The finalists have been selected. Based on a quick search in google, too much time reading climbing magazines in our youth and a finite number of options available given our limitations, I present to you:
March Madness – The Sick Sixteen
(I know, I know, ‘Sick’ is a stretch, but Tommy Caldwell I ain’t).
Every few days Billy and I will chat about one or two of the match ups, each having read up on the routes independently.
After each discussion we must have selected a route(s) to move on to the next round. Hopefully by the end of March (or sooner, probably sooner) we will have decided on our route.
Why such a hurry to choose a route? Spring 2017 is still a long way off.
One reason is that having selected our route makes it a lot more fun to plan. There is now a specific piece of rock that we are going to get our asses up.
It is more fun to study the actual route we will be climbing, planning specifically where our belays will be, how we’ll handle the approach, the descent, where we’ll sleep etc.
Another benefit of choosing early is related to gear purchasing. We are going to need to buy a lot of new gear before trying to climb a big wall, and I do not want to waste money buying gear that I won’t need.
Once the route is selected we can identify pretty much what gear we will need, and add to our racks only the specific pieces we need rather than buying things we ‘might need’. Hopefully, spreading the purchases out over the year makes it easier to absorb the costs.
Finally, perhaps the best reason for selecting our route now, is that it makes the whole experience feel more real. It takes it out of the realm of general intent and into the realm of the specific.
Rather than planning to climb a big wall, it becomes preparing to climb ‘Insert Cool Route Name’.
While the difference between those two statements may not seem too great, from my point of view, it makes all of the difference in the world.
What do you think about our list? Are there any climbs that didn’t make it that should have? Have you climbed any of these routes?
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Let The Games Begin