I've been doing a lot of testing and thinking lately about high-top climbing shoes and I think I've fallen in love with this style of shoe.
Raising your personal bar in climbing requires a bit of projecting to eventually redpoint hard routes that you desire to climb without falling. I used to laugh at all the climbers in Rifle that would eat, sleep, and breath that same route over and over and over till they got the send. They talked about their project as if they owned it. Projecting has never been my favorite part of climbing...but it is necessary.
I found it interesting that a lot of climbers were trying to climb their first or a lot of 5.12 rated routes during 2012. Then in 2013, a good amount of climbers had their eyes set on climbing their first ever 5.13. So when 2014 rolled around, I published a piece called Climb The Calendar - 5.14s in 2014 on the Liberty Mountain Climbing blog.
December of 2013 marked my first time ever ice climbing. I know...how did I ever abstain from ice climbing during my 10+ years of rock climbing? Well, I just did.
Thanks to my employer, I was able to attend the Bozemen Ice Festival with two other co-workers to represent Grivel as a sponsor. While we were there, we were able to spend two days on the ice. After experiencing that style of climbing and being surrounded my a ton of people that live for "slaying the ice," I came up with a list of reasons why ice climbers are tougher than rock climbers. I published the list and a ton of photos I took at the festival on the Liberty Mountain Climbing blog.
This video is inspirational to me, my climbing, and my hobby of video producing...so I must share.
Why is it an inspiration? Because it talks about living your dream, and it just so happens that he is specifically talking out outdoor sports/climbing and film making. I am a rock climber. That is all I do. I've stopped snowboarding, kayaking, and backpacking so that I could spend more time advancing my abilities in climbing. My favorite hobby is film making. Yea, I like to take picture...sometimes, but I have always been known to have some type of video recorder in my hands since I was a teenager. A photo says a thousand words, but a video says even more.
Life should be lived, so capture the moment.
After living most of my life in Idaho, I now reside in Utah. As much as I try to securely hold onto Idaho as my favorite state, I do have to admit that Utah is a wonderland of opportunities for a guy that likes to rock climb, camp, and trail run. So which one do I like better? This is how I settled that debate:
Utah is my home.
Idaho is my vacation-home.
I'm starting to like the fact that I don't live in Idaho anymore. Now my time spent in Idaho feels more like a vacation--an escape from my regular routines and surroundings. Have you ever noticed that locals are rarely patrons of the various attractions in their own cities and states? They all go out of state to "play." So I'm in a good position. Utah will keep me entertained and in shape so that I can have the time-of-my-life when I go to Idaho.
Eventually, I'm going to get to the point where I will have lived in Utah longer than I have lived in Idaho. This is when I'll officially become a "Utard." But don't worry. My wife and I set ourselves up perfectly to where we will always have a solid foundation in Idaho. We currently have a lot of family that still lives in Idaho. But family members die and move away eventually. We needed a foundation--a driven-down-stake--that would keep us connected and visiting Idaho for years on end. Our solution was the Idaho Mountain Festival.
This event is close to our hearts. Our reasons for establishing this event and keeping it going indefinitely fall all over the place, but our top reason is because we love Idaho and didn't want to forget it. With this event, we think about Idaho all the time and anticipate gathering with old and new friends every year to party in one of the prize possessions that this gem state has to offer...City of Rocks/Castle Rocks.
Even if you aren't a rock climber or trail runner, I hope that you'll find a reason to reunite with me and my family on an annual basis by attending the Idaho Mountain Festival.
The time has come that we, as a climbing industry, establish a differentiation between climbing outside and climbing inside.
“I’m a rock climber.”
If anyone approaches me and says this phrase, I know right off the bat that they are either new to climbing or are referring to climbing indoors on plastic.
Why do I make such huge assumptions? Because I know that veteran-climbers don’t say rock climbing, they just say climbing. That truth alone is the key reason why we need to make an official differentiation between climbing real rock outside verses climbing plastic holds inside.
|Joseph Smith at the Glenwood Springs Rec Center. Photo by Benjamin L Eaton.|
Currently, the wrong impressions are being given around the world when someone says, “I just got done rock climbing.” One would assume that this person just got back from the local crag, or maybe even from a remote wonderland of rock, where they hung their own quickdraws or plugged their own cams. After hearing a bit more about their climbing session, it is determined that they just got back from the climbing gym where they spent the last 2-4 hours bouldering or top roping on a plywood wall that is riddled with plastic holds.
However, a totally different truth is told when someone says, “I just got back from climbing.” Even though a non-climber would respond with, “Climbing? Climbing what?” a weathered climber would already know that an outdoor climbing session just took place where they hiked an approach, braved the elements, and cut their fingers on abrasive limestone.
|Benjamin L Eaton in Indian Creek, UT. Photo by Jennilyn Eaton.|
The definitions for climbing currently look like this:
Rock Climbing = Climbing inside on plastic
Climbing = Climbing outside on real rock
The definitions for climbing should look like this from hear on out:
Indoor Climbing = Climbing inside on plastic
Rock Climbing = Climbing outside on real rock
The time is now. Use your words and speak the truth. Just because you climb in a gym doesn’t automatically mean you are ROCK climbing. Are you climbing on rock? NO! You are actually climbing…indoors, hence the term INDOOR CLIMBING.
A Note From The Author...ME: I have nothing against INDOOR CLIMBING. I actually do quite a bit of it myself, especially in the winter. What I do have something against is how we mis-label our actions. Example: If I rode a stationary bike for 2 hours, I wouldn't say to my friends afterwards, "I just got done with a 2 hour bike ride."
If I had a magic on-and-off-switch that allowed me to “turn off” certain things—putting an end to the ridiculousness—here is what I’d turn off:
Cigarette Butts – I don’t know what it is about smokers, but they have this subconscious assumption that cigarette butts are biodegradable. NEWS FLASH…THEY’RE NOT!! And even if they were, throwing them out your car window wouldn’t help. Oh, I’m done sucking the life out of that stick. Guess I’ll just toss the leftovers out my car window…on pavement…where there aren't any biological elements to break it down. Where is the logic? What? You don’t want that stinky piece of trash littering your nice looking car? Your car already smells like throat cancer. Deal with the trash in your own domain and stop putting it in mine.
If you choose to smoke, do it responsibly. The filters in cigarettes are made of a type of plastic and we all know that plastic takes forever to naturally breakdown. After you flick them, your cigarette butt just sits there, looking ugly and trashy. Sometimes birds, rodents, and marine animals will eat them. Your lazy habit of not throwing away your own trash is making our world a worse place.
I once stopped an old lady after she tossed her cigarette on the grown and stepped on it. We were right next to a trash can. I picked up her cig and said, "Excuse me ma'am, you dropped this. Oh, and by the way, there is a trash can right there. Please don't litter." She looked bewildered. She had nothing intelligent to say other than, "Oh, I guess I didn't see it." Yea right you didn't see it.
|Benjamin Eaton and Ken Klingler on the cliffs next to Big Medicine Falls near Driggs, ID|
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."