This year I showed up to the Portland Boulder Rally (one of the better acronym’d events around) bright-eyed but broken-butted. Even though I couldn’t compete, this event has plenty of other draws.
Raffles: Our crew usually kills it at the raffle, and this is because we are good at raffles. How can you be good at raffles? By winning a bunch of them, doi, let’s stop asking me stupid questions.
Beer: Beer is fun to buy, but it is even more fun to sneak in in the stainless steel water bottles that come in our competitor goody bags. Also to spill on children to remind them that this world does not belong to them yet.
If you all haven’t figured it out already: I’m a reverse-bro. I train hard to have an intimidating thunder from down under six-pack, I date-raped my boyfriend into loving me, and I expect men to be pretty and smile all the time. There are about one billion other examples that I will maybe allude to as we journey together through this slightly humiliating blog post.
“Why are you a reverse-bro? Isn’t that unfair? Did you really date-rape someone? I hate you??”
First of all, yes*, of course I date-raped him, you think I’m some kind of fag? Get out of my way before I shove this Beast Ice down your throat. Secondly, yeah, reverse-broism is totes unfair. Counterpoint: so is institutionalized sexism, so… *shrug*. Lastly, I am a reverse-bro as a result of plate tectonics. Wait, no, that’s continents. I don’t know, it just happened subconsciously while I was growing up I guess. When I was a kid I would do things like get the boy’s toy in my happy meal at McDonald’s because I didn’t want to fit into a lame stereotype (also the girl’s toy always sucked).
Here is a list of slang words/climbing terms that I might use in this blog. To the dismay of some, I did not include anything about alpinism or ice climbing because I will never do those things. I included aid climbing even though I’ll probably never do that because I wanted to clear up the difference between free-climbing and free-soloing. In any case, let me know if you think there is a definition I should include that you do not see below, or if there is something you are curious about, or if you hate me and climbing and everything and I wrote it all wrong and am ruining your life.
There are legends, dark, yet compelling, that tell of a breed of curious, sinewy land-leviathans who once roamed these salty plains. With tails made of wire, eyes of broken glass, and hearts protected by tin sheaths, they were mysterious party animals. In fact, there was a cave they used to frequent and ceremoniously trash with bad graffiti, excrement, and beer bottles.
It was inside of this very cave where I found the boulder problem that became my summer project. Rumor has it this problem does have a name (Caveman v7), but my faith in humanity is preventing me from accepting that people are still naming cave problems Caveman, so I have dubbed it Lair of the Leviathan in humble tribute to the creatures whose sanctuary it was for so long.
As the river water soaks into my dirtbike boots and capillary actions itself all up into my wool socks, I feel the cold, familiar sting of The Wipeout. Unlike other rides, this is the first get off of the day so my hubris hasn’t been too marred in the wreck. Eli is waiting on the other side, and while trying to follow him across (well, into, upstream against the current, answer three riddles, fail, punch the troll, slight right up the steep loose bank of) the river, I slipped on a turkey-sized river rock. My bike looks pitiful lying in the water, and I’m embarrassed, so I quickly pick it up. Eli has rushed down and is helping me push the bike the rest of the way through the water. The bank encounter will be difficult, I realize, and shoo him away so I can just ride it out. A skeptical look is shot my way, I flop around on my bike looking like a rabid goblin, yank the throttle and make it out of the river alive. We are both impressed at this outcome.
Taco salad is a load of crap and if this were a decent world, when you ordered it what you would receive are Nachos.
There are no first ascents left in the world. Lizards have already done them all, and we are slime.
All photos that aren’t of you are just blank selfies!
If you poop in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, why did you even go to all the trouble?
Sharknado would have been slightly less unrealistic if it had been Crocnado instead, but it’s too late for that. Your happiness is your own responsibility, and the ever-dark lord has given you Sharknado 2.
Photo by Swiss Williamson, www.swisswilliamson.com
Despite the fact that real life is actually a video game, there are no cheat codes in rock climbing. OH, except one: Dynoing from the bottom to the top! Inside of any climb, you may use whatever beta suits you, and this is true at competitions, outdoors, everywhere. If you are short, you may have to use intermediate holds (like I am doing above) which adds extra moves, or resort to doing the standard moves which could be immeasurably harder for you. This is the situation I frequently find myself in, and it is not only not-cheating, but maybe more along the lines of playing Cruis’n World on the infamous “drunk as Hell in the arcade” difficulty setting.
Who wants a hot one?
After a long weekend of drinking hot beer and accidentally mashing a chocolate muffin all over my chicken nuggets, I remembered that I don’t totally love camping. What I do love is riding dirtbikes with 14 other women through the back roads of Central Oregon. I’ll put up with night-peeing in the cold and fighting my way out of sweaty pants inside my tent forever to go ride with these amazing people.
Learning to ride my dirtbike has been an intense journey frought with heat exhaustion and wipeouts. I’ve had a lot of street bikes over the years, and have always loved the freedom that comes with riding and maintaining my own motorcycle. Who doesn’t? So when I started dating Eli, who prefers riding off-road, I got my first dirtbike. It was a 1993 KDX250 which was too tall for me, had a 2-stroke motor that needed a new top-end, and the white hand of Saruman slapped on the rear fender. He would just take me riding wherever he wanted to go, figuring that I would pick it up quick and be able to keep up, because I am one of the Uruk-hai. So I would try with all my might to follow him and keep up, because I am one of the Uruk-hai, and supposedly a tough girl. Instead, I would do things like run into trees, burn myself on my exhaust header, fall entirely off of the trail and get stuck under a tree root, drop my bike 13 times in a row in the sand, get overheated, cry, try to take a G.D. break for one fucking second, lean my bike up against the Brown’s Camp sign but then tragically drop it and injure my shoulder somehow. Every ride was an incredibly physical battle, and I couldn’t understand how everyone else was so much better at it.
This is the difference.
Over the winter I got really good at cramming dildos onto overly full shelves, determining which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures had battle shells, and falling off of the last move of Seven Spanish Angels. It’s strange to think that after I stopped working in the Amazon warehouse that my tasks became MORE repetitive. Obviously I am exaggerating… of course I crammed more than 75 dildos onto a shelf, I’m a professional.
What happens to your mind after you have fallen off of the same thing 75 times though? What is the timeline of this failure? Is it longer than I will live?! Is it longer than I will be in Bishop for, anyway?
One of the underbosses throwing the LF by the pool.
This is the tale of my initiation and rise to the top of the Left Fork Pool Boyz gang. POOL BOYYYZ!
It all began on a rest day in Joe’s Valley. I was sitting by the river thinking about how shitty and ugly this slow-moving section was, when three big scary dudes walked up and started rearranging it with their fists. MAKE A POOL HERE. I joined in; a lot of gangs initiate you by beating you up, but we just spent almost an entire day moving one giant log. It was an initiation of will. The Pool Boyz became my family, and we had each other’s backs. Live by the pool, die by the pool.