Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Week 18: Annapolis Rock with Eliza Oct 31

Just a quick climbing trip up to Annapolis Rock, which peculiarly is located west of Frederick and nowhere near Annapolis.

I was accompanied by the lovely Eliza, and our goal was to get off our butts, as we have been feeling particularly lazy these past few weeks.

We had quite a bit of company on the two mile hike in. Everything from dogs to a group of 60+ers doing a 10 mile hike, to a few snakes (we would see three total during the day)

Eliza checking out the view from the "summit"

Since we were feeling a bit out of shape we naturally proceeded to the most challenging line on the cliff, Black Crack. Reasonable holds but quite steep and quite a workout. Elizas struggled with this climb and I believe part of that was our mindset that day.

We had come up to get back in shape, to train, and generally feel good about ourselves. These are not explicitly, but certainly lean towards, goal-oriented behaviors. In reading one of my favorite mountaineering books recently Extreme Alpinism by Mark Twight, he says that goal oriented behavior has as its antithesis failure. But in failing have you negated the good climbing you did up until the point of failure, the hard work required to reach that point, the beautiful fall day? Of course not.

And especially in the types of climbing we do the "summit" is so arbitrary. Usually we have just walked to the base from the top anyway! Perhaps this is self justifying as I do fail on many of the climbs and adventures I go on, but I prefer to at least try and enjoy the experience as much as the top.

Eliza goes for a ride on Black Crack

A couple easier climbs renews our disposition and we soon head down. Eliza spots another snake on the way down and declares the day done.

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