|Yosemite's Camp 4 and the infamous Midnight Lightning boulder problem at it's center.|
Camp IV is the name climbers give to the walk in tent camp-ground in Yosemite valley that they seem to populate almost exclusively. If Yosemite Valley has somewhat of a mecca status in climbing culture then Camp IV is it's heart. I've travelled there a number of times but only once after i had started to break into that upper echelon in climbing's hierarchy and become a bit of a climbing bad ass myself.
It was brutal.
|Badasses of Camp 4|
So what was the problem? Well, every night when i'd come back down in to Camp IV from one of these epic, climb of a lifetime efforts and want to rest and regale others with my exploits, i'd be faced with a dozen or more stories from others in the same boat as me. All of camp IV seemed to be making ambitions plans for bold ascents and what had felt like a tremendous accomplishment as i'd been hiking down from the cliff hours before quickly felt less than noteworthy.
In later reflecting on this phenomenon i realized what was happening. I was unconsciously adding all the accomplishments of dozens of gifted and driven climbers to a single resume and then mentally comparing my own resume to that of this "Pseuper-man**". I always felt lame.
Now-a-days Facebook is my Camp IV. My news feed is populated with pictures of beautiful places and stories of exciting adventures and epic training sessions. As i scroll through it my psyche seems to automatically begin disparaging itself with the unconscious notion that i'm just not doing enough. Before i know it i feel lame again - i'm not doing anything cool, not going anyplace awesome, and definitely not training/racing hard enough. Why can't i be more like this Pseuper-man?
Of course i know he/she doesn't exist - but this conscious thought only has power when i hold it in my attention, and i've got no time for that. When i was in Yosemite and I recognized what was going on i had to escape or i was going to get hurt or die trying to compete (or at least climbing was going to stop being fun). So my brother and i caught a bus out of the Valley to Merced and hung out with its small town people and walked around its small town streets for a couple of days until we felt like bad asses again.
|The Rostrum, A Yosemite Valley test-piece.|
Don't worry, i'll be back, and i'm sure i'll tell you all about it on Facebook.
*For those not climbers, here is a fitness based comparison that will make some of the climbing terms more accessible - the standard routes in Yosemite are like running a marathon. Climbing a trade-route is like qualifying for Boston - takes some dedication and talent - not just anyone can do it, but it is still a pretty big group. The test pieces? Now we're talking sub 3 Hr. marathon. Yeah, there are still numbers in this group but they are getting smaller (for example less than 2% of marathoners run a sub 3 - and less than 1% of people run a marathon to begin with....)
**Neology in action. If you use my word, just make sure to credit my brilliance and pay per use royalties. Thanks.
|A sub 3 hour marathoner. Pretty elite!|