From the boulders left laying at the bottom of Stanage Edge to the unclimbed routes in outer Patagonia, to be able to distinguish fear from irrational thought is a skill learned only from that moment that pure desperation runs cold through your veins. Irrational thought when climbing is of course part and parcel of each and every bold climb we do. Questions are asked but are only replied by the next move we make. I suppose when I top out on a climb and everything fell into place, all questions answered without a shake of a leg or wrong move made, my thought process is one of elation and happiness, this I would believe to be true with anybody else. But its these flawless climbs that create the fear that we gain on the climbs that don’t quite go according to plan. I know that I overestimate myself at times and say to people that doing a certain climb would be ‘easy’ or ‘something I would do to warm up’ but in my heart of hearts I know that it could really push my limits. Fear is derived from elation, elation is derived from accomplishment. Every time we accomplish something big in our climbing careers our estimation of ourselves can start to become a blurry line. Without knowing it we can start on something that will get our hearts pumping, our muscles tensing and our head reeling. But that, is the art of climbing. Knowing where you sit, that’s thought. Not knowing what’s next, that’s fear.
And we love it.