What’s On Your Climbing Bucket List?

What’s On Your Climbing Bucket List?

As climbers we often have goals and lists of things we’d like to do in the upcoming months and years.  Whether it’s a specific route or boulder problem we are hoping to do, a particular destination we want to visit or even just something as basic as not getting injured, we tend to operate with these goals in mind.  For instance, I have a short trip to Arkansas planned for next month and I’ve been trying to prepare accordingly so that I can make the most of that trip.  Anything beyond that is too far in the future to worry about at this point since I’ll probably get injured soon.

Looking longer term things are a bit different.  While I realize that my best climbing days are still likely in the future, I’m also increasingly cognizant of the fact that time is not unlimited and that life distractions that get in the way of climbing are only going to increase as I get older.  The list of places I want to visit and problems I want to climb never seems to get any shorter no matter how many trips I go on or how many climbs I do.  There simply will never be enough time to get everything done.  That’s life.  At some point one just has to prioritize the trips and climbs that are the most important and plan accordingly.

I was reminded of this topic last week while reading this post on The Adventure Blog which references a Nat Geo poll of outdoor athletes asking them to name their best trip ever as well as the dream trip they still hoped to accomplish.  It got me trying to think of my favorite climb that I’ve done as well as what one dream climb is on my so-called “bucket list”, a climb that I must do before I get injured again have kids get old die.

Answering either question is quite difficult obviously, and I’m not really sure I can pick just one climb that stands out above the others.  If there is one that stands out in recent memory though I suppose it would have to be when I finished Sandstone Violence back in 2008 after spending the first half of the year dealing with surgeries on both my hands.  Looking forward, if there is one boulder problem I’ve always wanted to do it’s the iconic Midnight Lightning in Yosemite.  I made it to the mantle back in 2006 before getting scared and I vowed to return….someday….

Hopefully this will be me someday soon…

What about you?  Is there one climb (or even one trip) on your bucket list that you have to do above all others?  Is there one climb you’ve already done that stands out as being the best ever?  Let us know in the comments…

Posted In: Off the Board

Subscribe

Subscribe to the RSS feed to receive updates, and follow us on Twitter & Facebook

75 Responses to What’s On Your Climbing Bucket List?

  1. Andrew January 19, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Mount Everest: the ultimate rock climb

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  2. sam January 19, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    MAN-DA-LA!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Narc January 19, 2011 at 8:34 am #

      Nice, that’s a good one too. Better get it done before any more holds break though!

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
    • Mark January 19, 2011 at 8:52 am #

      I also want to do Mandala.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Alex Johnson January 22, 2011 at 1:03 am #

        I want to do the Mandala too! 🙂
        And Evilution Direct.
        And The Shield in Little Rock City.
        And climb in Hueco for longer than three days…
        And boulder in Switzerland when it’s not pouring down rain…
        And deep water solo in Spain.
        My list is so long I can’t even narrow it down!

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Narc January 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

          Seems like a pretty good place to start. I already have you beat on one of those things (Hueco), and if I ever did half the others I know I’d be psyched!

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
  3. Katie January 19, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    The though of making a climbing bucket list is overwhelming…but making a bouldering bucket list sounds amazing. Gunsmoke and How’s Your Mama in JTree would be on it!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  4. hosebeats January 19, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Find, clean, and FA a classic v10+ highball.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Narc January 19, 2011 at 11:35 am #

      I’d just like to have more than one V10 (or harder) within a 300 mile radius of my house

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Dylan January 19, 2011 at 11:55 am #

        Think of it this way: now if you decide to project a “local” V10 the decision of what to spend countless attempts getting bouted off on is easy.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
      • hosebeats January 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

        Lifetime goal for sure. It’s going to take lots of training and climbing to get there. I could see it happening in next 5 years, maybe?

        Narc, stay healthy.. Maybe that’s your secret to do a v10.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Narc January 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

          While arbitrary I have always had the goal of doing a V10. I have no doubt that I’ve been strong enough to do one at some point my career thus far. The problem is that there is really only 1 V10 anywhere near me and projecting problems at one’s limit isn’t the best way to spend trips when the longest bouldering trip I’ve taken in the past 8 years has been only a week long.

          This year though. I have good feeling….but I should probably do a V9 first…

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • hosebeats January 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

            I’m sure its been suggested…. but maybe it’s time to move or find a job with more vacation time.
            Just a thought.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
          • Narc January 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

            I’m mainly banking on fields of immaculate & virgin granite and sandstone boulders being found somewhere in WI. When they are I’m going to be READY.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
  5. colin January 19, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    The North Face of the Rostrum, in Yosemite. At my current level, the technical difficulties of each pitch aren’t too intimidating, but onsighting all of those pitches in a day is.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  6. rd January 19, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    freerider!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  7. Jason January 19, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Ecstasy. It’s only 5.13 but it’s my lifetime goal

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jason January 19, 2011 at 10:59 am #

      Heres a pic of Ecstasy for those who haven’t seen it

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
    • Narc January 19, 2011 at 11:34 am #

      “only” 5.13, why bother???

      Just kidding, looks sweet. Where is that thing at??

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Luke January 19, 2011 at 11:36 am #

        It’s outside of Bishop right next to Pratt’s Crack in Pine Creek Canyon. Very Pretty (and very blank looking)!

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
  8. Luke January 19, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    The Salathe Headwall. I’d also love to send the full route. One of the most beautiful cracks I’ve ever seen and in such an exposed and amazing location.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • randy January 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

      ditto on the headwall. three pitches of pure splitter crack, 30+ pitches off the deck. amazing!

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  9. justin January 19, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Isn’t it great though that the the most memorable(rewarding?) boulder problem you’ve done was one that most of us have never heard of and will most likely never see. It just illustrates that what really makes a climb special to the climber is the experience we have with them and not just the history/lore/aesthetics that make them stand out.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Narc January 19, 2011 at 11:59 am #

      Agreed. One of the other experiences that really stands out in my memory is when Mrs. Narc and I climbed Cathedral Peak. It’s not the hardest, highest or most anything type of climb and is no big deal for most people. For us however it was way outside the norm of what we normally climb which made it a great experience. All just a matter of perspective I guess.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
    • Egghead January 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

      Sandstone Violence should most defintely be on any upper-midwest climber’s ticklist. I watched Narc send that thing like it was V0 twice that day. Awesome.

      I would like to 1) not get injured 2) climb once a week at the Lake this spring summer and fall, and 3) do Jenga dammit! And possibly Beautiful Soup, which I need to spend some actual time projecting this year.

      Narc it’s kidS that limit your climbing. When you have KID, it’s not as big a deal since the ratio of parent to child is still 1:1 when you are out climbing. However, once that ratio is 1:2, then you feel more and more guilty to be away and needed at home. But don’t worry about KID. ce

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  10. Paul Campbell January 19, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Holy crap Ecstasy looks amazing! Nice choice!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  11. Dylan January 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    I’ve actually started to make a Devils Lake bucket list, because I’m just starting my last semester at UW Madison, so there is a decent chance this will be my last season there. Its in flux, and I’m trying to balance realism with ambition. No single climb really stands out, but your recent praise of Starfish makes me want to head to the Reserve.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Narc January 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

      Definitely a fun problem. Apparently there are other good problems there but I didn’t get a chance to try many for myself that day. Slippery rock there, even by DL standards.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  12. eddie January 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    since seeing the photo in the AR bathroom and an old photo of scott burke on it i must climb the bachar-yerian before i die.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Narc January 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      Given how long that poster has been staring at us somebody who has climbed at our gym should probably climb that route…

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  13. randy January 19, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    kaleidoscope, the rrg.
    monster skank, red rocks.
    mothership connection, el potrero.
    thriller, yosemite.
    haroun and the sea of stories, bishop.
    the rhino, rock lands.

    and, in another life, la perla, margalef.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Narc January 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes!

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  14. Doug L January 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Good post, I love hearing everyone else’s ambitions in the comments. As for me, a couple problems stand out:

    The Turning Point, 1st V8, fun movement, lots of beta to figure out, bomber rock, perfect setting overlooking Boulder. Avoid the crowds by going in the evening or during the winter and you won’t be disappointed.

    Third Flatiron East Face Standard, 5.4, bullet hard sandstone with hundreds of feet of perfect plates and great friction. Catch it on a crisp fall weekday with no crowds and it’s really “the best beginner climb in the solar system”.

    As for the bucket list, I’d love to climb V10. As for specific routes, The Orb in Rocktown has always looked awesome and I’d love to do the Exum Ridge on the Grand Teton (surprised that one hasn’t come up yet).

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  15. Andrew January 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    The Nose!
    Midnight Lightning!
    To Bolt or Not To Be!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  16. Thomas January 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Boulder Problem:
    Karma – Font (I don’t care that it got chipped, it’s still the best)

    Sport Routes: Mango Tango, New River Gorge (got very close a few years back and then moved away), Groovy – Grampians, Australia, (just looks amazing in the photos I’ve seen)

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Narc January 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

      That video of Joel Brady doing Mango Tango is still one of my favorites. Looks like a rad climb.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  17. Will January 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    I am many years of experience away from considering this trip, but on my list is the Lotus Flower Tower in the Cirque of the Unclimbables, NWT, CA. 17 pitches, 10d, absolutely stunning.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  18. Paully January 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    Must. Climb. 8b.
    Upon further review, that goal is already taken. I’ll have to settle for the following.
    Short term- Something from Nothing (Great Barrington, MA)
    Speed of Life (Farley, MA)
    TGTBTJ (Devils Lake)
    Sandstone Violence

    Long term-Iron Resolution (JTree)
    To Bolt or Not to Be
    Loskot and Two Smoking Barrels
    This Side of Paradise
    King Air
    Wet Dream

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Narc January 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

      TGTBTJ ?? <— What is that??

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Paully January 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

        The Good, the Bad, and the Jacked.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Narc January 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

          Location? Can’t think of it off the top of my head.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • Paully January 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

            DL!!! West Bluff across from Son of a Great.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
          • Narc January 20, 2011 at 9:43 am #

            Ahh, I assumed that it was a boulder problem.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
          • Dylan January 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

            There’s a picture of Dave Groth leading it on the DL homepage on Mountain Project.

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
    • Jason January 27, 2011 at 7:31 am #

      Where would I be able to find Something from Nothing? I’ve been trying to scout around in GB but it’s tough when you don’t know anyone who climbs out there.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  19. Julian January 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    Thing zero: Help my wife deliver a healthy baby (it’s a boy!).

    As for climbing… Speed of Life (Farley, MA), Halcyon (Pawtuckaway, NH), Satan’s Choice (Rumney, NH). Oh, and take a trip to one of: Bishop, Joe’s Valley, or the SE Nexus of Awesome.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  20. Crimpin Ain't Easy January 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Routes:
    The Gift, Red Rocks
    Flesh for Lullu, Rumney

    Boulders:
    The Anvil, Portland, ME (still can’t find it)…bueller? bueller?
    See Spot Run, Hueco

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Julian January 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

      Is the Anvil in S. Freeport? I don’t know the names of the problems there, but I could get you driving directions.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Crimpin Ain't Easy January 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

        I don’t think so… it’s either in SoPo or Cape

        Peter Beal had this post about it a while back and I’ve been itching to get on it ever since: http://www.mountainsandwater.com/2010/07/sea-level-climbing.html

        SoFree is great though!

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
        • Julian January 22, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

          Gotcha. No idea where that is. I’ll ask Peter on the ‘book.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
        • Julian January 23, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

          Access is across private property, apparently. Will let you know if/when I learn more.

          GD Star Rating
          loading...
          • Crimpin Ain't Easy January 24, 2011 at 8:28 am #

            thanks for lookin into that man!

            …in s. freeport, have you done the problem around the corner to the left of the coffin (starting on the low slopers)?…absolutely my favorite problem in maine! Not sure of the name or grade…just the quality!

            GD Star Rating
            loading...
  21. toothbrush January 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Two Bolts or Not to Be. FA Randy Puro.

    So far beyond me right now, but I guess that’s why they call it a bucket list.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Ethan October 31, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      I think the F.A. was done by Jean Baptiste Tribout in the 80’s

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Narc October 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

        Two Bolts Or Not To Be the boulder problem in Yosemite is not to be confused with To Bolt Or Not To Be the route in Smith Rock

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
  22. Tony January 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    Onsight lead Son Of Great Chimney

    …boomslang

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Narc January 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      The first one is still on my pipe dream list. The second one…well…you’re on your own with that one…

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  23. KCady January 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Evilution
    &
    The Cobra Crack

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  24. jonathan January 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    v14
    5.14

    pretty simple…simply said

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  25. David B January 19, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    Anything 5.12 trad and 13c sport. Also, the nose would be awesome!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  26. Adam January 19, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    Redpoint The Prophet (Paying the Rent) 5.14a at HCR. Boulder a V13 at some point in my life. Be able to consistently climb 5.14. Boulder Midnight Lightning, King Air, The Mandala. Get another V10 so I know it wasn’t a fluke. The Ironman traverse. Im 21 now and want to keep getting stronger till im like 30.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Bryan January 21, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

      Why 30? Get stronger your whole life! Look at Fred Nicole! Also I heard just through rumors at the New River Gorge there was a guy around 77 or 78 that onsighted an 11c or 11d trad route. I’d love to onsight that grade at any age! My new favorite quote from a book I just read that is totally applicable to climbing:

      “you don’t stop running (climbing) because you get old, you get old because you stop running (climbing)”
      -Jack Kirk

      My bucket list item is to always climb with that quote in mind.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  27. Andy January 20, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    Tony stole my goal but… I have a feeling that we very well could be doing that one at the same time. So, I’ll say it anyways: Son Of Great Chimney onsite. And although there’s nothing too ambitious about it… The Grand Wall in Squampton.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Egghead January 20, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      I think it’s pretty badass that SOGC is now THE devil’s lake classic onsight trial. Look for it in a Climbing mag coming soon!– Specifically for photos of one DL hardman onsighting it. For Dl it’s reasonably protected, but it’s possible to take a LONG fall FYI. Just ask my belayer SteveZ (mine was not an onsight attempt either!) 🙂 ce

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  28. Austin January 20, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    I’m loving reading this list. You can just feel the psyche coming out of each post and picture the images and dreams flashing through each person’s head as they write. We all have these dreams of ours and to hear those of others, even strangers, is powerful and motivating.

    Must Do Above All Others*:

    – Moonlight Buttress
    – RNWF Half Dome
    – anything on El Cap solo
    – A long trip with good friends to Patagonia or the Karakoram

    *This list will change, probably by the next time I think about it, and that is a beautiful thing

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  29. Andy January 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    Could it be Mr. Knower? I really can’t think of a more aesthetic line at DL with an achievable yet still difficult grade as SOGC. Some come close but SOGC takes the cake. I’m pretty excited to see the photos…

    …and another goal that made it to my list is at least just TR Bagatelle…

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  30. Remo January 21, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Great post Narc! It’s funny because every spring I write down my projects for that year. One list of boulder problems and one list of routes. This really helps keep me focused and motivated. I also add at the end of the lists…Establish more boulders, or Travel here or there.
    The last few years I have crossed off most of the boulder problems and get maybe two or three of the routes done, which is great. I haven’t made the list this year yet, but it involves more pitches, more elevation and of course more boulders, maybe even in eastern Wisconsin. 😉
    The life list is just too long to write down.
    Cheers

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Narc January 28, 2011 at 7:25 am #

      More boulders? Eastern WI??? I may have to beat this information out of you next time we climb together, which will hopefully happen early and much more often in 2011.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  31. Colin P January 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    My bucket list is probably the most pathetic of everyone’s on this list. My goal this year is to climb ‘anything’. Literally anything. I tore both of my shoulders and a finger in October 2009 and I haven’t climbed since. I’ve had three surgeries and I might need one more on my finger. I aim to be in climbing shape around July but damn it’s been a long road.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Narc January 28, 2011 at 7:24 am #

      Not pathetic at all. Sometimes just climbing is an excellent goal, especially considering all that you’re dealing with. Best of luck with the recovery!

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  32. Daniel January 25, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    Man… Where to begin…
    Well, above all, right now I would say Midnight Lightning, but there’s so many more:
    Stained Glass
    Checkerboard
    The Force
    Evilution
    Mandala (assuming I get strong enough)

    And I definitely want to get out of Cali to do some bouldering abroad… as you can see all of these bucket lists are in Bishop and Yosemite…

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  33. Travis January 26, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    A climbing bucket list is a seemingly impossible list to create. Every day I’m given the opportunity to climb I find new projects, or see a dauntingly extravagant boulder that tingles my toes with anticipation.

    I would love taking a bouldering trip to Hueco, South Africa, Switzerland, or especially a week of Yosemite; possibly even trying my hand in alpine.

    Nevertheless, regardless of the serene places I’d enjoy climbing in, the first item on my “bucket list” is to simply stay able, and make the time, to continue climbing throughout my days on Earth.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  34. Narc January 28, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    So many great responses! Huge thanks to everyone for taking the time to share, even if it does feel impossible to pick just a few “lifetime” goals.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  35. Ethan October 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    I know im a little late, but…

    In no order:
    Midnight Lightning – YosDrive On – YosClear Blue Skies – RMNPMandala – BishopThe Swarm – BishopSky – RocklandsEsperanza – HuecoTerremer – Huecoand so many more!!!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Bucket List | charliee - January 22, 2011

    […] mine in regards to climbing… a post that has got me thinking about where I want to be as a climber. I’ll get back to you on […]