Climbing 35 Pitches on Your 35th Birthday

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35 from ARC'TERYX on Vimeo.

Turning 35 throws a blow to the loitering idealism still hanging around from your 20s. I know, I'm two notches past 35. Do I get to hang out at the crag with my tribe of friends three weekends out of every month any more? Nope, they've all kind of moved on. Do I long for the ultimate endless dirtbaggy adventure trip? You bet. Once in a while I get to do it, but not as frequently as I once did. There was once a time in my life in which I thought there couldn't possibly be anything better than living out of a van and climbing all the time — ah, the mental clarity of youth with so little experience yet all the friggin' answers. Nowadays, I have more experience and fewer answers. The van and the pitches still sound good, but I'll admit that maybe there is something better, and that maybe I'm living it and I never saw it coming.

This narrative from Arc'teryx follows a climber as he sets out to climb 35 pitches in a day (which ain't easy) on his 35th birthday, and reflects on all the things that make his life a beautiful one. And they're not all related to climbing, but universal: friends, family, hanging out with little kids, enjoying the company of a pretty woman, driving a dirt road, cooking camp coffee, swimming in a lake, visiting a new wild place. It's easy to miss the good stuff, as they say in this little short. As a parent, you know how true that is. So the film attempts to help shine a light on all the good stuff, and it's enjoyable. However, is the story dangerously close to insisting that only the dirtbagger's life is the fullest? If so, is that a problem?

Nah. It's just different. Perhaps naïve, but we all find fullfillment in our own ways and at the different stages of life. For instance, I get a dose of stoke with the satisfying feeling as my 7-month-old daughter falls asleep on my shoulder after a fit of hollering. "Damn, that was awesome," if you will. Yet, I still want an Indian Creek splitter once in a while. It's a beautiful life, and this film shows one neat perspective.

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