Nachoclaws resting against a tree at Lost in Space. Image by @mikeloudman
More than yelling at nesting raptors, stomping on native plants, or even littering, my favorite part of climbing outdoors is recklessly assuming I know the story behind the names of boulder problems. I can see the Hulk’s face in the Happy Boulder, even though I’m certain Peter Croft just indiscriminately names everything ‘The (Incredible) Hulk.’ Clearly ‘Go Granny Ho‘ was FA’d by someone’s strong, slutty grandmother. We spent the last half of June and first half of July orbiting Lake Tahoe, and in the Lost in Space area, I found a project called ‘The Gerbiler.’ Deciphering the meaning of that name took exactly as long as figuring out how to start the problem. It’s a roof in a dirty, wet, mosquito-filled cave, so I thought, “Hey, gerbils are rodents, this is a gross cave…?” That didn’t make a whole lot of sense so I gave it up for the moment, assuming there was an inside joke I would someday be in on. While I was having trouble starting the problem someone yelled, “Feet first!” They were joking, but that always sounds fun, and I wasn’t getting anywhere going head first, so why not?