My life seems to be flowing away, from the mountains to the sea. It's been a nice journey-bucolic at times, but now it seems to be turning into the last rendition of Blade Runner-a confused story with lots of product placement. Beware the Ides of March.
Wheres my climbing shoes, bare foot climbing is not all its cracked up to be.
Confession part one, I am a very big nerd!
Confession two, I don't like boots and shoes, I love them for what they can do.
Without boots I can climb certain 6bs on face climbs, that's really it. I don't climb crack without shoes, I promised myself never to suffer that degree of pain unless it was with a pretty domiatrix, crack climbing bare foot is a hell of pain. Boots, or shoes are climbing to me. The better the shoes the harder I climb, the kinder the shoes to my feet, the longer I enjoy that special pleasure of movement. I have more climbing shoes, diving fins, running shoes, ice climbing boots than anybody on the planet, I take them very seriously.
When I help people climb I spend a few minutes talking about climbing shoes, and I then ask them to remember what I have said as I take them climbing. Most climbers think hands and fingers, as they climb.As they climb harder they worry about foot holds, and shaking off the holds, you start to ask your boots to stick, or edge, or to get further in that pocket. Good boots really help. A good fit really helps. Understanding your requirements, the rocks requirements, and where those bones in your feet that support your weight, and stick to the rock are fundamental to success. Please take boots seriously.
I used to climb dangerous 7b in really bad shoes, with rubbish gear, god only knows how good I was, because today if you gave shoes like that, I would be in hospital. I climbed the Eiger in mountain boots which weighed four times what a modern mountain boot can. Take boots, and how they fit you seriously.
Climbing shoes are to me like the ones that nimble Greek God Mercury wears, he has little wings at the back, and allow him to be a bit super human. Be nice to your shoes, place them with care, exactly right, press the rubber into the rock, engage the rubber-it will stick, push on your wonderful godlike fully graceful body, which is in harmony with the rock, succeed -fly.
If I can bore you just a bit longer, when I free dive, after 18 meters depth I normally don't have to fin, or swim, you glide through the water propelled by your negative buoyancy, and some impetuous. This "glide" is one of the most incredible things in my life, I used to get it running, I used to get it trudging up mountains, and I still get it rock climbing when my body and feet propel me through mysterious rock with magical ease. So guys get those winged feet.