Monday, June 13, 2011

The Age of Ascent

Ian Elliott is a modern sport climber.
He clips bolts, he grabs draws, he uses tricks, sticks and kneepads.

But he's no slouch.
Tenacity like a cockroach. He comes back from injuries again and again. The kind of stuff that would stop someone half his sons age.

He's known almost exclusively as Old Ian. Not sure how he got that name.

Style: Gandolf meets Harry Butler. Rocking these Arthritis support kneepads in blue, poly pro underwear in black, and red polar tech beanie by Hot Tuna.
He gets the coveted jjobrienclimbing tick.

Ian channels Bhagwan Shree Rajnessh as he works the moves on "Weapon of Choice" 27, Coolum Cave.
Spooky, huh?

I somehow feel proud that the cave has such a climber as Ian, as though I gain some prestige just by association.
Climbers, I have to confess to being ageist. I know, coming from me!
Old people, they gamble, they take drugs, they drive like maniacs.
But then there are exceptions that give us an alternative model.

I could watch it again and again:
The scene where this kindly old gentleman shows a Forester load of bumpy boys how to do the route they've been dogging all day. And then offers to retrieve their draws. Priceless.

Grow old, stay strong.