The Poetic Struggle of Bouldering

Photo by Sam Pace
Facelift – By Travis Soares

How long has this boulder stood? Thousands of years? Millions? Billions? How long has this boulder silently watched oaks and pines grow and wither; squirrels and deer live and die?

And now, within the past thirty years, how many people has this boulder seen? How many people have come to test their strength, their will, their spirit on this old silent sage? How many people have tried to climb their way to the top only to find themselves plummeting back to the dirt; as I have done many times before.

And often I wondered – what is it up there at the top of this boulder that is so greatly coveted? What is the point in climbing this granite monolith? Until finally one cold, cloudy day I stretched my limbs, chalked my hands and began to climb. A high heel throw to a far left pitch. Move your feet up and cross right hand to a slope crimp. Move left to a sloper, step up and toe hard. Take a breathe, relax your muscles for a brief second and spring to the lip, the final throw.

Suddenly I found myself at the top and it was in that moment I realized, as I panted heavily, struck dumb with awe and disbelief, that it wasn’t the top climbers wanted, but the journey of getting there.

I wonder if this boulder will remember humans long after they’ve passed away and there is nothing more to watch than oaks and deer once again. I wonder if this boulder will remember the warmth of human touch, the cries of exertion and frustration, the howl of pride, the quiet faces of admiration and fear. I wonder if this boulder will think fondly of those strange creatures that had often come to sit, to watch and to climb; even if it had only lasted for a moment in the grand expanse of eternity.

This was written & submitted by Travis Soares a local climber based in Prescott, Arizona.

Have an experience or place  you would like to submit an article about? Send your submissions to  Nicholas@TimetoClimb.com

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