and Susquehanna rivers.
Earth Treks (Above the Void)
Working up hold by hold,
Rising up fall by fall,
To stand above the void...
Self Portrait atop a single pitch crag in Badheilbrunn, Germany-
an easy warm-up route.
A Day in the Life- the Grind Never Stops
A climbing-based camp in Philmont Scout Ranch, NM.
Rappelling can be a climber's favorite time-
or his most deaded. The symbol of a job
well done and the end of the day. Multi-pitch
rappelling provides me more opportunities
as a photographer, as I don't have to
be actively climbing or belaying; I can
just sit back and shoot. Like this shot of a full
harness- tape and everything.