The weather forecast for the 9th Annual Butte Bouldering Bash in just a little over a week is looking more favorable all the time. I am very glad for that because I would rather boulder outdoors while it is in the mid-40º F temperature range than in the 30º F range with snow on the ground! It is still going to be cold, do not get me wrong, but it is supposed to be sunny and dry, so that is all a plus! It will be warming up from 20º F beginning in the morning, which is the same type of weather we had for this event last year, but this year, I am going to treat it differently. This year, I am not going to sit in my truck running it intermittently all day to warm up while bundled up in my puffy inside. This year, I am bouldering!
Last year, I just could not warm up. This year, I am going to treat that a bit differently. I am going to layer wisely, stay warmed-up, boulder with my Lowa Rocket rock shoes and my Petzl Alto crash pad, and have one heck of a good time! I know there will be other people there that I know (or at least, I hope so) and I suspect that I can get in with some of them. Even if I do the same boulders all day, I am going to actually climb this year! I have the hotel in Butte booked for two nights and I need to scrape $40 together for registration that day. I need to print out and sign the waiver, too. That is all stuff that needs done before I get there next weekend. I am really looking forward to this, mostly because I am hoping to see some of the people who have moved away and that I have not seen in a year or so.
I do not have any expectations for my own bouldering performance. I know I can climb V3+ (6a) outdoors, and that is enough for me. The temperatures may make sending difficult, so I am not going to worry about that too much. I do much better if I begin without expectations, anyway. It is much more fun that way. If you have no expectations, then every attempt and every send is a celebratory event! I like that approach much better than the stress of “having” to send a certain grade or problem. People that take that approach often become frustrated and it does not seem like they are having fun after a while. I like to keep it fun for myself. After all, I climb to manage my PTSD and because I enjoy it, so I have to keep my priorities in mind to maintain the joy that I experience climbing. If I am climbing or attempting something that is not bringing me relief and enjoyment, then it is time to find something else to climb. It really is simple if you take the no-expectations approach. Now, that approach is not going to win the competition for me, but that is not why I go. As I have said several times, I want to see some people that I have not seen in a while and enjoy the atmosphere. Outdoor bouldering takes a different mindset. It is fun to watch others as well as to attempt some problems and moves you never thought possible for yourself with some encouragement from others. You may even end up sending something you thought beyond your current abilities! That is how you improve!
I hope the weather forecast continues to improve. It would be nice to get into the upper 40º F range, or even 50º F, but I will be happy with a sunny low-40º F day if that is what it ends up being. No snow. No rain. Just nice, sunny, well-above-freezing temperatures for a high. I know we will be starting out cold. It will be mid-October in Montana at the Continental Divide, after all!