How To Summit

"Great, I've reached the summit--now what?"

Arriving at the top of a route can provide the beginner with complications--especially if they have not received proper training. Some of my earliest summits were a complete disaster (as we will soon see), but with time I have created a tidy routine that I call the SUMMIT PACKAGE. Observe.

The "Upward Full-Foot Plant"

This comes early on in summitting, requiring only that you call on your inner strength. Arm pitch and gait may vary but a strong forward position is always present. A must do.


Anderson River Valley, BC

Although I am technically only at the base of our route, we had summitted the desperate approach gully.


Castleton Tower, Utah

Fine over-head form atop my first desert tower.


Intersection Rock, Joshua Tree

Mark Huscroft summits to the delight of seniors watching from below (one lady even screamed "Hallelujah!") The "guns" are a sassy addition typical to Mark's character.


North North Summit, Squamish

If I wasn't so close to the edge of a precipice, this would be a full foot plant. Situation dictated that I move to the lesser ass plant.


Red Rocks, Nevada

Conor Reynolds in the daffy u.f.f.p.-- a variation with staggered symmetry.

The "Flying Vee"

Another early arrival, specially suited for small stances or for sport routes where the climber never actually reaches the summit. Because of its over-use in professional sports, this form is seldom seen on summits.


Pinnacles National Monument, California

One of my earlier "sport ascents".


Angel's Crest, Squamish

Ironically, Roger's triumphant last-minute Vee came just before a gruesome hour of duck-walking down a trail through steep, inky blackness.

The "Over-Under"

The pinnacle of summit poses and a high form of doubles, this maneuver requires a coordination that only comes to long time partners. Sought by many, mastered by few.


Anderson River Valley

Roger Linnington and I demonstrate the fruits of a five year partnership.


Daff Dome, Tuolumne Meadows

Tom Pypker was one of my first dedicated climbing partners, so it is fitting that I managed my first O.U. with him.


The Squaw, Squamish

This photo was taken shortly after finishing a rather strenuous offwidth with Roger Linnington. In retrospect it is surprising that we didn't end up in a "double over-head full foot plant". Perhaps I could no longer lift my arms?


The South Summit, Squamish

An obliging lady took our photo after a successful "Double Crown": climbing the Cheif twice in one day. This was a fascinating reversal: without a word, Roger took under just as I threw in a surprise over.

    Center Summit, Squamish

Life On Earth

Mt.Habrich, BC

"Double Over-head Full Foot Plant"

A more bullish doubles stance, this pose is most often seen after strenuous, bloody affairs. The true art lies in simultaneous presentation of respect and defiance.


South Summit, Squamish

Following my mother's successful flash of the 5.13b Scott Cosgrove free variation. Incredible.


Monkey Face, Smith Rocks

Mark Huscroft takes a cue after our successful onsight of "Just Do It".

"Free Form" or "The Amateur"

Everyone starts somewhere, with some embarrassing results. These poses are both farcical and indecisive. The summit experience is generally forgone and the character of the route ignored. Doubles, in particular, fumble about like virgins on their first go before freezing in the most self-conscious, asymmetrical positions.


Red Rocks, Nevada

This was all my fault. I assumed that Tom would take the compliment of my left-facing "Tea Pot".


Squamish Buttress, BC

No comment.


Banana Peel, Squamish

Steve Bailey does the "Pec-Fly" while I pretend to punch myself in the stomach and head. Vrooooooommm. F.


Apron Boulders, Squamish

This is a stupid pose, but it only happened because I was attempting a backwards triple flip. Unfortunately I only managed a double.

 How To...