[26 Sept 2020> Flashing back to November 1993 in our archival journal transcription (picking up from Sept-Oct 93), in the height of our climbing days:]
Nov 1, 1993 [Tucson]
So Friday Stefan and I met Rebecca with the intention of kidnapping her to Joshua Tree. We met her at Modern Languages where Stefan handed in her lab for her cuz she was ditching out on the test. As we were walking out I saw a colorful bird fly out of the corner of my eye into the bushes, it seemed exotic and out of place. I looked in the bushes and it was a peach-faced lovebird that looked like Nestor [our ex's lovebird]. It seemed like an omen, like something that would happen in a dream. We chased it around and i threw my sweatshirt over it and caught it. We put it in a box and carried it to ZZ's pizza. Rebecca wanted to call it Joshua. Ends up she couldn't go to Joshua Tree cuz she told her friend Christy she would go to the Beanfest, but she seemed receptive to being kidnapped, though we were stalling and this bird threw a loop in our plans. I was getting stressed, antsy to get out of Tucson. Finally we let her go and Stefan and I piled into his brothers 5000 CC Ford Mustang, complete with cellular phone and homeboy stereo system. Matter of fact, we couldn't use the trunk cuz it was taken up by the giant woofers. We finally got out of town around 3 pm. We stopped at REI in Phoenix where i spent $450 on boots, crampons, TCUs etc... out of control, but exciting at the same time, stuff i need for climbing volcanoes in Mexico. We drove through the moonlit night and got into Joshua Tree around 11 pm. Of course all the campgrounds were full so we made Top Ramen and slept in the day parking lot. The lighting was unreal. I remember waking up and seeing the rocks and Joshua trees in the moonlight from the west and the twilight in the east. A park ranger came and told us to get up at 6 a.m. It was freezing. We still hadn't met up with Scott and Cheryl. We left them a note to meet us at Lost Horse and we set out to do Dappled Mare (5.8, 4 pitches). Stefan did the first pitch but i think he may have started it wrong. As i began leading the second pitch i saw Scott's van and Scott came towards us, walking his cat. I told him to get his harness and when i finished that pitch, Stefan belayed Scott up, then I belayed both of them up. I led the next pitch which was really cool, down and then up this slanting hand traverse and up to discontinuous cracks, bomber gear, good fun. I ran out of rope like 20 feet from the top so Stefan finished us off. We went back to the cars, Scott has a VW bus now, really cool, and a little kitten. After that i led Dinky Doing (5.8) a beautiful hand crack. Meanwhile Stefan jumped on another 5.8 next to it. Scott followed me up. Then we went to Shorter Wall and i led Rock Candy (5.9) which was a cool face climb protected by a hard to protect seam. I left my gear for Scott to lead this 5.7 crack for Cheryl. They were having a spat while i was tenuously trying to get R.P.s in the crack and then she left in tears. So Stefan followed and then we bailed. Luckily we found a campsite then went into town to get Thai food. Then we came back and made a fire and drank red wine, then went for a moonlight stroll with Scott and Cheryl into echo cave.
The next day we went to Split Rocks. Really intense place with these narrow passages. Scott led Gem (5.8), a beautiful hand/fist crack. Then we TR'ed True Dive (5.10a) this face into a nice crack. Then i led Colorado Crack (5.9) also very classic, almost religious. We TR'ed a crack next to it, Spiderman (5.10a), a steep finger crack into a cool easy layback then into groveling off-width that was a bloody battle. It was glorious, i was in heaven, it was sheer pleasure/pain. Stefan was having a high-gravity day, he fell on The Gem and then didn't want to do anything until i talked him into doing Colorado Crack. He had to rest and then this kid started streaming hysterically and then the coyotes went off and i started howling and i guess that freaked him out. We went back and did the burrito thing while Scott and Cheryl took my gear and did a twilight ascent of Double Dip;. I could see him going up from the campsite as it got dark. So we went to check on him, since he didn't bring a light. Then the drive home. Stefan had to do all the driving since i wasn't insured for his brother's car. Got in at 2:30 a.m. Been procrastinating all day. The lovebird died (we'd left it with Gretta) and Stefan's brother Gabe got arrested for tampering with evidence (he hid a knife). I need to get some work done, everyone keeps coming in here and yacking at me.
Nov 4, 1993
Just went to Milagrosa where i led two 5.11as. I don't know, it's just a number but i feel really good about it. It was a spontaneous thing, Harlow called and wanted to go and of course i can never say no. We grabbed Taco Hell and made for the canyon, hiked in the back way. I warmed us up on St Valentine's day (5.9 var) which was like going up stairs so why not try Stealin' (5.11a)? I was cautious and coping rests when i could, but it really wasn't that bad, so that boosted my ego. As we were leaving i was looking at Fourplay (5.11a) and looked doable so i went for it. What an experience. It was a lot thinner than it looked, all the holds facing the wrong direction. I pulled off some moves that surprised myself but i think what surprised me most was that i kept cranking, i would see a chalked hold and go for it and luckily they were for the most part positive. There was a nice ledge after 5 bolts that i could rest, then it was huge holds though i was pumped beyond belief but flashed it. I think i need to push myself more. It really is exciting in a different sense, being on the brink of control, being on the edge of your limits.
Nov 6, 1993
Went climbing w/ Rebecca. Did F.I.U.T.T. (5.8) which I'm not sure which version it was cut it felt harder than 5.8. We did Crow's Next (5.10–) after that. I don't know if i overcame that large flake in the correct manner cuz it was hard and scary and the crux didn't seem as bad as that. But it was an intense climb. Rebecca did it without falling but couldn't get a TCU out though she refused to let me get it and it was a pain but finally she got it and i let her down. We had an interesting discussion on the way up... maybe i should refrain from political discussions cuz ends up she's a total gun-toting republican. I still can't figure out my feelings for her. Sometimes she's so cute i want to wrap my arms around her, but more in a little sister kind of way. I'm going with her to Joshua Tree in 4 days, that should be interesting.
The bouldering wall at the gym is ultra-religious... it fries my arms really fast. I've been flaking out pretty bad. A lot of it is cuz of Rebecca. The other night we talked on the phone for 5 hours, though i'm not sure what we talked about. I've been thoroughly procrastinating and all i really want to do is climb and write. I've been trying to work on the stonefish story but it seems all fragmented and i can't make it fall together. I need to study for my E + M exam, for what it's worth.
Nov 12—El Paso, Texas
Friday morning in a motel 6. I had a really twisted dream last night, though can't articulate it. What the hell am i doing here? Rebecca is brushing her teeth. Last night i had to brush them for cuz she was too lazy too. We were supposed to leave Wednesday for J Tree (my E + M exam went alright) but Rebecca was sick. Picture the 3-way line, me, Rebecca and Dr. Stefan. Stefan and I paid a house call to deliver medicine and i got the cellular and i'm talking to her and getting directions while we're driving. We're centering in, we're coming to get you, and she's totally paranoid and won't let us in but we bust down the door and she's all "don't look at this, don't look at that". Poor girl. We brough some sort of Indian cough syrup from some weird plant and turned her brother's sword upside own and she told us where her guns were. The weird medicine didn't work so we decided to leave Thursday morning 9 a.m... ha ha, what a pain that girl is. Good thing though cuz i got all my labs done.
(Now we're back in El Paso after a day's climbing)
Bad weather came in and Rebecca had to hand something in so we ended up not getting out of Tucson until late afternoon, driving though the rain. The forecast was better in Texas and we lost a day so decided to hit Hueco Tanks instead, and Stefan ended up flaking. We got a room cuz Rebecca was sick, and i'm starting to get sick too. Decadent, but hey, who needs secondary infections? It was a little weird cuz i'm starting to like her but don't want to get involved with her, not that she's interested in me anyways, it's hard to tell. I don't seem her type, hippie anti-gun liberal guy. The whole way driving she has her loaded gun on the dashboard (the law is that it has to be visible and loaded), which is weird to say the least... talk about a "loaded" object between us. I had a restless night sleep, had this disturbing dream [not yet logged in our dream journal] that i was screwed on from the waist down and my head and torso could float around. Then i came upon the lower half of me and was really intrigued about the mind/body thing and whether i could become aroused without my head attached, so I, well, ... it was really strange and i woke up disgusted at myself and jumped in the shower thinking it was morning and when i got out it was still dark when i looked outside. Eventually we got up but were being really lackadaisical, well at least Rebecca was and we got to the park around 11 a.m. Did Divine Wind (5.9), it was boring and easy (more like 5.7). There were people everywhere and it was getting on my nerves so we went and did Fox Trot (5.10a) which was really easy (5.8+) and we were gonna do Head Fox (5.10+) but there these farting and belching French climbers already on it so we laid in the sun waiting for them and then did that and it was a little more challenging but still felt like 5.9+/5.10– but it was a good climb with cool moves, Rebecca was feeling sick and weak but did it sans falling. It was dark by this time so we just went and ate Mexican and succumbed to decadence again and got a room.
Nov 13—El Paso
Still in El Paso sitting in an empty coffee shop cuz it's 6 a.m. and i'm fully awake and full of good dreams and well rested and psyched to climb but it's raining and Rebecca is still sleeping. I laid awake in bed probably 2 hours before coming here, now i think i'm gonna work on that story.
Sat in some backward ass café and worked on "Threshold Wound" (spontaneous classification) then went got Rebecca up from her slumber then went to the rocks even though it looked like rain. We were both not feeling up to park, i woke up at 4 a.m. and was starting to feel tired and we were both feeling the high lard content in our veins from all this shitty food. Nevertheless we started out on Hueco Syndrome (5.10–, 2 pitches). The first pitch was 5.8 and actually felt 5.8–. It was slopey and cold. The next pitch was classic. Really cool moves up this arête and then onto that really grippy iron rock stuff. When i got up i looked out on the horizon and saw a dark mass approaching and tried to encourage Rebecca to hurry, but we got caught in it anyways. The wind swept in, icy cold blowing crystallized snow rain on us. I set up a rappel and sent Rebecca off and huddled in misery. Then i rapped down and began rolling the ropes. The wind was howling and blowing my rope all over the rock. When i was looking up i could see that it was gonna blow over this flake but i had to take a chance. And of course it wedged perfectly behind the leaning pillars of Uriah's Heap. We gathered our shit and ran under the mushroom boulder, leaving our rope behind. There were a dozen chicken-legged boulders there hanging out and smoking pot. We had to watch the rain a while, Rebecca was getting cold and if we had the rope we could have just bailed so i felt bad. After a half an hour or so the rain let up and this guy offered to belay me up the first pitch of Uriah's Heap. The rock was still wet but what the hell, it was like 5.5. I was all geared up and everything then it started pouring again. Rebecca was getting cold so i said fuck it. I asked this other guy J.D. and Mark if they could send it to me if they got it, since they were planning on doing Uriah's Heap anyway. I didn't really care at that point. It was our health, or the rope. I would take it for a loss if they didn't send it. So we blazed off in a trail of desperation, the rain gods sparking our asses.
Back to Tucson, leaving only junk food wrappers and my blanket to some homeless man near the border of Arizona and New Mexico cuz he seemed really cold. Oh yah, as we were driving away from Hueco Tanks, the rocks to our left, i had the most intense bout of déjà vu I've ever had that was instigated by Rebecca asking me "why are Pistachio's green?" and it kept piling on itself as she kept on saying things like, "does that mean they are ripe?". Hmmm.
I just called Stefan from a pay phone in the arcade near Pony Espresso and it struck me as weird. There was a guy playing guitar, "Oh Sweet Mary Lou" in one ear and when Stefan answered he was in the shower and Greta was talking on the cordless, to there was this strange hollow ambience with water trickling in the other ear. He went against the spiritual advice of his karmic adjuster and didn't go to Virginia.
Hiked Mt Wrightson with Stefan. Got a late start so didn't get to the base til around3:30 then i totally felt like motoring, but Stefan was going really slow. We never summitted cuz it was getting dark but it was really intense towards the top, cutting through switchbacks of increasing snow, then pulled around this corner and it was really rugged and peaceful in this little valley. There was about a foot of snow, probably was more but most of it had melted. Had to hike down in the dark.
I got an 80 on my E + M test, one of the 2 highest grades and i just finished my next to last lab so everything is low stress so I'm trying to work on the "Threshold Would" story, [here's an outline: (the actual page)]:
So I'm sitting here writing this and about to rush off and this girl just randomly came up to me and said she thought i was beautiful and asked my name, her name is Emily.
Nov 22, 1993
Today is my birthday, 27 fucking years old. 27! That's like a real person, almost an old fart. I still feel like i'm 22. 27 and I'm in Tucson, Arizona still not sure where this life will lead me. I'm sitting here at Pony Espresso feeling sad and nostalgic for the past. There's this girl sitting across the way, all i could see was the back of her neck and her hair in a bun and a few curls dangling. She'll likely get up and walk out of here and i'll never see her again.
It was a high gravity weekend. My plans with Harlow and Bob Kerry to finish "Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places" was foiled... too cold. That route is gonna have to be put on hold until next April. Harlow still didn't want to go but i really didn't want to go with just him. I made plans w/ Rebecca. Woke up Saturday morning and I'm all ready when ring, ring "Derecckkkk...." (in that drawn out nasally West Virginian drawl). She was out til 3 a.m., but "it wasn't my fault." She lets other people run her life, independent as she is. So i told her to go back to sleep though she said she'd still go. So i go through my list of names of climbers with cars... called Stefan and he came through on a moment's notice. Went up to Chimney Rock listening to Metallica. I totally felt like glory climbing, pushing my limits. Started off on Rat Line (5.11a). It was a gripping experience. When i got the last bolt clipped i was so deflated i couldn't have picked my nose if i wanted to so had to grab the draw and yell take. Then i finished it. Oh well, I died (if it wasn't for the bolt) but it was still semi-glorious. Damn, that girl's neck is beautiful, i'm trying not to stare but it's truly unbelievable. Anyways, we finished up on the second pitch of Crow's Nest (5.10–). Stefan did the last 5.6 pitch off-width. Shaheen and Patrick pulled up as i was topping out, so we each snagged a belay slave and Stefan did George's Buttress while i led Mistaken I.D. (5.9–) for Sean. It was time-consuming. I had to make sure Patrick knew how to belay. (The girl just let her hair down and my heart dropped with it... she's got baggy jeans and red slipper shoes and a brown suede jacket). Then Stefan pulled up the rope before Patrick had tied in and he had to do all sorts of bullshit, like watching a trainwreck, making me nervous to watch. Sunday i had to forsake my homework to take Rebecca climbing. We went to Milagrosa. I started us off on St Valentine’s Day (5.9) then attempted Triple Header (5.10d). It was scary, lots of loose rock. I got to a clip and was trying to clip too soon, barely able to reach, trying to get the darn thing as i was losing touch with reality. I knew i was gonna fall for that split second, then i peeled off and felt gravity do its work, actually a pretty intense feeling, good thing for ropes. It was all air, i fell about 10-12 feet. Hoo wah. Oh well, got it out of my system. I went back up and if i had just gone one more move there was a huge jug making the clip easier. Rebecca went up after with no falls. I was really impressed. After that we went to the sunny side and did Mocha Express (??... whatever that 5.9 is called) and then did Cappuccino (5.10b) supposedly 10b but shit that thing is hard. Got up to the crux and fell, but finally finished it. I took Rebecca out to eat after for doing Triple Header, went to Mandarin Grill. I'm getting more comfortable with her, losing my weird fascination/infatuation and it's becoming more of just a friendship.
As usual i'm procrastinating on all the homework i need to do before Joshua Tree, but it's my birthday.
My plans have been altered but my destination unchanged. Got home wednesday and had about 15 minutes of machine messages. The usual array of belated birthday wishes, then one from Stefan, he went up to Chimney Rock w/ Gretta... they got up to the second pitch and she didn't want to go further. So he decides to free solo the rest. He supposedly got past the hangerless bolt and kept going straight up, says he was 60 feet above the garden ledge (but probably more like 20-30 from the description) when he slipped and fell, tumbling down to the garden ledge. Miraculously he was alright and didn't fly over the ledge. I think he learned a hard lesson about free-soloing. He managed to rappel off and i don't think he'll be climbing anymore. Then there was a message from Ron Gain, Rebecca's father (who strangely is this cool liberal professor), saying in this long-winded monologue that Rebecca couldn't go to Joshua Tree and felt bad and wanted him to call to explain. What a big load of daddy's girl B.S. Then there was a message from Lydia that she really wanted to talk to me and i've been wanting to talk to her cuz i pretty much decided that i wanted her to move in so i can save on rent. I couldn't get a hold of her but i called Brauny and got the numbers of about 5 cars going to Joshua Tree. No one home. Got a hold of Stefan and we went and got coffee while i waited for my laundry and talked shit about climbing volcanoes in Mexico, seems Boyd might be a 3rd on our expedition. Got home and some girl Christine called and said she could give me a ride to J Tree. Funny thing is Stefan and I were at Summit Hut on a neurotic buying spree when we're talking to this girl... ends up it was Christine. Strange. Stefan dropped a load of cash but i only bought a sleeping pad. Came home and made a Waldorf Salad and now await thanksgiving weekend.
Nov 28 10:35 PM
The moon is eclipsing. The sky is brisk, dry and clear and the moon hangs high, like a gray sphere, with just a sliver left, but it's getting there. I'm really tired but i've been waiting up to see this and i'm getting déjà vu and certain nostalgic feelings like that first summer in Ajijic, for things like the tile floors and the 5-gallon glass jugs of water... so many things i take for granted. I'll go check on the moon again when it is totally eclipsing. I can sleep in peach with our shadow on the moon. Lunar eclipses take a lot more patience than solar eclipses. Now it's full, the putty sphere hanging in suspended animation.
Ended up getting a ride with this girl Christine, actually i slutted myself back and forth between Christine and Brian's car. It was a funny trip. Christine is this 21-year old suburban crunchy that is currently living at home with her parents and fighting with them, used to be a skate rat, worked in some Tahoe park as a park ranger, etc. Driving with Brian was nostalgic, we listened to The Descendants and he even had The Faction. We got in late and crashed. Luckily Christine had this extra huge heavy blanket which we threw over both of us and shared body warmth. I woke up with the sun as i did every day there, while everyone else slept in til later. So i had to veg out to wait for a belay. Finally i got Pat and Christine to come with me. Pat's this pretty cool guy that i ended up doing most of my climbing with, biology student at U of A. We started off on Oh God, It's my Boss (5.8). He led it and didn't bring stuff for an anchor so he threw the rope down and i led it... pretty stupid crumbly and short route. Then Pat tried Val de Nello (5.10b) but hang-dogged and couldn't get past the first bolt, so i finished for him (flashing it)... it was a pretty decent route. Wen to the corridor where everyone was else was climbing but the routes looked shitty so i talked Brian into coming with me to do Sweatband (5.10c) which was totally classic except had a bolting problem (2 bolts at the crux) which i was told later were retrofitted. But it was long and good moves. Belayed Brian, then Christine up that, then i tried top-roping Quivering Savages (5.12a) but didn't get past the crux, heinous vertical slab. Had a hectic thanksgiving fiasco of a meal. I contributed the Waldorf Salad (which was salty and a day old) and a ½ gallon of zinfandel which was consumed in minutes. A pretty funny and entertaining group. Especially this guy Bruce who told some animated jokes and a story about his refrigerator repair man brother of his that was working at a morgue and had to help lift a 350 lb. woman into the cremation oven and described in great detail all the fat that dripped into the trays below.
The next morning i dragged Pat out to do Silent but Deadly (5.11b), which i fell on at the crux and hit my knee but finished it after that. Had my hand an inch below the crucial hold. Then we both led Silent Scream (5.10a). I belayed this beginner 14-year old girl up that that had a cool attitude. Then we went and did Vertical Correction (5.11a) which was an amazing climb, this slabby dimply climb with no hands and cool moves. I fell at the bottom from being sloppy and starting wrong but then pulled through. After that we went to Goodbye Mr. Bond (5.10c). Pat tried it first. He hang-dogged then pulled through the crux using the quickdraw as a hold, clipped a few more bolts but kept falling and eventually gave up. So i went up and finished it off without falling. Very heinous, the top part was run out and loose. Scott showed up while we were on that, his hands were covered with engine grease, his bus broke down and he spent the night and day working on it. But he came up Mr. Bond after that. Did the burrito fest thing after that. Then Stefan and Gretta showed up. The group psychology was getting out of control, so many people from different strands. Trying to go between Stefan and Gretta, Scott and Cheryl and all these new people i was meeting. Christine was being all quiet and offering me beers, seeming to want to be alone with me, hmm. Next day we went to Short Wall which was out of control with people everywhere. I led Belay Girl (5.10c) which was hard as shit. I fell at the second crux but finished it. I'm glad i'm pushing my limits but i'm falling too much. I belayed a bunch of people up what, but no one could do it without falling, not even past the bottom crux, so i least i got through that. When i was finally freed up of my belaying obligation i got a ride up Step N' Out (5.10d) and ________________ (5.10a) which i sped climb then ran over and did Left V Crack (5.11b) which i fell from hurrying it but then finished it. Funny, i toproped Vertical Corrector after leading it (and not falling) but fell on TR. I think i climb better when leading. Scott couldn't get up Belay Girl and when he eventually made it ends up he had a big hole in his shoe, so he ran into town to get a new pair of Scarpas. I rushed back cuz i felt bad he hadn't climbed that much and belayed him up Silent Scream then i led Who's First (5.6) for Cheryl to climb and after she did that i belayed Harold up and he did it blindfolded! Interesting way to hone your skills, i wish i could have tried it but it was getting cold and so began the Thai vs. Mexican debate. Brian was leading the Mexican effort while i was all fuck Mexican let's get Thai. So a division formed in the group and ½ of us went to Thai but it was packed so we lost more of our group that went to Mexican and the rest of us were getting grumpy and hungry and we waited a long time but finally got a table for 12 but the owner had to go to his house to get extra chairs. It was a hectic prolonged scene and ended up being lame. When we got back this Thai vs Mexican schism had segregated the group... and then there was Scott, Cheryl, Bruce and Wayne who didn't go to either and just hung out at the campground getting stoned. Me and Bruce got a hold of this trippy bull-roarer and decided to have some fun. we ran around in the dark on the rocks above twirling the bull-roarer, making trippy sounds and could hear everyone below saying, "SHHH! Did you hear that?? It's a UFO!" We scampered around the rocks above making sick sheep sounds and whirring the bullroarer,. Then we saw 2 other heads bobbing around attempting to ambush us. I ran but Bruce got caught. They must have gotten a moonlit silhouette of his me flying knuckles down across the boulders and down the chimney where they couldn't catch me. It was great fun. Then Stefan and I went up this mountain of boulders in search of Spanish Bayonet. It was great fun, full moon and eerie clouds and weird landscapes like being on another planet. Had to leave early the next morning cuz that was when Stefan and Greta were leaving, uneventful drive back.
[we didn't have a camera in the 90s but someone took this photo of us on Quivering Savages (5.12a)]
Interesting developments in my everyday life that are hard to put in words, a variety of social interactions. The whole fiasco this weekend tripped me out and suddenly it wall disappeared as i was flung back to reality, back to Rebecca's blabbering phone conversations, still debating whether to have Lydia as a roommate, still planning the Mexico volcano trip with Stefan, who yesterday told me he's gonna be a father! Weird. There's a certain slightly carefree but careless abandon to the way he leads his life that worries me. I mean, if he's gonna be a father he can't be doing all this other shit like free-soloing and climbing volcanos in Mexico. It's his choice, but if i climb with him there's the extra worry of me having to explain to his wife (and possibly kid) if something bad should happen. There's a certain sense of suicidal reckless tragedy about him due to his cocky ego of thinking he can do anything, not a good trait in a climbing partner. We found out yesterday that Morris Air doesn't go to Mexico. Cheapest tickets are like $500 and I'm all "oh well, the train suits me fine" but he's all "listen Derek, money means nothing to me, let me buy your plane ticket" but that's just weird, especially when the train sounds funner. It would feel like prostitution to me, but in another sense it is just money and it's not like his hard-earned money. But i still wouldn't stoop that low. Money is tripping me out, cuz i know it can allow for experiences to some extent, but a train experience will be far more rewarding. That trip is only 2 weeks away and the reality of it is setting in.
Went out to lunch w/ [C—x, see previous entries] yesterday. It made me happy to know her, to see that her life is coming together, but glad i'm not involved with her. She saw a bald eagle on the way back from Flagstaff and had it out with her father, a big fight that left her in tears. She carries herself with a mature complacency but it worries me she is in too much of a hurry to grow up. The newest development is that girl Emily that introduced herself at Pony Espresso, i keep running into her, matter of fact right now she is a few tables over and looking radiant. But every time i see her it’s like a fleeting illusion. This is all tied together by Lynn Hill freeing The Nose, which to me is almost like someone setting foot on the moon, a great human accomplishment. I poured through the article in awe for hours, inspiring me not just in my climbing but in the overall style in which i live my life, which is what it all amounts to in the end. She's my hero.