Sean and I accompanied our new climbing friends to one of the most beautiful climbing areas in the Bishop area. Matthew and Grant were on two different missions that day. Matthew had his eyes set on Ecstasy, 5.13a, a delicate, technique heavy arete that towers over the canyon. Grant was happy to use his honed trad skills on Pratt’s Crack, a long beautiful 5.9 off-width in a giant dihedral.
We witnessed some fantastic climbing while the sky dusted us with snow but there are only the words of the climber himself that can do this day justice. I asked Matthew if I could use his written encounter of the day….
“A short story of trying to climb a rock.
A few weeks ago, I posted that I had found my ‘dream line’ whilst I was in Bishop; a 45 meter, lazer cut, granite arete. I was able to return to try it a few days later on what was my last day in Bishop with 3 awesome people who were willing to hang around in freezing temps and snow, whilst taking photos and belaying me. The reason I consider this a dream line, is because I love granite and I love aretes. The line is incredibly beautiful and the rock is perfect, with the angle being just off vertical, the climbing contains the most technical sustained sequences I’ve ever done.”
“Throughout the whole climb you only use a few face holds, therefore requiring you to be precariously layback the arete, relying on pure friction and balance, It’s super intense. After a few burns, I knew I could do it, but with fading light and numb hands I had to walk away.”
“One of my best buds, Grant Stewart convinced me that we had to return for a couple of go’s the next morning before driving to Yosemite. So the following day after re hanging the draws the pressure was on to send. I wanted it so badly and put in two good go’s where I only fell once on each. On the second go, I fell on the last hard move and cursed at the top of my lungs (something I pretty much never do), I was so god darn close and I knew the only reason I failed was because the sending pressure got to my head and caused me to forget the sequences and climb sloppy when it really counted. Walking away for second time was a very hard thing to do, but during the drive to Yosemite, I reflected on the whole experience and eventually came to realize that sending is NOT what its all about, and that just getting to climb on something I find so inspiring is where the enjoyment really lies. This is a valuable lesson that we as climbers all struggle with but need to be reminded of when trying to send our projects. Plus, I now have an even bigger reason to return to Bishop and I get to experience the climb all over again.”
“So, yes the story of the ‘dream line’ is one of failure, but the fact that 5 months on road climbing rocks every day does not get old and that after nearly 15 years of climbing, I am still consistently inspired and always learning I think is pretty f**king rad! Thanks to Sean Naugle and Geneva Damico for braving the cold and taking incredible photos and Thanks to Grant for being such a supportive friend and amazing climbing partner!” -Matthew Waring
Now it was Grant’s turn to climb his style!
We had so much fun hanging out with these guys and documenting them doing what they love. Thanks for reminding us why we love to climb and capture these moments!