On My Own || Walking

“Questions.”

It’s a statement, not a question. She’s not saying, “Do you have any questions?” She’s saying, “I know you have questions. Pose them to me.”

She stands there a few feet in front of me, waiting for me to say something. I can’t really think of any questions I have. My only question is, “When can I climb?”

“Still no climbing?”

She pauses for a millisecond before answering and that millisecond tells me she’s mildly annoyed. Mildly annoyed I ask her pretty much every session “When can I climb?” and the answer is always the same: Do you want to start climbing now and risk potentially tearing some fibers that were almost healed? Do you want things to take four months instead of two months? This is the exact answer she gives me today.

“I remember us talking about maybe discussing gym climbing in two weeks…” I trail off.

She gives me the same answer she just gave me, the same answer she gives me every time. Wait a little longer. Let your knee get stronger. Why risk it now?

The air in the physical therapy office is still. Brandon, one of the other therapists, is working with a patient. Working with two, actually. I’m so glad I haven’t gotten double booked yet. S–, who I’ve been working with, has been amazing. The hamstring and calf massages she does at the beginning of these sessions are out of this world. I wish I could get those massages everyday. I wish the sessions consisted entirely of those massages and nothing else. I was a little worried at first we might not get along. I found her a bit…snarky. But then again, I can be snarky. I can be sassy. When I was little one of the things I most got chided for was “talking back.”

I love talking back.

“No back talk.”

I ask a couple small logistical questions and then head outside into the warm Greenlake air. It must be 60 degrees outside. It must be 75 degrees outside. It must be 95 degrees outside. It must be 55 degrees outside. I sit at a table and bask in the sun, no need to go anywhere soon. Barry called while I was in phys ther but I missed his call. Wonder what he’s up to. Should I walk around the lake? No, just sit here for a bit. What’s the rush. I’m unemployed. I can do whatever the fuck I want with my days. Eventually I get up and start walking towards PCC, the one by Shelter. I look at the clouds and they’re glorious, they’re brilliant, they’re a lesson in presence, a lesson in peace. My whole soul is wrapped up in those clouds, just for a moment. For just a moment, I feel light. I feel glowing. The blue sky, the sun, spring is coming. But it’s the lightness that I’m focused on. The fact that my soul feels like it’s singing. And I think, Someone has to do this. Someone has to just mosey around Greenlake, watching the clouds and the treetops and the blue sky, feeling the lightness. Because most people don’t do this and most people would kill to be able to do this.

“Dude, guess where I am right now,” I say to Barry, when he calls.

“Whole Foods.”

“No, PCC.”

“You should write blog posts about grocery stores.”

“That’s what I do.”

I sit on a bench outside PCC taking in more sun, eating some food from the hot bar. It turns out Barry is at the Whole Foods by Roosevelt. I walk over to where he is and he’s got a sandwich with pretzel bread and a Guayaki yerba mate. I go inside and get some cash back so if we walk to the UW light rail station I’ll have bus money to get back to my car. It’s so gloriously sunny, the nicest day of the year. We talk about his property out on the Peninsula and how some guy is coming to put the road in. I tell him about my physical therapy and how the knee’s doing. In front of us a guy wearing a mask is fumbling with the parking meter. Why is he paying for parking when he could just park in the Whole Foods parking lot? What is wrong with people? Well, I’m not gonna be a customer at Whole Foods. So, who cares, go buy a drink or something. Or park in the free parking on 11th. What is wrong with people. I think this kind of idiocy, this kind of simple idiocy, paying for parking when you patently don’t have to, is why there are wars in this world. People constantly making stupid decisions. And you might say, “These things don’t matter.” But they’re the only things that matter. These minor imprecisions are what compound into major imprecisions and lead to catastrophe. Just slow down and…..think a bit.

Barry talks more about the property and I mention to him that in Chile they sometimes use eucalyptus trees to dry things up. I’m not sure if that would be legal in Washington, I don’t know what the status of planting eucalyptus trees is, but they’ll sure dry an area up. They’ll dry it up too much. And they’re beautiful if you don’t consider that they’re also kind of like weeds.

We continue walking, down through Ravenna Park and then by U-Village. It’s a weekday, so there aren’t that many people out, but it’s also beautiful, so there are quite a few people on the Burke Gillman. It’s kind of a long walk. Finally we get to the light rail and get on the train going south, and I get off at Cap Hill and wave goodbye. And then I’m on my own, and all is silent again, just for a moment, and I’m walking toward the bookstore.

Think of the Shingles

morning

I shaved my head this morning. A number three. Hadn’t shaved my head in a long time. Used a number one and two for the back and sides. Tried to fade it. Shaved my beard too. Look 20 years younger. I could pass for a college boy again. Maybe. A college rower. A college boulderer. A college computer science grad.

The drive to Gig Harbor to visit my sister and brother in law was not as terrible as I’d feared. You could almost describe it as pleasurable, though you never would. I took the 509 down past SeaTac and then merged onto I-5. Stopped at Whole Foods Chambers Bay in Tacoma and went off the rails a bit. Got another Hop Tea, some of those pork buns that weren’t pork at all but just vegetarian, and another matcha latte. Walked around the parking lot. Talked to my mom on the phone. Looked inside a cafe called Anthem or something like that that looked like the kind of place where people might trade Magic cards. I consider anyone  from outside Seattle to be somehow innocent. Like if two guys in Fircrest are at a cafe trading Magic cards it’s somehow cute, I marvel at their innocence, but if they’re doing the same thing in Seattle I just think they’re losers.

I think part of the reason I want to move to Leavenworth is to recover some of that innocence. Like for example if I were to work in a cafe in Leavenworth that would somehow be completely acceptable, even cool. Meeting new people. Learning new skills, doing stuff with your hands, not doing some job that hurts the world.  But for some reason the idea of working in a cafe in Seattle sounds terrible, it sounds frankly menial, and I would feel like a failure. Drive two and half hours east, rad. Do it here, failure.

¿¿¿Cómo???

O sea.

Anyway, I don’t understand anything, I don’t understand how we’re supposed to live. Some things just feel wrong, like consuming more than you need. There is a finite amount of resources on this planet, so for everything you consume you don’t need you’re taking something from someone else. If you have three cars when only one would do, you’re consuming hundreds pounds of metal and plastic that otherwise wouldn’t have been consumed. You’re consuming more gas. More space. More space on the roads. More oil. More transmission fluid. More everything. If you have a 5000 square foot home when 2000 square feet would be just fine think how much more you’re consuming. Think how many trees had to die for that extra 3000 square feet so you could have a rec room for your kids who don’t give a shit anyway. Think of the amount of drywall and wiring and insulation. Think of the shingles.

I am of course guilty of this. Most of us in the US are. I drink more matcha lattes than I need. I don’t need matcha lattes. Gotta pick our battles, I guess. And if I somehow had a bunch of money, if I was suddenly making 200k a year would I not want a nicer car, would I not get that 2018 Outback I’ve been looking at when my ‘97 Subi is just fine? Would I not consume more? Of course I would. I’m sure I would. I probably would. Maybe I would. I’d get a nicer car, a nicer dwelling, buy even more expensive food, nicer clothes, nicer shoes, nicer vacations, nicer everything. At least I think I probably would. I’ve never made 200k a year but I’ve seen how people who make that kind of money or more live. They generally treat things like they’re more disposable, like our oceans and forests and deserts are somehow disposable, like the sky and the birds and the rain and the grass and the succulents gathering dew in the morning are somehow disposable. Like the coyotes and wolves and cougar and bears and fiddle ferns and hemlocks and cedar trees and hills and glades and glens and steams and lakes and rivers are somehow disposable. Like the canyons and boulders and rock and cliffs and buttes and crags and caverns are somehow disposable. Like they’re the only ones on earth, or at least the only ones that matter. And then they cover this consumption by making a charitable donation or by volunteering once in their life, thinking that makes everything ok.  But it’s not the the things you do once in a while, it’s the things you do everyday. This is a sermon to myself as much as anyone else. El mundo te ve como quieres que te vea. Don’t demand of others what you don’t demand of yourself.

Almost time for physical therapy. Well, still got an hour. Enough time to walk around Greenlake. Probably just. But will I do it? That remains to be seen.

I wish I had more matcha.

afternoon

I meet up with Barry and we go for a walk. We walk from the Whole Foods in Roosevelt to the UW light rail station. I go to Capitol Hill and buy some books at Elliott Bay Book Co, and Barry continues on south. I walk from Elliott Bay to Madison Market where I buy a nitro chai that’s out of this world. Then I walk to 23rd where I get the 48 back to the U-District, where I get the 45 back up to Greenlake. At this point the sun’s setting, it’s just dipped below the clouds and is occupying a thin strip of blue sky just above the horizon. It’s glorious. People are walking around Greenlake. I’m exhausted. I’ve just walked five miles on a recovering LCL. I feel fucking great. I feel like the world’s my razor clam. I feel like I’m on a bus. I feel like I’m in my car watching the sunset. I drive back to Interbay and get pizza from Pagliacci. Two slices of pep. On top of the world. On top of the train tracks. Next to the Box Car.

Sunset on the Boat

The question on everyone’s mind right now, aka no one’s mind, aka my mind, is the following: How are red bananas different from regular bananas?

The other question I have is: Should I move to Leavenworth?

And by move I of course don’t mean move. I mean kinda move. I mean mostly move. I mean get an apartment there but keep my boat in Seattle so I have the best of boat (sorry) worlds. When it’s sunny and beautiful and I wanna be on the water? Chill on the boat. When I want to boulder my ass off and have dry weather and the stark beauty of the north-central Cascades? Leavenworth.

It would also make sense to rent in Leavenworth before I buy land there. This is what a responsible adult might do. But to be fair, the experience of living in an apartment complex would be very different from living off grid on a semi remote piece of land. But there are things you can figure out even living in an apartment complex. Do you like the community? Can you make friends there? Are the tourists too annoying? Are the summers way too hot? Is it too dry?

These, of course, and myriad other questions.

I’m back on the boat and I’m thinking about doing my physical therapy and I’m also thinking about doing some training, i.e. hanging. The roof of my boat is in fact perfect for hanging, and using core strength to bring my feet up to touch the mast actually sort of simulates climbing an overhang. The physical therapist gave me insane amounts of hope yesterday when she said she thought I might be able to start gym climbing in two weeks. I don’t think she realized how much hope she gave me. I have to get my body back in shape. I have to start getting ready for climbing. I will be so happy when I can just climb a red or a green at SBP. Not even purple let alone an orange or black or blue. A red. A green. Anything harder than a yellow, which is beyond VB and basically like climbing a ladder. Though climbing up and down yellows all day could be a GREAT way to build endurance. You cannot fall while climbing yellows. You can fall on reds. You can definitely fall on reds. And you can definitely fall on greens. But you can’t fall on yellows.

I’m drinking a Hop Tea and it’s delicious. Sixty mg caffeine. I just had a matcha latte from Whole Foods with unsweetened almond milk. Lunch was young coconut meat, a red banana and a thing of yoghurt. The yoghurt had a cream top. Bliss.

Slash I really wish I had caffeine and I’m gonna need to leave my boat later to get some.

Slash I bought a throw pillow from Target the other day.

Some observations as of late:

  1. I’m weirdly obsessed with oats.
  2. I bought a throw pillow. I am now an adult.
  3. The sunset is approaching 6pm!!!!! (and daylight savings is approaching!!!!!)
  4. A good book will see you through almost any bout of loneliness.
  5. My finger is fucked.

The sunset is casting an orange glow on my neighbor’s boat. In the distance I hear a train sounding its horn. A merganser plies the water near my boat. A seagull floats by in the distance, and a cormorant bullets by up close. So many bird species. Kingfisher, herons, mallards, mergansers, loons, even a beaver. A bald eagle. The whir of the heater at my feet. My orange puffy jacket on the bench seat across from me. My hands that smell like smoked salmon. The new basket I got from target holding all the clutter. The piles of books underneath the basket. So many books. So many books I read, and even more that I don’t read and will be put in one of those little lending libraries. Omega 3’s, mushroom powder, vitamin d, a laptop case, tortilla chips. The light on my boat seems faint. I want more rolled oats. One throw pillow isn’t enough; you gotta have two. Beef bone broth. Tech stocks tanking. Geese honking in the distance. Are they going north or south? Did some of the geese miss the memo this winter and go nowhere at all? A sparkling yerba mate from Trader Joe’s, and I wish I were curled up next to a fire right now. I’m going to go to Tahoe this summer and go bouldering. I’m gonna go to Bishop, and J-Tree, and Rocky Mountain National Park, and Roy, NM, and Spain, and France, and British Columbia. A thank you note that needs to be written. A foam roller. Physical therapy exercises undone. A masters in Spanish, C1 in French, B2 in German. A pint of blueberries and the sun continues to set.

 

You Can’t Cheat || At Home on the Boat

Numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers. My goal for traffic for this blog for February was 300 views, and since it’s surpassed that I feel like I can take a bit of a break. Or breathe easier. The goal for March will also be 300 view. Eventually I will raise that goal to 500. Eventually to 1,000. My friend the other day raised the question of at some point doing online ads for the blog. But that will have to wait. That just seems ridiculous right now. Right now the only two goals are: 1) enjoy writing, and 2) have SOME readership.

Like, even two people a day and I’m happy. But zero? Might as well be journaling. Which I also like.

I’m on the boat drinking the Om Mushroom Master Blend. It’s got every kind of mushroom you could think of. I got it with my stimulus a few days ago and expected to be superhuman sometime by the end of the week. Which didn’t happen. If anything I just had digestive problems, though I doubt it was from the mushroom powder. Probably from the Vitamin D. Or the turmeric on an empty stomach. Or actually probably from all the keto crap I was eating last week, all the stuff with chicory root and all this other stuff they put in keto foods to make it taste better or have more fiber but that your stomach can’t digest AT ALL. So it wrecks your digestive system. Look: With fasting, with keto, with Whole 30, with any of these diets, you can’t cheat. That’s the end of the story. If you try to “cheat” with coffee on a fast you’re screwed. Insulin levels through the roof. If you try to “cheat” on keto with all kinds of sugar alcohols and chicory root fiber you’re screwed. Your stomach will be a disaster. When will we (see: I) learn that it’s all super simple, that you just eat a diet that’s mostly plant-based, having meat on special occasions, and keeping things like gluten and dairy and sugar in check but not feeling the need to cut them out completely? It’s so simple. And yet I don’t learn. Rice, vegetables, water. Maybe some tea. Maybe a ham hock on Thanksgiving. But that’s it!!! Don’t complicate things!!!

The market is in the shitter today and it’s got me pretty bummed out.  But also kinda stoked for the rebound.

The other day going to SBP was one of the most heart-wrenching things I’ve ever done. But I will not start climbing just to climb. I will wait until my body is at least somewhat ready.

I finally found a good book. I ditched The Overstory. If you’re thinking of reading this book, please don’t. It’s so pretentious. It’s MFA Shit Lit. It’s so horrible. It’s right up there with Cynthia d’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest. Two books that convinced so many people, FOOLED so many people, and yet I guarantee there’s a deeper consciousness out there that knows just how terrible these books are. They’re an affront to literature and everything that’s pure and holy in this world. And the thing is either the authors are so delusional they think their books are good because everyone’s always telling them so, or even they, somewhere deep down, know that they’ve written a steaming pile of shit.

Anyway, the GOOD book I got is called Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee. The line that convinced me to buy it came on page 2 and was, “At that moment, Casey would’ve bartered her body for a cigarette.” Done. Went to the checkout counter at Amazon Books (I know!), bought it, said, “Hell no I don’t have a Prime membership,” and walked away happy. Didn’t go to Chipotle. Walked back to my car via Ravenna Park.

Which reminds me. The Subi really needs to go to the shop.

Anyway. Hope you all are well today. Trust in your natural responses.

– Wetz

Just Nudge || Road to Recovery

Random boulders in northern New Mexico.

I am so happy to be here on the boat, sitting with a cup of a green tea, the heater caressing my shins, checking stocks, checking the sunset time, checking the weather for the next few days, and thinking about what I’d like to do with the rest of my life.

It is joyous.

Sometimes when you’re struggling or down a bit or not sure what to do next, or somehow unhappy with your current circumstances, the only thing you can do is get in your car and drive 7,000 miles. I’m kidding, of course. Sort of. Is it ironic that I needed to drive 7,000 miles to realize that I would be better off not driving anywhere at all. Unless that place is Gold Bar, WA, of course, where I will of course have to drive as soon as I can climb again. Oh, and Leavenworth. I must go to Leavy. But the climbing season hasn’t really started in Leavy yet. It won’t really start until March or April, when things stop being snowy.

The appointment with the physical therapist yesterday was incredibly fruitful. For the first time I feel truly optimistic about my recovery. My goal when I talked about this a couple weeks ago was to be climbing sometime in April. But now I might even move that up again. I think I could be back in the climbing gym in March. If I eat well, if I inject the shit out of my knee with BPC-157, and if I really go to town on rehab and physical therapy exercises, I think I could be back in the gym sometime in the next month. Which would be incredible. There is nothing I want more. But of course it will be the gym — climbing outside will have to wait longer. Climbing outside = gnarlier landings, more unpredictable landings, more unpredictable everything, really. I could go climb a yellow in the gym today. But that’s not really climbing. That’s more: Can you get up a ladder without falling? I could probably climb a green today, too. But I wouldn’t feel comfortable falling. I wouldn’t feeling comfortable being up high. I never realized until this injury how important falling is in bouldering. Generally I feel really good falling, I almost like it. I take pride in my falling. But now falling is terrifying. Somehow I will have to get my body ready to fall again, and fall hard. And from places on high.

In other news. I feel like there was other news. Oh yes, I have started implementing certain lifestyle changes that are already paying sweeping dividends. I have implemented some diet changes, and I don’t want to give too much away here but they basically involve having less caffeine, or having less of a certain kind of caffeine, and also having less sugar. And by less sugar I mean less SUGAR, less CARBS, since carbs are basically sugar. Also, I think I’m realizing that different carbs affect me differently. I ate a bunch of tortilla chips yesterday and didn’t really feel inflamed. But other kinds of carbs do make me feel inflamed. I can feel it in my knee. I desperately need to buy a blood glucose meter. AKA they sell pure oxygen canisters at Fred Meyer now.

I am trying to nudge myself in the right direction. Every day. Every day, just nudge myself a bit. Don’t push! Don’t force! Just nudge. You don’t get anything done by forcing. Whatever you force will rebound upon itself with an equal force. But if you just nudge. If you encourage. Then you can do anything. Like wake up at the same time every morning. Which is actually kinda huge.

Another cup of gree tea. Barcelona play PSG at noon. I hope Kylian Mbappe scores a hat trick but Barca still somehow destroy them. I would murder for a matcha latte right now but don’t want to leave the boat. I can’t eat Go Macro bars anymore because they have 39g of carbs. Damnit. I just finished the book News of the World and it was incredible. Now to watch the movie. The preview looks terrible.

I am sending love to you all and wish you all a wonderful day,

Wetz

Somewhere in the American West.

Last Day || Richland, WA to Seattle, WA

Somewhere near Richland.

As I walked to Wal-Mart this morning I thought, Why should I rush to get home? Why should I rush to get this Wal-Mart experience over with? Why should I rush to have my matcha tea, why should I rush to get back to the hotel, why should I rush to see what breakfast they have, why should I rush up to my room, to get packed and changed and ready to go, to write this post.

Why should I rush to do anything at all?

We spend our lives rushing about, only to realize it did nothing to hasten or delay the arrival of death. When you die will it matter all the stuff you did? Will it matter, all the things you crammed into every day? The things you stressed about?

It’s snowing outside the Home 2 Suites by Hilton in Richland, WA, and my tea has just finished brewing. I’m sitting on the couch in my immaculate room, this, finally, the NICEST room I’ve stayed in this entire trip. It took till the last night to find the perfect hotel. That’s what this trip was about, staying in hotels. Finding myself in hotels across the US and Mexico, watching YouTube videos. Watching chess videos. Watching bouldering videos. Drinking tea.

Today I’ll pack up my stuff, leave my hotel room, start my car, amble onto the freeway, and drive home to Seattle. I have mixed feelings about this. Sure, I’m excited as fuck. That goes without saying. But at the same time if there’s ANYTHING this trip has taught me is that arriving at your destination doesn’t matter. Things aren’t going to be great “once you get there.” Things aren’t going to be great “once you get to Guam,” or “once you get to Mexico,” or “once you go on vacation,” or “once your kids are back in school,” or “once you get that job promotion,” or “once you start making more money,” or “once you start eating better.”

OK, the eating better thing is actually kind of a big one.

But seriously, we spend our entire leaves thinking we’ll be happy ONCE SOMETHING HAPPENS. Our ability to be happy is so conditional. Watch, sometime, yourself having these thoughts, and then watch what happens when you get the thing that you thought would be it, or the place you thought that once you got there everything would be fine, and watch how as soon as these things are attained your little rat brain goes searching for some other requirement to make it happy. Oh, we’ll be happy once we get to our hotel and we can relax and unpack our stuff and go swimming in the pool. But then you get to your hotel, and other little things come up. Where are we going to dinner? We’ll be happy once we just get some dinner. We’ll be happy once we just get a good night’s rest. And on and on and on and on until it becomes, oh, we’ll be happy once this vacation is just over and we’re home.

(hold on a sec while I get my tea).

Or maybe you guys don’t have this problem. Maybe I’m the only one sitting in the Hilton in Richland eating sardines with jalapenos for breakfast because he thinks a low-carb diet will solve his knee troubles.

Anyway.

Now I’m worried that this entire room smells like sardines. K, I really need to drink my tea.

All I know is this: this is literally the only thing I know: that my body feels better when I eat a diet lower in carbs, lower in grains. I feel like I have less inflammation. Like if I eat a big thing of rice? My fingers and joints instantly start cracking. I feel like my body’s on fire. But when I eat a low carb diet? My body feels lubed up. I feel light. I feel like a kid again, albeit a kid with a partially torn LCL.

Except maybe it’s not torn anymore. Maybe it’s kind of healed and it just needs to continue in the remodeling phase and I need to load and……all that other stuff.

And so, I’m going to savor the drive today. Fuck that, I’m going to savor everything about today. I’m going to savor the wonderful sound my car makes when starting up, the familiar purr despite always fearing a bit it won’t start up. I’m going to savor the crunch of the tires on the snow as I slowly drive out of the hotel parking lot and towards the arterials. I’m going to savor the whine of the engine as I pull onto an onramp and get it up to speed on the interstate. I’m going to savor driving by Yakima. I’m going to savor driving by Ellensburg (that one’ll be tough for some reason). I’m going to savor the snow that will inevitably be falling. I’m going to savor the first glimpse I get of Seattle as the skyscrapers peak over Beacon Hill when I come out of the tunnel after Mercer Island.

And if all this goes to shit, if my car doesn’t start, if there’s tons of traffic going over the pass, then, well, I’m going to savor that too. No expectations. Savoring everything that comes my way, including this shitty cup of earl grey. Savoring the lingering taste of sardines in my mouth.

No, but seriously.

 

A Breakdown of all the V4’s Currently on my Radar (Part 1) || ROAD TO V-effin’-4

I sat down a moment ago and penciled in my notepad the V4’s that are currently on my radar. They came out to 10 exactly. Here they are with a video showing each of them (when applicable), a brief description of my (insidious) relationship with them, and also the likelihood each one will go first shown with stars (1 star = not likely at all, 5 stars = will probably go real soon).

  1. Fridge Center V4

Where: Everyone’s eighth favorite canyon, “The Icicle,” also known as one of the places with the highest concentration of quality lines on the planet (see: North America [see: Washington State (see: Chelan County)}).

Relationship: I’ve tried Fridge Center V4 on a grand total of one occasion. I was almost able to get to the crux, which I assume is reaching for the fin on the left side of the bulge, and then getting your right hand to the fin on the upper right of the bulge. It was hot and I was a bit wasted from a previous session. But I made some progress and watched other crushers sending the bejeezus out of it. So I gathered beta.

Go soon? 3 stars

2. Zelda Dyno V4

Where: Everyone’s 30th favorite dyno problem is located next to everyone’s sixth and a half favorite North American whitewater “raphting” destination, aka Index, aka a place you only go if you’re A) Climbing, B) Rafting, or C) Lost. The line is about a 10 minute walk from Index “downtown.”

Relationship: Tried the dyno one one occasion for about an hour, getting fairly close (aka my hand on the top of the ledge but falling backwards and not really trying to stick it). Then tried it on another, drier occasion, but after I’d spent half a week in Idaho smoking cigarettes and eating ice cream and couldn’t even get to the lip. After sending Dyno 101 V3 in Leavy I think I can make a much better attempt at Zelda Dyno next time I go. Like, probably even send it.

Will go soon? 4 stars

3. Zelda Rails V4

Where: A hop skip and a pirouette from Zelda Dyno lies Zelda Rails V4. It’s not a highball, it’s not crimpy — it’s just a bunch of sloping rails. Landing is a bit janky but could def be climbed with two pads and maybe even one big pad (like mine).

Relationship: Never tried it. Never even looked at it, lest it shy from my lecherous gaze. Have been in the presence of other people who were sending it while I tried Zelda Dyno V4. Osmosis is real.

Go soon? 2 stars

4. The Rib V4

(that hoody style, tho)

Where: At the quote misquote Carnival Boulders in Leavenworth’s famed Icicle Canyon. About a three minute approach from the road (5 if you’re crawling on all fours with a dagger in your calf).

Relationship: I went to The Rib one hot July day, looked at it and basically crumbled. Couldn’t do the start. Couldn’t do the middle. Couldn’t do a single move on the boulder. So, like, I’ll probably day flash it next time I go there.

Go soon? 1 star

5. The Enigma V4

Where: At the Skykomish River Boulders just west (as the osprey flies) of Index. A beautiful line that involves starting on a slab and swinging around an arete and maybe some stemming and maybe some laybacking and maybe even some chemical engineering.

Relationship: Since I am a misanthrope and you need a lot of pads for this one, I haven’t really tried it. I did stand on the little shelf where you start. And I did touch the rock. And I did look at the line and imagine someone else way better than me sending it in style.

Go soon? 2 stars

Next post: The other five V4’s most likely to go soon. ONE OF THEM will probably be it. I’ve talked about this problem before and might’ve been there yesterday….