Touched by an Angel

(When I wrote this post, my nervous system was pretty activated by some trauma trigger flashblacks, hence the discordant bent of the writing. I pulled it from the site during a period of depression, per usual, but now am reposting because it was a kick-ass tower featuring a stout R-rated offwidth lead by Andy).

I have a problem with routefinding.



Sometimes the only way back down is up. At the end of the day, it is what it is. That’s why I’m proud to climb with serene partners who dress the knot for success.

Andy is one of the chillest guys I know. He and I have a lot in common – teaching is our vocation. Science is his passion; words are my trade.

In exchange for losing my puffy on P1 and shivering my belays to the top, I got to come to a place of blunt emotional honesty and give credits where credit’s due

processing … I’d like to blaze the grade of A+ onto the climbing C.V. of the man who tied in tight and onsighted the spiciest pitch on that Sedona spire.

So how spicy is too spicy? Ask McDonalds. They were supposed to open at 06:00 but a handwritten note postponed my McGriddlefix far past rock-oclock. At quarter to send:thirty, we busted hard left to the grocery and snagged a sixer of sausages.

In addition to being a suave educator, A-mac is a veteran thru-hiker and knows how to work a grocery store counterclockwise.

Alien Ant Farm serenaded our dawn patrol.
Like a double-zero micro cam’talot,
O revolting headlamp, lock and shot.
Flickers of inspiration, smoothcriminalz roll!

Fast forward to the crux pitch. One of us onsighted the trendy-.10d finger crack in a flare. The other popped past a shallow dihedral that dilated down to a vortex.

Pitch three was straight chronic Zion-esque splitter. It was too good to mention anything but the naked jams, tapeless as a trash-compacted diskette … super floppy.

Thumbs up, lock it. Big toe? Sprrrrawkittt!

To the next responder: Sorry about the mess … but I have to admit that it feels good to leave some DNA when you’re finally on-route.

Input pitch 4$
Let 4$ = 5.8X wide

Congratulations, my young partner. In this moment, you are weightless, whippered but not snapped. I would applaud your headgame except that the only thing keeping you from F2’ing and turning a sender’s game into a catcher’s wry folly is one piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. Should that fail, I shall have found myself in a “duty to act” scenario in which the first rule of (timelapsed subwoofer club) is you do not focus on anything but the present club  [exwoofer CAPTURE]. I am holding on to what matters most. I am skydzwfrydzw’s raging conscience. Don’t let go of that crystalvision of our best friends climbing the dawg and sleeping at last under the stars. And that’s when you realize, whoever you are, that in the blink of an eye, you are caught. By an angel or a demon or whatever.

^ <3 * §

input pitch 4.5
let lead$ = swapped
if jug haul = positive
then print “sweetactionbrosendthagnar”


It’s a relief to top out on a spire. No way down but out. Pre-thread the chains, commemorate the capture, lean back into the blessed assurance that my favorite part of rockcraft is aiding and abetting fellow fugitives.

Pataphorically speaking,
it’s super meta to be a
forerunner. semantic
brawls aside, I have
nothing left
to say

Good photos by @mcquilat


2 thoughts on “Touched by an Angel

  1. In conclusion … I, FWDN, am an allegedly schizoeffective wilderness first responder whose knack for rhetorical chicanery knows only the bounds of law and gospel. The duplicity of my words impels me ever closer to the edge of … Awk! Word! Razor’s edge, etc. This moment of crystalline patafocus has been metaphorically inspired by three people, two ropes and the one bit of common sense that everyone knows … Of course you shouldn’t take my word for it. Ask g-d or whoever floats your gote. 🙂 paxxxp .

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