Thursday, January 10, 2013

Red Rocks Into a Year-Long Grounding

The Split Boulder
For Kristin and I, 2013 will be the "year of the car."  For a variety of reasons, we've decided that we aren't going to board a plane for personal enjoyment (i.e. climbing) for the entire calendar year.  Many of our friends have already asked, "Why the hell would you do that?"  Well, the primary reason is because our travel habits have gotten out of control - run amok - taken over.  We've found ourselves in an endless cycle of planning, travel, incurring bills, paying bills and then the mental process of anticipation, the highs and lows of climbing, and the psychological roller coaster of re-emergence into the working world.  This lifestyle is what we crave, but I began to feel like it had become a burden to maintain that endless momentum of packing and unpacking, moving from one trip into the next all while trying to be a responsible co-worker and husband.  Air travel isn't the only contributing factor, but it plays a pretty big role especially in terms of the financial stress.   

We decided to intervene before we started to take our ridiculously privileged lifestyle for granted.  I figured the best way to appreciate what we have is to go without for a short period of time.  On top of that, we've also found that it's difficult to reign in our lifestyle without drawing a line in the sand.   Another climbing trip, another ski trip, another family vacation - another journey always finds its way onto our calendar.  The only way to say no to anything is to say no to everything!  (Yes, it kind of sounds like an addiction.) 

So for the next 12 months, we have sworn off of commercial air travel.  I may have to fly for work, and I have allotted myself one exception, a yet-to-be-disclosed helicopter ride that had already wormed its way into the schedule well before we hatched this hair-brained idea.  (This particular helicopter ride is going to be so worth it!)  But apart from those transgressions, Kristin and I will not be boarding a plane until 2014.

Of course, that meant that we had to make the most of 2012!  On December 26th, we departed for our last trip prior to the temporary hiatus and boarded a flight for sunny Las Vegas, Nevada!  Cha-ching! We met up with a couple of friends and were lucky to stay at a beautiful ranch in Calico Basin a short walk from some world-class climbing.

The last hurrah


Atman Crack!
The first day there, I busted up my big toe pretty good, which kind of put a damper on my climbing for the rest of the trip.  But no worries - we put it on cruise control and enjoyed four very fun days of mostly sunny, moderate climbing in the desert.  On December 31st, the last day of 2012, we boarded a plane bound for the dreary Pacific Northwest, squeezing all we could out of the fading year before our self-imposed, year-long airline abstinence.  Our little gimmick was already working!  Because we weren't going to be on a plane for another year, we enjoyed the trip that much more. 

From deprivation comes appreciation.  And, in this case, even just the anticipation of deprivation lead to a greater appreciation of our good fortune. 

Enjoy the rest of the photos.  And a huge thanks to Guy and Virginia for the good times!  Here's to 2013!

The approach vehicle - out of my way beotches!

Virginia on Atman Crack

Guy on Yin and Yang

Where's Waldo err Kristin?

Walking off from the top of Shark Vegas

Fun in the Sun on Birdland - we cropped out the other 15 people that tried to climb the route with us
Guy leading a face climb just to the left of Physical Graffiti

And the first pitch of Physical


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