It’s hard to scroll through climbing news headlines these days without seeing mention of some young gun sending yet another hard line. And while these accomplishments are certainly worth celebrating, (and I don’t mean to sound like a hater here, because I’m not) I’m just not that impressed. Sure, it’s amazing these young climbers can reach that level so quickly, but they also have stacks of things in their favor. They have no responsibilities, their tendons and muscles heal quickly, they need few rest days, they have access to mega-gyms, and they have small fingers, which make grabbing small holds easier.
What does impress me is the opposite side of the spectrum. The “older” climbers pushing into new levels, the guys and gals who have persevered through a lifetime of other commitments, like family, work, health issues, injuries, etc. The lifers who love it so much that they’ve stayed with it through thick and thin, and continue to refine their craft well past what was once thought to be the prime sending years.