Do you like to climb something just because it is there? I don’t only rock climb so that I can beat guys in arm wrestling, or spend my day staring at people’s bums. I climb because the view is worth the effort. Ever since I was little I’ve always looked for things to climb; trees, rocks, walls, anything. I never really understood why I loved climbing things. I think I was always interested to see if I could do it, how far I could go and how I would get up. It interested me that every route was different, you constantly have to figure out where to put our hands and feet while using muscles you didn’t even know you had. When I was a kid I would sit in a tree and stare down at my family eating lunch on a picnic blanket, it felt incredibly satisfying about physically making my way to the top and I was able to see much further than the person standing on the ground, even from a few meters up in a tree. The feeling of how vast the world is empowered me. It’s only when you are high up looking down at the huge world beneath you that you realize how insignificant you are, but at the same time you have a feeling of power and freedom and the feeling that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
If you want to know what it looks like from a rock climber’s point of view then join legendary climber Alex Honnold on El Capitan, a 3000 foot rock wall in Yosemite National Park, California. Although I don’t go anywhere near as high as Alex Honnold, google maps allows me to experience that insignificant yet free feeling, but without the deep breathing, the sweaty hands, the screaming, the sore feet, cut fingers and pumped arms.