To borrow a phrase from the fine folks over at Rock & Ice, Ryan Palo is a pretty regular dude. He works for a living, he climbs, he gets injured, he recovers and he climbs some more. It’s just that when he climbs, he tends to climb 5.14. Not very regular dude of him. It was especially not very regular dude of him when over the weekend he became the first local and probably the first person with a “real” job to climb Just Do It (5.14c) on Smith Rock’s iconic Monkey Face.
Palo has a write-up on his blog about the effort it took to complete a route of this difficulty, and despite how it looks when 15-year-old French kids do it, climbing hard 5.14 isn’t always that much fun:
Some time ago I realized that striving to climb at your max actually isnt fun. In fact, it’s downright unpleasant. I can think of countless examples of friends beating themselves up on routes they can barely do. Where the period of frustration & setback eclipses the jubilation period. I was told these were the moments where we build character, stamina, willpower, etc. and that might be true. Im just not so sure it’s worth it.
DPM also caught up with Palo for this interview that is worth reading as well.