You hang out and don’t climb.
You talk about all of the climbing destinations in the world. Particularly Red Rocks.
You talk about all the badass things people are doing on El Cap. Like meg curry, who climbed mescalito solo on a diet of strictly bugs. she's an entomologist. what a badass.
You talk about climbing when sitting around the campfire drinking whiskey and wine.
You talk about climbing in the meadow with Eric Sloane while watching Tom Evans do his thing.
You start a debate around the campfire about the word Feminism because you are playing a drinking game called, "Fat Pussy," and you want to call it, "Big Dick." Then you realize you are surrounded by man-boys and this can only go downhill from here.
But politics is okay because climbers are liberal.
You play drinking games when it rains.
You drink a beer and then go for a run to the meadow. Because you're a dirtbag now and can do things backwards and in whatever order you choose.
You meet a guy named Jeff who plays the flute and has been walking from the west coast back to Maryland where he lives. You advise him to visit Columbia, Missouri and check out the Peace Nook.
You casually meet a handful of your climbing heroes like Timmy O’Neil and Jim Bridwell.
You learn that Jim Bridwell is voting for Donald Trump. Your heart bleeds. He gives you a lesson in guns, language barriers, and the constitution. Your ears bleed.
You question everything you have ever believed about the masters of stone.
You still don’t climb much.
You get your ass kicked when you do climb.
You thought you liked climbing, but now you are not sure.
You are explained what aid climbing is and you are convinced it sounds like the most horrible, asinine form of “climbing”.
You tell yourself that one day you will climb El Cap because it’s the only way to really be able to call yourself a “climber”.
You meet Mash Alexander and he becomes your spiritual guide to Yosemite, climbing, and life.
You find out that the grades in Yosemite are the law. Everywhere else is wrong.
You have taken several mental rest days due to one, single 5.8 offwidth that made you cry…almost.
Since you aren't climbing much, you fall back on your networking skills. You invite everyone you encounter to join you at your campsite for nightly parties. The tarp party in the rain was a huge success. So successful that the next night on your birthday you go to bed at 9am.
You become the social coordinator of Camp 4 because you are still questioning your identity as a climber.
You revert back to calling yourself a poet. You are mildly and briefly comforted.
You meet a photo journalist named Earl and he inspires you to become a photo journalist.
You start calling yourself a photo journalist.
You have learned one song on the ukulele - the most successful thing you have done in two weeks.
Time is blurring and melting into one continuous cycle of oatmeal, salami and cheese, and beans and rice.
You are surrounded by man-boys at all times. And you love each of them. They “oo-ooh” at each other, like a tribal calling. At first you are confused. Over time you find it endearing.
You ask yourself, the man-boys, Mash, and the coyote waltzing through the campground,
“Where are all of the female climbers???”
You’re heading to Indian Creek, the sport climbing paradise, to train for Yosemite in the Spring.