Friday, September 21, 2007

No Climbing For YOU(I mean, for me)!.....

How could I have said no? My client, who rarely goes away, asked a month ago if I could do a dog sit for her blind Cairn Terrier, Cali. I knew it would mean a weekend stuck in the city - away from my Gunks home away from home - and no climbing. But I heard that stupid little voice ("Be a good girl, Terrie") reminding me how lucky I was, with my luxe dirt lifestyle(definition to come at some point in a future post), and how well I understood the need to get away. What sort of person would it make me, in denying another that luxury?

So - while you all are out there being weekend warriors, taking road trips or out living the life - I'll be here waiting. Waiting for next weekend, for my next road trip(Halloween SushiFest in the desert!) waiting for April First of next year, when - if all goes to plan(plans that haven't even been laid yet) - things will be changing on this Sucks In The City Grrrl's life.

Ahhhh...pre-reminiscing.....I'll just keep that in my head for now. But, I suppose, with the fall season started, it's time to look at the already-been-had part of this season(which is what's propelling me to take actions to change, as you'll see....).

2007 marks only my 4th year climbing, but I've been lucky. Being self-employed has, at times, given me a lot of freedom to travel and take extended weekends. But this year, it seemed like it stalled out on me.

Returning from my spring trip out west, I found myself in yet another micro-financial crisis(I say micro, because the amounts involved were a pittance compared to what many others would require to feel the squeeze. But when one lives on a cash basis, relying on zero credit, the reality of one's cash flow is a little more clear). At the same time, my newly hired assistant bailed after having worked with me for only a month. With the summer slowdown coming, I knew it would be impossible to hire a new person (But now fall is here - Craigslist Want Ads - here I come!).

So I was stuck doing the weekday work(thank you Nicole, my weekend assitant!). Which meant I finished my work week at 3pm on Friday, and had to be back for Monday....grrrrr. In comparison to last year, when I had my van and could drive whenever I wanted, and was taking off Thursday night or Friday whenever, and could come back some time on Monday....well, you do this math. The answer to the equation is "2007 season = Sucks!"

Well.....not really. I mean, I have been upstate nearly every single weekend since May(late start this year due to weather). I think I missed 3 weekends in total.

Alas - my most regular climber partners were AWL(Absent WITH Leave). One was in Europe for the summer, and the other was tending to her newborn baby. Having been out of the "blind day" partner loop, I found it difficult to locate partners to climb with, and found myself taking plenty of hikes instead. It was so bad that I even considered creating a faux username ar and pretending I was a newly arrived to the area woman..... Don't laugh! When I started climbing, each time I posted for a partner, I had scores of replies, from guys who had tons of experience(and appreciative of them all, I remain, for through them I learned climbing ethics).

Add to the mix that I dedicate Sundays to trail work. Though my time available at the cliffs has decreased this year, there's just no way I would think of giving this up. I know this season has been an anomoly, and that change is on the way.

So......this year has been a low-impact climbing season for me. I have led only a handful of routes this year and the only "first" that I achieved was taking a lead fall onto a nut (P1 crux of Frog's Head).

In comparison to moments like the lead I took on Bitchy Virgin, this was fairly a non-event.

So - autumn is here - and I have been besieged with so many request for partners that I can't fit them all in. I've got to make up for lost time! I still lead 5.5, still find myself deferring to others when they want to lead, and still give the world's most patient belay while wondering why it's sometimes not reciprocated....

Let's hope the rest of this year brings me many pitches to climb, good leads, and an improvement in making sure I take my share in partnerships.

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WD said...

Hye great blog, and just saying hi welcome to the Outdoor Bloggers forum.
Would be great if you could add it to your blog roll as well.
Hope to catch on the forum sometime.

happiegrrrl said...

Thanks WD!

I did link the Outdoor Bloggers forum in the Discussion Forums section on my links. I know some of the people there have wonderful blogs, and as I discover which I'd like to highlight, I'll be surely adding specific blogs to the roll.

In the interim....

Fellow bloggers - do check out their site. It's a great place to network and get lots of good info from other adventurers who blog!