There’s one thing that bothers me about this trip. Or rather I’ll say, one of the things that I like most about the bike ride from LA to New York was that it was just us. No help whatsoever. We had the element of doing something unprepared and we just learned as we went. So this time, the fact that it wouldn’t be possible without Timmy isn’t my favorite part. Only one catch though, if we somehow learned over the next three to five years how to climb well enough to do El Capitan on our own, then we wouldn’t have that shocking experience of the inexperienced. The reason why I wanted to do this particular thing was because it’s so ridiculously foreign to 99.9% of people out there. Even great climbers don’t go up El Capitan, so when you put two guys who know nothing up there, I think it’s going to get real, real quick. I mean honestly, I’m just looking for a chance to film myself and Heath in a really compromising situation. Last year one of my biggest regrets was not filming more, especially the screaming and freaking out on the side of the road part. This time I want to film everything. I want the nervous laugh as we try to cope with fear. I want the struggling to eat, sleep and shit, while strapped into a harness that’s hooked to a rock, by a bolt that was placed by who knows, hanging 2,000 feet off the ground.
So that’s my disclaimer. A great quote by Yvon Chouinard about plastic surgeons and CEO’s climbing Everest made me think of all this:
“ they pay $80,000 and have sherpas put all the ladders in place, and 8,000 feet of fixed ropes. You get to a camp and you don’t even have to lay out your sleeping bag, and it’s already laid out with a little chocolate mint on the top. The whole purpose of climbing Everest is to effect some sort of spiritual and physical gain; but if you compromise the process, [then] you’re an asshole when you start out and you’re an asshole when you get back.”
I loved it when I heard it the first time. So hey, maybe we’re being assholes by going with Timmy and his friend Dave Turner. Maybe, but I see it different. I see it as two guys from one side of the tracks asking two guys from the other side to take us into their territory just for the hell of it. Just to see what will happen and how we’ll react. The great part about this point in the process is that Heath and I are left to answer each other’s questions right now because we haven’t met up with Timmy yet. We just sit there and bounce questions off each other and laugh because we just simply don’t know the answers to anything that we couldn’t find in a video on youtube. He told me that last night he couldn’t sleep. He started googling videos and said he “went down a black hole of watching rock climbers fall”. I know exactly what he’s talking about, because I’ve already done the same thing. I’ve done the “stay up late watching videos until you realize your palms are sweating” thing, it’s nauseating.
The bike thing was hard and tedious. For this one, I’m scared. So much different.
10 thoughts on “Are we assholes? Maybe.”
You’re reckless for trying this but I’d call you stupid if you weren’t scared. I don’t know if you’ve heard of this movie and maybe I shouldn’t be telling you about this: it’s called North Face (Nordwand in German) and it’s the true story of these 2 German climbers who tackled the Eiger Nordwand in Switzerland in 1936. I think there’s even real footage on youtube of what happened. It’s not the same thing as you’re doing, and a lot more harrowing than it will be for you, but strangely enough it inspired me to climb. And I liked what you said earlier about people and their obsessions and how Heath thrives off others. Its good for the soul.
I just wanted to thank Heath for steering me away from a skateboard and putting me on a bike.
hey Jeffey …Your aussie bro wishes you all the best!!! sounds like FUN(bullshit@#$%) Hope you can still make it to our boys night out,when we come to the USA.Barcade!
No assholes here! Just two guys living life to the fullest.
Must be hard to be your wife. I worry about Deliverance and mutant rednecks every time my husband goes on the Appalachian Trail. But at least it’s not freaking El Capitan. Instead of squealing, you guys could be going splat. But I know you won’t, because the world couldn’t afford to be without Heath Kirchart. You guys are beyond description. Be safe.
Still, the point you’re showing us, is to do something you’d never do, to leave the world of normal and to risk and be challenged. You’re definitely not going the easy route-you’re fortunately getting guidance, which for me as a follower am grateful for! I’m in awe of the two of you and your ability to push yourself to THIS extreme. My fear would paralyze me (as I’ve found when hiking in a dangerous situation and I could BARELY move, altho I did crawl to the top). You obviously want/need that rush, that fear motivating drive that most of us can live without. This is an entirely different challenge than the bike riding- seems like that was more left up to your bodies and mental stamina. You already knew how to properly ride a bike and you were not defying gravity. Climbing El Cap is a challenge in tons of ways-using your bodies (you thought you were sore on the bikes!) and mental state, yes, but also dealing with the constant fear and unknown, relying on others to guide you, relying on ropes, carabiners, harnesses to support you while you’re up 100+s of feet, among others.
I’m also scared for you, but really in total awe that you choose to live your (extreme) dreams out, and in a public forum. You and Heath are crazy but also two of the most admirable people I know for actually DOING IT. I’m actually happy to hear of your fear-to me that means you won’t do something stupid. This will be serious business, definitely.
Using the GoPro on your helmet? Did you upgrade?
You got it all right so far. Stick to your guns. Really push yourselves on the training though, so Timmy doesn’t laugh you off before you even get started is all I can add.
Remember you have the weight of all of us couch potatoes riding on your backs, woohoo! Here is some inspiring photos for you; http://theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/master-class-the-epic-california-rock-climbers-of-the-seventies-pt-ii/
lizard king is a climbing god…..free climbed(no ropes)3000 ft double over hangs when he was 16, watched his best friend fall 2500 feet when he was 18, and then had to climb another 500 feet and take 2 hours to hike down to see him, dead
hasn’t climbed since
get him involved….liz has mad climbing skills and can help with the training
fuck yes!! do it! action is power
Train Hard, and Breathe it all in and Live it.
do that shit! you’ve got it. don’t give up.