Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I picked up Eli 10.10 from rock climbing camp last Thursday.

Immediately, I saw that the "37-foot climbing wall" was not, in fact, 37 feet high. The one Eli had climbed in 5.4 seconds.

I took a seat. Eli was was hanging out with one of the other camp kids, talking about climbing, and I'm much more conscious about interrupting now that he's older.

He saw me and waved, then kept talking for a few seconds. Then he walked over.

"Hey, buddy, how was camp?" I asked.

"Great," he said. "Oh, I was wrong about how high I climbed yesterday. It's 27 feet, not 37."

"No worries," I said.

"But the GOOD NEWS is that I climbed it in FOUR-POINT-SIX seconds today!" he said, high-fiving me. "And I have the all-time camp record!"

"That is awesome!" I said. "And at the same time, I'm not surprised."

He laughed. "Hey, let me show you something," he said. "I can climb a grown-up V2 route now."

Let me quickly describe this route to you. It's not straight up. Instead, it's at a 45-degree angle, and not in the friendly direction. We watched a bunch of adult climbers try this route and fail, and then Eli stepped up and did this on his first try:

You can see at the end of the video how severe the overhang is on that wall.

Rock climbing camp is this wonderful combination of total chill insterspersed with ferocious, intense effort. I think that's why Eli likes it so much--it's a perfect fit for his personality.

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