First Order of Business

Alright friends, how’s everybody doing today? Good? Great? Amazing? Good, good. I’m glad. Well, I’m not that glad. I don’t really care. But I’m kinda glad. I’m kinda glad you’re doing well but to be honest I’m more focused on myself and don’t really care about you. That’s not to say I feel DISDAIN for you, it’s just that I’m much more important in my world than you are. You don’t take up much of my mental space, whereas my plight, my welfare, are two things that take up a LOT of my mental space.

First order of business today, April 7th, two thousand and twenty-one: Alex Honnold has a podcast.

You of course already knew this, but what you maybe didn’t know is that there are already a couple of episodes out. I’m not going to link to it. Links are so 2018. Just google Climbing Gold Alex Honnold.

Good.

Second order of business. I need to crack a mate.

Third order of business: I had my interview at Seattle Bouldering Project today, and it went….OK.

From an honesty perspective? It went great.

From a, did-I-get-the-job are-we-vibing is this going to be what I dedicate my life to perspective? Not so great.

And that’s because I was honest.

The guy who interviewed me was wonderful. I instantly felt rapport with him. But when he asked me how would you stay motivated after having the same interactions with customers over and over I couldn’t be anything but honest. That was actually my whole goal for the interview: to be honest. So I said something along the lines of (excuse me while I take a sip of my mate) I don’t know how I would stay motivated in that situation. I guess I would have to see.

Terrible answer, right?

Wrong. Honest anwer.

Because in my head I’m thinking: Fuck customer service, fuck the overprotective shitty Seattle moms that have jack fuck to do all day and bring their kids into Seattle Bouldering Project and then are assholes to the employees. Fuck ’em. I don’t have time for them. So if I had to have similar interactions with them over and over? Yeah, I don’t know how I would stay motivated. I probably wouldn’t.

Fuck ’em.

Fourth order of business: Yesterday’s climbing session.

I almost sent my first ever non-stemmy blue. I sent an orange that had been plaguing me since the last session, and made progress on a couple other things that are now “projects.”

I’m hoping that the blue will go tomorrow during tomorrow afternoon’s holy shit sick crew vibes super sesh. I’m confident that it will. I would like to start projecting some blacks, too. And keep projecting oranges. And maybe try some moves that slightly challenge the confidence in my left knee. Nothing crazy heel-hooky, just some stuff that’s not straight up climbing a ladder.

Fifth order of business: There is no fifth order of business. I’m going to drink my mate and wait until I can watch the Chelsea game on Paramout Plus. And then I don’t know what I’m going to do with the rest of the day. Oh god, what am I going to do with the rest of today? Why are you just bringing that up now?????? I hadn’t even thought about it!!! Fuck!!!! I have no plans!!!!!

I’m not climbing, that’s for damn sure. Weather isn’t great. I could go to Bainbridge. Hmmmmmm, what am I going to do.

I’ll figure something out.

Arrivaderci,

Mark Thomas Wetzler I

Drinking Mate with Mate

Jesus. OK. Let’s drink some mate while listening to a video by Gabor Mate:

“Our attachment needs are enormous.”

“So attachment is a human need.”

“That’s just a basic human need.”

“But we have another need….”

It’s 11:15am Pacific Daylight Time and I’ve had 13g of net carbs. One matcha bar, one Yerbana Sparkling yerba mate, and two eggs. Yesterday I had exactly 100g of net carbs. I ended the evening with a pint of rasberries doused in heavy whipping cream. PRIMO HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM, MIND YOU. This shit was from PCC. It cost a shit ton. It was made by pasture-raised cows who have lived lives approximately 70 times better than yours. Happy cows. Cows who are jubilant to part with their cream, who say, “Take, then, human, and drink! Drink and thrive!”

So much fucking conjugated linoleic acid.

Also I had a burrito bowl from Chipotle yesterday. Cauliflower rice, veggies, guac, sour cream and cheese, and two kinds of salsa. A fucking watery mess. But pretty good. And only like 19g of net carbs. Chipotle is basically the only fast food place where you can eat a healthy low-carb meal, and I’M NOT JUST SAYING THIS BECAUSE I’M A FORMER SHAREHOLDER. OH NO. I’M SAYING THIS BECAUSE IT’S TRUE.

And I only speak the truth.

Excuse me while I watch the rest of yesteryear’s Badwater Bouldering video:

Alpha linolenic acid.

Champions League starts in 30 minutes.

I wish I had more mate.

I have to pee so bad but I don’t want to leave the boat because I’m not exactly sure when my next pump out is and I don’t want the waste tank to fill up cuz I don’t want to have to pee into a bottle.

Okkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

a;sdkfj;adslkfjadlk;sjfdla;jdalk;adjfdl;skfjdslk;fdjsf;lkdjdl;kfajsflk;dsjfal;dksj

a;sldkjf;ladksjf;dlksjfdlsfjdsa;lkfjds;lfjda;lkfjd;lkfjadlk;fjdkl;fdaj;fjdsa;klfdsjkl;fadsj;ldkfjdas;lfk

Pheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew.

Breathe out.

I’m going climbing today at SBP. Not sure when. Maybe this afternoon with my friend Anya, or maybe sooner by myself. Honestly I’d kind of like to just go sooner by myself. But. It would also be rad to crush with a friend. It’s just that I don’t like it when it’s crowded in the evening. Kinda lame. Like, I don’t like being around a bunch of people. Like, I hate people. Like, I hate myself.

JK.

Goals for today: Send the orange upstairs that has the barn door. Maybe try the black right next to it. Maybe try the blue in the corner. Maybe try the black downstairs. Maybe try the orange downstairs. Mabye just not climb at all and get a smoothie. Keep the carbs under 100g for net carbs. Don’t EAT ANY GRAINS YOU PIECE OF SHIT! NO GRAINS! No sweets. Get your body hard. Do some pushups. Gotta do those antagonist exercises. I just want to crush. I just want to be able to crush Water V6. Then go to your job interview tomorrow. Job interview. Fuck. I don’t want a job. Do I want a job? I mean, getting unemployment is pretty bomb….

Plus I just got my stimulus check yesterday…..

Plus……………..

 

 

Apparently Daniel Woods Just Sent V17

It’s called Return of the Sleepwalker and is a low start to the V16 “Sleepwalker.”

If you’re really into bouldering, and not only really into bouldering but really into the bouldering world, the pros, the famous boulders around the world, who’s sending what, who’s sending the gnarliest blocs, who’s sending the hardest blocs, etc etc, then the question: Who’s going to send the next V17? has been on your radar for a long time.

So that’s why when I went to my news feed yesterday and saw this I was pretty elated:

Apparently, two days ago, on April 2nd the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty One, Daniel woods sent a V17 called Return of the Sleepwalker. Aka a low start to the now-classic Sleepwalker V16, established by Jimmy Webb in 2018.

But before we talk about Daniel’s new line let’s talk a little bit about the history of this boulder. First, where is it? It’s in Black Velvet Canyon, a hop skip and an ankle turn from Calico Basin, aka the Kraft Boulders, aka Red Rock Canyon, aka Las Vegas. For awhile this was considered “the hardest boulder in the US of A,” as evidenced by this video here:

This is a great video to watch for a little history on this boulder, and just a well-edited video. As Jimmy Webb states on The Crag, initially he couldn’t do “a single move” on this boulder. Over 11 days, however, like the crafty southerner he is, he figured it out. Then Daniel Woods figured it out, and Nalle Hukkataival, and then Drew Ruana, and then a guy named Nathan Williams who kinda looks like Drew Ruana and might even be Drew Ruana and just wanted to post a second vid of himself sending this bulletproof sandstone masterpiece.

So as of about two months ago, that’s where we stood with Sleepwalker V16, America’s “hardest” boulder. It had kind of morphed into the ultimate testpiece for American crushers. As if the boulder gods had said, “Do you want the status of “crusher”? Then step to this tasty sandstone labyrinth of underclings and despair.”

Now, enter into the picture a few days ago, Daniel Woods. If you don’t know anything about Daniel Woods, he’s 31, from Texas, and one of the most notable boulderers (and just climbers in general) of all time. He’s sent six V16’s (that still haven’t been downgraded), four of which were first ascents. If you look at the list of V15’s he’s sent on Wikipedia it’s so long you actually have to scroll. Basically, crusher doesn’t even begin to describe him. He’s an uber-crusher. A mega-crusher. The crusher of all crushers.

Also, he has a tattoo of an eye on his neck.

And apparently, two days ago, on April 2nd, he sent V17. Or at least that’s the proposed grade. Why did he propose that mythical grade? Because (according to the article I linked to in the image at the beginning of the post) Return of the Sleepwalker adds FIVE (count the fingers on your hand if you’re having trouble understanding this) V13 (try climbing a V13 if you’re having trouble understanding this) moves to what is already a hard V16. Also it took him something like three months to do. Granted, he wasn’t climbing every day of those three months, he probably wasn’t climbing MOST days of those three months, but even so, it’s a long time.  It certainly looks right now like this might be a V17 that actually stands.

One question is: Will this be Daniel Wood’s swan song? Will this be the hardest boulder he ever sends? Also: When will this get repeated? Is Drew Ruana already on a flight right now out to Las Vegas to eat this new line for brunch and proclaim to the world that , “Welllllllllllllllllllllllllll………..actually I think it’s still kidna V16”? Time will tell. Either way I’m excited.

 

Water V6: An Ode to My New Favorite Boulder

Water V6, Gold Bar, WA. Photo: Pat M.

We will fall in love several times throughout the course of our lives. Often, it happens when we least expect it. Perhaps you’re crossing the street and you twist your ankle and she helps you to the curb. Perhaps you’re shopping in the frozen foods section for some peas to ice your mangled hand and she whispers in your ear, “I like peas too.” Perhaps you’re sitting at home on your boat watching YouTube videos, wishing things were different, wishing you had purpose, wondering if purpose is even necessary, and she strides down the dock, lost, looking for a neighbors’ boat, and you start chatting, first about the weather, then about the Mariners, then about the stock market, numbers are exchanged, tensions run high, and the rest is history.

Perhaps.

Or perhaps if you’re like me yesterday you fall in love in an entirely different way.

You fall in love with a boulder.

Meet Water V6. She hails from near Gold Bar, Washington. She’s about 12 feet tall, with a gorgeous neck, shapely sloping hips, and beautiful, delicate feet. She’s made of granodiorite, like many of the other boulders in the area. What separates Water V6 is how un-contrived she is, how unassuming. You come across her and think, Hot damn, that’s a beautiful line. I’d like to get on that line. I’d like to caress those slopers. I’d like to see if my fingers fit in that seam. I’d like to see if I can get up that thing.

And so you inspect closer. You run your hands along her beautiful lines. You contemplate where you’d put your feet at the sit start, what the first move might be. Do you go up with your left hand or your right hand? And then where do you put your feet? Do you match? How do you get to that sloper? What’s the best place to grip it? How’s the lip? Can you lunge for it or should you try to do it really controlled?

And then you remember it’s V6 and the hardest thing you’ve climbed outside is V4. How can this be V6? you think. How can something this beautiful, this inviting, be so outside my wheelhouse? Is it outside my wheelhouse? Because I look at it and think, I could do this. I could climb this boulder. I could climb this bloc. Or I could at least do some of the moves.

It’s hard to walk away from her, but finally you do. There are other boulders to look at: Midnight Lichen V4 (if you can just do the first move!), Stinking Slopers V5, Metroid Primer V6, The Samurai, whatever its V-grade is. As you walk away from Water, the new love of your life, you glance over your shoulder to see if she’s still there. She is. She looks demure, pouty even. She looks sad you’re leaving. You’re sad you’re leaving, too, of course. You’re already making plans to come back. You’re thinking what you’ll ever say to her parents if you ever meet them.

You’re getting ahead of yourself.

You walk off and look at a bunch of different boulders. You crimp the starting holds of BMOC V2 and talk with your friend about how it’s a short but actually quite fun problem. You trek further up the hill and look at more blocs before making your way back to the dirt road, where you slowly descend, the setting sun off to your right, the crunch of the gravel under your feet.

And all the while you’re thinking, When will I see her again? When will I see Water?

You breathe in sharply to stifle a sob.

 

Mentally Preparing

I’m mentally preparing for a trip to Trader Joe’s this evening. What will I buy????? Oh, but the possibilities are limitless. Pickled herring. A Danish kringle. Daal. Grassfed yogurt, where the actual yogurt itself is fed a steady diet of grass of six months before being packaged. Grassfed beef, in which the beef is fed a steady diet of grass. Cold brew. Smoked oysters. Kombucha. Eggs. Bread. More eggs. Less eggs. More bread. Even more bread. Less bread. And finally more bread again.

Today has been a day of good notices. First of all the market was up. Second of all I had physial therapy and foud out at the end of my physical therapy that I can basically do unlimited apppointments in April without having to get approval from my insurer. Thirdly I applied for some jobs. Fourthly I found out I’m still getting unemployment. And fifthly…..what was fifthly? Oh yeah, I had a good coffee. I got Chipotle. I went and looked at the cherry blossoms in the quad.

Lots of good things.

Physical therapy was exciting because today they did their three month assessment, and the main PT cleared the PT’s working on me to push me a lot harder. Get me jumping up and down, get me moving side to side. She said at this point the tissue is mostly healed so now some of the biggest obstacles are psychological. I can do a lot more than I think I can do. Lateral movement is still scary, but that’s because I think I’m more injured than I am. The most exciting part is the jumping up and down is going to prepare me for precisely things like falling off a wall onto a bouldering pad, or falling off a boulder onto a small bouldering pad. She knows I climb, and she knows I want to be able to climb again. So that’s what she’s preparing me for.

In other news, my right hand feels fucked. I climbed three times in two days earlier this week, and it was simply too much. Normally I would climb tomorrow with H at 4:30pm, but I’m gonna have to sit it out. I MIGHT be able to climb on Sunday with Bloom and Jessa, but I want to get my hand back to normal and THEN give it a couple additional days of rest before climbing again. At the latest I should be climbing again sometime next week. At least it’s not my knee, right? Crying face.

Excuse me while I lather myself in CBD oil.

In other news I’m going to reduce my blogging frequency to once every two days. Every day is just a little too much.  I feel like it makes the quality of the posts suffer, and it also makes me burnt out on writing. It’s a tough balance for me because on the one hand I want to get better at writing and stick to a schedule, but on the other hand I don’t want to hate it.

So.

The lathering is complete and it’s almost time to leave the boat. I think I’m going to walk to Trader Joe’s, which would imply walking across the Ballard Bridge. OR! I could go to the TJ’s in Queen Anne, which is equal parts exotic and soothing. I could park my car kinda far away so I’m forced to walk through Queen Ann, which would be equal parts tranquil and comforting.

Anyway.

There you have it.