We’re not letting St. Patrick’s Day go unnoticed this year. In all honesty, I hardly ever remember it myself, but there seemed to be less hype than usual this year. Regardless, in honor of the Irish four-leaf clover, I figured perhaps it’s time to do some reflection on luck’s role in climbing.
Leaf 1: Feet
I don’t think enough people think about how crazy lucky we are that our feet stick sometimes. Footholds can be so wildly micro, if they’re there at all. Yet, for some reason, our feet still manage to support our weight on the wall? High-Clip, you’re a physicist; don’t you understand friction? Yes, sure, friction helps…and it is science…but sometimes it feels like there has to be a little more to it.
Leaf 2: Rock Fall
We’ve all been to those crumbly, chossy crags where 16 pebbles fall after each move. At those crags, you really know what to expect. Sometimes, though, the rock seems so solid, when in reality it’s just waiting for the right conditions to pop right off. There are so many good handles that I can’t believe will last over the next 20 years, especially because of all the traffic these routes get. I’m no geologist, but it feels very lucky that I have never taken a fall because of a broken hold. Even more, it feels lucky that a whole face of rock hasn’t sheared off while I’m climbing…I mean, there’s no way to come back from that…
Leaf 3: Bugs
Sure, there have been a number of times when I’ve been nervous on a route because of the bugs nearby. Certainly, it’s their home, and I’m the guest…but a nervous guest. Even so, had a roach fallen on me or a bee buzzing near me at the wrong time during a crux, I would have peeled right off the rock. These creatures live where we climb and seldom do you hear about a bad fall because of a bug. How lucky is that?
Leaf 4: Community
Obviously, theDIHEDRAL has the most fantastic community (you guys <3), and it often feels very unreal. The climbing community is kind, inclusive, supportive, and overall a blast, and you just can’t find that everywhere. It is insane to me that we get to do what we love (climbing) with the people that we love (this community). We feel so lucky at theDIHEDRAL to be a part of this magnificent community.
2 Replies to “Four-Leaf Climber”
Luck for friction, that is a laugh. Please don’t wish it away any more as it is tenuous enough already if clumsily done or tilted onto an edge while moving or just over hopeful. I fairly feel for the rockfall one however. That is a choice and depends on a sustained belief. Supportive, well that is how I like it and am glad to read your outgoing prose.
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Thank you so much!