Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2nd #jtreetweetup

Well, the 2nd #jtreetweetup is behind us, and I'm struggling once more to put the experience into words... Yet, this year the aftertaste is distinctly different, for me.

Last year's tweetup was the first. It had been such a special experience that for me it felt fragile. I put it in a snow globe and refused to analyze it or write about it for fear of marring it. Every once in a while I was allowed to turn over the globe and make moon eyes at it.

This year's tweetup was similar yet different. The feeling of community was just as strong. It was just as amazing to meet or meet again the people in whose lives I'm a spectator and occasional participant. It was all really special in all the same huge, really amazing and important ways. The bittersweetness of departure last year was replaced with the bittersweetness of missing some of the people who had been there the year before (or indeed, people who'd gone to the Red Rocks or other climbing tweetups that I only know from twitter), but knowing they're OK. But topping it all off, for me at least, was an undercurrent of optimism that I hadn't detected last year.

Last year had been about "wow! what just happened?! that was so special! I wonder if anything this special can ever happen again". This year was more "wow! this is awesome! It happened again! Can we keep doing this?!" Do you see what I mean? It's like the difference between falling in love for the first time vs realizing that being in love is, ideally, a human condition, and you're a creature made to participate in that with an open heart again and again.

And before readers start wondering what I did to the real Teri, I'll take my bow. It was a privilege to meet and meet again with everyone. Be safe! Auf wiedersehen!

Our ticklist: Dappled Mare (led 2nd pitch). Dinky Doinks, Granny Goose, M&Ms Plain (followed).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Post-facelift New Jack

This weekend there was a lovely meetup at New Jack City. I'd heard that the BLM was planning "improvements", but I didn't know what, if anything, had happened. As it turned out what development has been so far done is quite unobtrusive, and some of it is downright useful. The road has been graded a little better, and covered in gravel, which reduced the amount of dust generated by passing cars. Some concrete pads with permanent roofs were put in place, presumably to concentrate camping around them, and to provide some permanent shade. Finally, two more vault toilets were installed -- a very welcome addition, which will be even better once it's properly stocked with t.p.

We climbed on Raven on Saturday, and I dispatched a couple 10a's and a 10b. On Sunday we climbed on Boyscout wall, where I led a 7 and toproped 3 10a/b's, and then Francis led and I followed the route to the right of Espresso, again a 10a. I considered getting on Espresso (10c) on Saturday, but backed off, as I was intimidated by its crimpiness. The shoulder's doing pretty well, but I'm concerned about my shoulders starting to pull forward as I regain strength in my arm muscles. I'll see what I can do about getting some more p.t. authorized.