St. Helena

Wingspan envy at the Bubble. Max on the rock, Eric in blue belaying.

I think it was something like:

  • Silverado Squatters
  • Bear Fingers
  • Mark’s Moderate, to Theodore Roosevelt (!)

St. Helena was the first place I ever climbed outside. I was hoping I’d learned a few things since then, but it didn’t feel that way: I fell off almost everything. Way to go, top-rope tough girl.

But I’m improving as a pack-mule, if nothing else. And the relief I felt at the occasional opportunities to jam (fingers, fists, feet … um, elbows) suggests I’m coming around on crack climbing, too—at least as an alternative to hanging off sections of cheese grater.

Speaking of dairy: On the way home, Max shared lessons learned from his stint in industrial farming, milking 300 cows per shift on a desert kibbutz so hot that the cows had a shower room. This was easily the most times I’d ever heard a man say “teat infection.”


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