Friday, March 21, 2014

So Cal's Hardest (20 Years Ago)

By the third issue of Allez, we clearly didn't care if anyone else liked our style. I no longer remember the climb diagrammed on page 2, Steve? In contrast to American climbing magazines - which have a "What's the Best 5.10?" article every other issue - we did a write-up of the ten hardest climbs in Southern California. The hardest route on the list, G-String (14a) is still unrepeated; Scott Cosgrove is a total hero.
   I'm not sure that my own Better Than Life (13c) deserved to make the list; but it was Steve's article. Sadly, although BTL has had several repeats, only one was by a Santa Barbara resident, Elijah Ball, the others were all visitors: Hans Florine, Chris Leube, James Kim, and Steve Lapin (in the order, that I know of.) But I get it... bouldering, not sport climbing, is in vogue these days. (BTW, the PDF skips from page 14 to 18, so you have to scroll down to page 16, then back up to read that article in the proper order - that's Bob's fault.)
  The interview with Lynn Hill was quite a score. I always thought it was odd that she started by describing her training as "not very scientific." Yet when asked a general "what's next" question she says, "Usually I peak in my physical ability in late summer or fall, so now I'll get back into my foundation phase..." - that's a pretty scientific approach. I think top athletes often forget how much they've learned. Many lessons are so ingrained into their lives that they no longer see them as "training."
   The photo below is Todd Mei on Action Direct, 14d. Steve returned from that trip immensely psyched on power - which benefited us all. I can't remember who picked the quote (Steve or I) but it resonates more for me now than ever: "All limitations are self imposed."