Sunday, January 25, 2015

Escaping the city: A tribute to the weekend warrior



First coined by military reserve members, the phrase “Weekend Warrior” is used to describe those who spend their weekends chasing after their personal passion and  sharpening their skills once the work week is over. In climbing, It’s definition is attributed to those who travel great distances, often forfeiting sleep and guzzling copious amounts of coffee in order to get their fix of rock fondling.

Born from these adventures are stories of daring and difficult ascents, close calls and camp fire debauchery, later re-told and immortalised during the mid week plastic session. Delivered with a healthy dose of exaggeration, you can often overhear of how someones two-foot “Take!” transformed into a terrifying whipper once back at the gym.

Living in New York, I’ve heard countless tales from climbers who would drive from the city on a Friday night, making the 8 hour pilgrimage to the New River Gorge in West Virginia and returning in the early hours of Monday morning. To non-climbers, this marathon of driving seems borderline insane, but to the seasoned warrior, this is all part of the progression process.

Hearing these tales begs the question, why do we do it? Why travel so far, suffer sleep depravation, sometimes putting our lives at risk and all for a handful of hours in the outdoors.

It’s a testament to our growing community. That we are a hardy bunch that strive for progression in both ourselves and our sport, passionate to the point of eccentricity and with no understanding of how far is too far.

So this is my tribute to all the climbers out there who dedicate their time and efforts to making our community what it is. A bustling mix of lateral thinkers and visionaries who’s uncompromising desire to climb rocks has created a movement that is changing the world in its own small way.

Thank you for being a climber!