New Projects... Finding Inspiration / by Mayan Smith-Gobat

Punks in the Gym really was a life goal... I am still riding the wave of satisfaction of achieving a significant milestone in my life, and something which I worked very hard to do. However, at the same time I quickly began to feel lost and  feeling the need to refocus, to find a new project, something which captivates me and fuels my motivation. I had a brief stop in NZ, the home land, to visit my dear mother and check out how the destroyed city of Christchurch was coming along... It turns out, there has not been much progress in the last half a year, it is an ever-changing city at the moment, yet still looks like a war zone!

This search for inspiration has kept me on the move... And is what lead me to Smith Rocks again. Curiosity about another historic test piece motivated me to venture out in the snow onto the cold shady side of the park, and brave baltic conditions on the exposed and beautiful Monkey Face. It was cold enough that even climbing in the sun was barely possible, so everyone thought I was absolutely nuts for heading over onto the Monkey Face.  They are right - I am a little crazy, or maybe even a lot! But I needed to know, I needed to answer the questions in my mind. I wanted to either find inspiration or know that it was impossible for me... Unfortunately after a couple days of masochistic hang-dogging I did not feel much closer to having an answer.  This route is hard - beyond my abilities right now for sure, but is it possible for me?

This is a difficult question to answer... I didn't do all the moves, but it was about the worst conditions you could get for trying something this hard. So I am left with a lot to think about, an inspiration to improve and motivation to train harder that I ever have before... With the hope that one day I can " just do it"!

I owe this to my dear friend and trusty belayer, Dana Bartus, who agreed to come out in those grim conditions to hold my rope for hours on end. During my first attempt she endured a snow storm while trying desperately to watch my snail-like progress far above her on the route. Instead of questioning my craziness, she encouraged me when I was unsure of my ability.

Nows its off to CO for a couple days, then back to the southern summer and hopefully warmer climates in Argentina, for the 10th annual Petzl Roctrip. Bring on the fun!