Thursday, September 5, 2013


J. Hurst slaying some fear demons on the crux roof crack of the Haystack, Lover's Leap.  

Do one thing every day that scares you.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation causes your worst fear to come true.
~Bohdi (Point Break 1991)

Rock climbing.

It really is a silly hobby, and when you think about it, one of the dumbest and most maladaptive pursuits one can engage in.  I mean honestly, who in their right mind would voluntarily leave terra firma, bury the deepest of survival instincts from the conscious mind and trust that dime sized edges of fractured rock will not fail when loaded under body weight.  Not very smart.

Why is it then that I find this act so fundamentally satisfying?  Maybe it is because I live in a modern world so saturated with stimulus, distractions and mental clutter that my brain is seldom allowed the opportunity to center.  Maybe it is because stepping out high above gear and smearing on the tiniest of granite crystals removes the omnipresent insulation from risk that is wildly pervasive in our society.  Or maybe it is because the sharp end of a rope forces an assumption of responsibility for my own well-being that is largely vacant from the sue-happy culture of which I am a part.  

While I suspect that Mrs. Roosevelt likely never tied in for a day in the vertical, she clearly understood that fear has the power to intently focus our entire being on the task at hand, take us out of our little bubbles of comfort, and grow just a little.
Rock climbing or public speaking, a little fear likely good for us.  

I have climbed more in the last three weeks than I have in the previous three years and as much as my  philosophical meanderings attempt to justify a completely self-serving and pointless pursuit, all I really have to say is that climbing is a hell of a lot of fun and I do it because it makes me happy.

I probably like it because it scares me a little as well.

Kloshe Konaway
Kloshe Nanitch


J. Hurst crushing the 5.6 crux of Deception Crack.  The Hogsback, Lover's Leap.

Jenny loves sharing cramped belay ledges with me.

Beautiful wife and the beautiful East Wall of Lover's Leap

The stellar pitch 1 of The Line, Lover's Leap.  The Line throws a 5.9 crux at you just 20 feet off the ground on thin gear.  Ground falls are common, but completely avoidable.

Steep view of pitch 1 of  The Line.  

I am really fortunate to have a talented athlete as a Brother in Law.    Christian is a natural climber and cruises 5.9 cracks off the couch.  

The Pony Express delivered mail by horseback from Saint Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, CA from April 1860 to October 1861.  The historic trail runs along the the base of the walls of Lover's Leap.

Jenny approaching her nemesis, The Haystack on the East Wall of Lover's Leap.  Haystack is just left of the apex of the wall and is distinguished by the right facing corner and large roof  at 2/3 height.  

My new climbing partner BOB.

Looking up the intimidating, but easily protectable crux roof the Haystack.

All climbers have their epics and Jen had a decent one on the Haystack last time she was in Tahoe.  Despite some serious anxiety, she hopped back on the horse and slayed some personal dragons in good style.  


  1. Sweet! I'm pretty sure I got my 'do one thing a day that scares you' fix just from your pictures.

    Great trip you guys. Tracy sent me the link and I love reading about your adventure!!


    1. Thanks Roberta! We are having a great time and are getting quite used to the Lake Tahoe lifestyle, albeit without the burden of employment!



  2. Wow that looks amazing! and much bigger than the rock wall that I have such wonderful memories of climbing when we visited. We have gotten the kids into rock climbing early. They have such a cool kids zone here and our two oldest have gotten so good at it. That they have started trying some of the easy ones in the adult room. I'll have to keep pushing myself or I'll be left far behind.
    Am loving reading about your adventures =)

  3. Thanks Karen-

    We are certainly in the heart of some of the best rock climbing in the US. I have been taking my nephew bouldering across the street on a nightly basis and is so fun to watch him get better. I have given up trying to keep up with the youngen's, I just hope that they will take my climbing when I am old and decrepit ;-)



  4. Hey Matt! Don't get too fond of that place you have to come back to Seattle! Super fun reading your posts and looking at your pics. Brings back memories of the days before kids when Brock and I traveld cross county a couple times (by car of course). Be safe!


  5. nice work J !!!! you may not 'love' climbing, but you're getting pretty good at it!

    - Brandon