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About sharing burritos and loving rock:

Team athlete Cathy Laflamme and her trip to the High Sierras

So you meet someone in a parking lot, share a burrito, become friends and spontaneously decide to go climbing together – well why not? And so it happened that this year our Cathy went on a new joint climbing adventure in the High Sierra in California. In this blog she will tell us about her very special experiences. :)

About sharing burritos and loving rock:

I met Zeb in a parking lot in Squamish, and our friendship was quickly cemented when he offered to cook us breakfast burritos in place of that ridiculously sweet instant oatmeal we had been eating all week. We met again on a spur of the moment trip to Red Rocks, where we spent a week chasing classics during the short November days, hiking in as the sun cast its first lit up the Nevada desert, and evenings under the stars, trying to make sense of all the craziness happening in the world today.

One year later – this September – we met again, this time with the hope of climbing the “Incredible Hulk”, which is practically in Zeb’s backyard. I had dreamt about climbing here for a long time so we took our time, spending a couple of nights, sleeping under the stars, getting pumped on 5.10 dihedrals (just me ;)), and gawking as we saw a party run up Positive Vibrations placing like one piece per pitch only to see later that it was, of course, Peter Croft himself. We rounded out the trip with routes on the Dana Plateau, at Lovers Leap, and the Minarets, and, after climbing, with trips to the hot springs dotting the High Sierras.

There, as you sit soaking in the warm water, staring out at the mountains on the horizon, full of enough new projects to last a lifetime, time stands still and the concept of going back to work feels miles away. Soon enough, though, the day came, and it was time to head back, full of Mexican food and that feeling you get, when you’re tired but somehow so full of energy.

In the past 13 years, I’ve lived in different cities, different countries and different continents. When you move around so much its easy to feel like you don’t belong, when you don’t share the same background, the same culture or the same language. And yet this trip – like many other climbing trips I’ve been lucky to have been a part of – was a reminder that we don’t need to be from the same place to be part of the same community. So thank you to all those who I’ve shared a rope with, where our shared background is our shared experiences and breakfast burritos in a parking lot is our shared language. :)

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